Image copyright iStockPhoto Image caption Justin Trudeau ‘s Prime Minister’s Question Time features a display for arts and crafts from kids
The federal Conservatives say Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is failing to value people, a charge his team rejects.
On Monday, Liberal MPs gathered in the House of Commons for child-care debate.
Mr Trudeau said he would seek to raise the tax on people with the highest incomes, $150,000 a year.
“He is so much better than us at more than one thing,” said Jason Kenney, the leader of the Conservative party in Alberta.
“Is the Prime Minister a child-oriented guy? I’m beginning to think not. Maybe I should tell him so in person.”
Mr Trudeau suggested that Mr Kenney would judge “every decision my government makes by how it might impact the funding for the culture we encourage in our country”.
“If someone would like to define what Canada is and what our values are, do us a favour and come here and we will talk about it,” the prime minister said.
Image copyright iStockPhoto Image caption Jason Kenney also taunted Trudeau while refusing to back down
The Conservatives’ leader accused Mr Trudeau of trying to divide Canadians over child-care issues.
“He looks to use a poll as a rationale for implementing sweeping changes that threaten the well-being of working families,” Mr Kenney said.
He denied attacking Mr Trudeau, but said he was ignoring what “the majority of Canadians want”.
“Instead, the majority of Canadians believe government should do something about it,” he said.
“We’ve said it many times in this House: Job creation, quality affordable child care and parenting assistance is part of a path forward.
“They’re not mutually exclusive.”
Mr Trudeau replied: “In Alberta, child care, they say it’s a ‘pencil-pusher’s issue’. In Saskatchewan, they say it’s ‘electile dysfunction’.
“In Atlantic Canada, they say it’s ‘the focus of every little harp and choir’.
“In my humble opinion, this is the most important issue facing our country today.
“This is not about us deciding whose values we value. These are not symbols. This is about us improving the lives of Canadians.”