MONTREAL — Justin Trudeau returned to his home turf of Montreal on Tuesday, where the Liberal leader is hoping to make inroads in this election and knock down some of the New Democrats who dominate Quebec.
Trudeau used Montreal's Olympic Stadium, located in the federal riding of Hochelaga, as a backdrop for a morning event to promise 60,000 children in Quebec would be lifted out of poverty by the Liberal child benefit.
The Grits have proposed a plan that would give families $6,400 per year, tax-free, for every child under the age of 6.
They're also offering $5,400 per year, tax-free, for each child that is 6 to 17 years old.
"In Canada, we have the opportunity to do something for our kids," Trudeau said.
The Liberals are keen to make gains in Quebec, where they only claimed seven of 75 available seats in 2011.
Recent public opinion polls seem to suggest support for the New Democrats may be waning, which the Liberals see as an electoral opportunity.
Trudeau sought to differentiate himself from the NDP, specifically on how he would handle the ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a massive trade deal negotiated by 12 countries including Canada and announced just this week.
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair has railed against the agreement.
Trudeau said he would sit down with provincial premiers before ratifying any deal.
"International trade and economic growth and job creation will be at the very top of my list of conversations with the premiers," he said. "I look forward to talking with them about opportunities and the challenges posed by the Trans-Pacific Partnership."
Trudeau says Harper has not been transparent on the TPP.
"We have a prime minister that is happy to sign trade deals, but hasn't done a very good job on talking to Canadians about the kinds of benefits that come from trade," Trudeau said.
The Liberal leader has remained carefully neutral on the deal and has refrained from commenting on compensation plans for affected industries put forward by Conservative Leader Stephen Harper.
"We look forward to seeing the details of the trade deal. We look forward to seeing the details of the compensation that the government has proposed.
"We will base our choices on evidence and what the actual facts are, which we don't quite know yet."
The riding of Hochelaga belonged to the Bloc Quebecois from 2004 to 2011, when the NDP claimed the seat as part of its orange wave in Quebec.
Marwah Rizqy, an assistant professor at the University of Sherbrooke, is running for the Grits while Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet is running again for the New Democrats.
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