Trudeau pledges to expand compassionate care benefit

Promises $190 million in additional money to spread around

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ESQUIMALT, B.C. — Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is promising to lower the government’s eligibility requirements for Canadians needing help to care for a sick loved one.

If elected, Trudeau says a Liberal government would invest $190 million to expand the compassionate care benefit and make it accessible to any Canadian looking after a seriously ill family member.

Speaking at a campaign stop in Victoria, Trudeau said the expanded program wouldn’t lead to Canadians paying higher employment insurance premiums.

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Trudeau says under a Liberal government the six-month benefit could also be claimed incrementally over a one-year period.

The Liberal party traditionally hasn’t performed well on Vancouver Island, though Trudeau appears to be looking to gain traction in the southern region, where there’s been a historical spattering of support.

The party hasn’t been represented on the Island since its last MP stepped down in 2011, after which they were soundly trounced in a tight two-way race between the Conservatives and the NDP.

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