Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited the Fredericton Lawn Bowling Club on Sept. 18 to announce an expansion of the Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security, and addresses the concerns of unmet promises and growing deficits. 

Trudeau arrived at the Fredericton Lawn Bowling Club on Wednesday morning, greeted by supporters and New Brunswick MPs Matt DeCourcey (Fredericton), Alaina Lockhart (Fundy Royal), Karen Ludwig (New Brunswick Southwest), and Minister of Health Ginette Petitpas-Taylor (Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe). 

Trudeau and Decourcey were invited to play a round of lawn bowling with two of the club’s members, before moving behind the podium to make his announcement. 

“A re-elected Liberal government will increase Old Age Security by an extra 10 per cent once folks turn 75,”  promised Trudeau. 

This expansion is predicted to increase benefits by $729 next year, rising each year with inflation. 

The Liberals also plan a 25 per cent increase to the Canada Pension Plan for seniors who have lost their partners, raising the maximum benefits available by $2,000 per year. 

Trudeau then addressed the growing financial weight of his campaign promises, currently at $4 billion, drawing attention to the office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer and their work deciphering the cost of election platforms. 

“We will be releasing a fully costed, fully responsible platform in the coming weeks, including all the work done by the parliamentary budget officer on specific metrics,” said Trudeau. 

Trudeau and Decourcey were invited to play a round of lawn bowling with two of the club’s members, before moving behind the podium to make his announcement | Photo by Ally Buchanan

He then went on to defend his government’s imposed carbon tax, which has been a controversial topic in New Brunswick since its announcement last October, calling out Conservative premiers, such as New Brunswick’s Blaine Higgs, on their stance on the issue.

“Yes, there are governments who disagree with us on certain things, what obvious comes to mind that the fact that there’s a number of Conservative premiums that don’t think we should be fighting climate change that think we should make pollution free again” he said before addressing all Canadians, “understand that the only way to build a strong future for our economy is also to make sure we’re protecting the environment”. 

He went on to acknowledge the rise of the Green Party, which threatens to gain the votes of many of the more progressively minded voters who supported the Liberal party in 2015. This includes those in Fredericton—which is currently polling as a divided riding. Trudeau says Canadians have a choice to make. 

“We have done many of the things that Canadians asked us to do over the past four years. At the same time, we recognize there’s lots more to do. And that gets down to the choice that Canadians are facing right now,” said Trudeau.