Sunday, March 6, 2016

Lefty Canadian Prime Minister to Be Honored with White House State Dinner This Week

Justin Trudeau, the new prime minister of Canada will be feted Thursday at a Whit House state dinner, the first of Obama's final year in office and the first for Canada since April 1997.

"Obama was delighted that Trudeau got elected," said Nelson Wiseman, a University of Toronto political science professor, offering perspective on Trudeau's speedy invitation. "They're both liberals. They both like to talk the same kind of language."

Trudeau has promised decisive government action on climate change, "We will invest nearly $6 billion over the next 4 years and $20 billion over 10 years in green infrastructure."

He has called for "A Liberal government that will provide almost $20 billion over 10 years for social infrastructure — things like affordable housing, child care spaces, communities centres, and more."

He is good on the minimum wage, though. From Press Progress:
During a series of interviews with ordinary Canadians aired on CBC Sunday night, Trudeau shared his reservations about provincial initiatives to raise the minimum wage, telling a struggling, low-wage worker he questions if that means "everything just gets more expensive or we have jobs leaving."

Neil Piercey was one 'ordinary Canadian' who got an opportunity to grill Trudeau.

Piercey is a 58-year-old worker from London, Ontario who was laid off from a long-time, good paying manufacturing job, but now finds himself in a low-wage job and without a pension as he nears retirement.

In a clip that didn't air during Sunday night's broadcast, but was later uploaded to the web, Piercey asks the Prime Minister if he thinks it would be "a good idea to raise the minimum wage?"

Piercey was told the federal government only controls wages on certain industries that fall under federal jurisdiction (something Trudeau's Liberals supported raising in 2014 before criticizing it during last year's election campaign), but then Trudeau went a step further, sharing his thoughts about a few provincial initiatives to raise the minimum wage:

"A number of provinces are looking at raising the minimum wage across the board. There's always a question of whether or not that has the impact that everyone would like to have. Maybe everything just gets more expensive or we have jobs leaving. We have to be very careful about that."

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