Prime Minister Justin Trudeau briefly touched on the federal budget during his time in Dartmouth on Friday, before questioning immediately turned to U.S. President Donald Trump’s order for a series of missile strikes against an airfield in Syria.
Trudeau was in Dartmouth to visit the Nova Scotia Skills Competition, an “Olympic-style” event that sees youth compete by demonstrating their skills in over 40 skilled trade and technology areas.
“There’s a bit of everything here, from aerospace tech and robotics to carpentry and welding,” Trudeau said about the event.
Before taking questions, the prime minister addressed the Stockholm truck attack which killed at least four people and injured 15 on Friday.
He then addressed those in attendance about the event taking place at the Nova Scotia Community College Waterfront Campus. He said the competition helps show the importance of a job in the skilled trades. Given how in-demand such positions are in the job market, people need to upgrade their training, he said, noting that was something addressed in the 2017-18 budget.
Trudeau said one of the Nova Scotia-related investments mentioned in the budget was renewed support for Pathways to Education, which also has locations in Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, British Columbia and New Brunswick.
“This program helps low-income teens in Nova Scotia complete high school and complete transition to the next phase of their lives, whether that’s post-secondary education or jumping straight into the workforce,” Trudeau said.
He said investments in the Pathways program, tweaking the Employment Insurance (EI) program and contributing the Youth Employment Strategy, coupled with the Atlantic Growth Strategy, would help people stay in the Atlantic region.
“Gone are the days where going West seemed like the only option,” Trudeau said. “By getting the skills they need for good middle-class jobs here on the East Coast, Nova Scotians can settle down and raise their families in the hometowns they grew up in.”
Trudeau then took questions regarding the American missile strikes in Syria, but concluded by responding to a question focused on Nova Scotia.
Asked what role Trudeau would play in the upcoming provincial election, Trudeau said the federal government has indicated what a “collaborative, respectful approach”with provincial governments looks like. He said this included signing health accords and the Atlantic Growth Strategy.
“I look forward to continuing to collaborate with the government of Nova Scotia for many years to come.”