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Liberals to restore Old Age Security eligibility to 65
March 17, 2016
Laura Stone

Next week’s budget will return Canada’s pension eligibility to age 65, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday.

He made the announcement in an interview with Bloomberg News editor-in-chief John Micklethwait at the company’s offices in New York. He had promised the change during last year’s election.

“We are keeping the old retirement age at 65,” Mr. Trudeau told the room of journalists and business people. “How we care for our most vulnerable in society is really important.”

He said his predecessor, Stephen Harper, was wrong to move Old Age Security eligibility to 67 from 65. Mr. Harper raised the age in the 2012 budget, making it effective for 2023.

“We think that was a mistake,” Mr. Trudeau said.

Mr. Trudeau was in New York Thursday for meetings with business leaders, including Bloomberg L.P. CEO Michael Bloomberg, who praised Mr. Trudeau in a recent column as “an energetic and pragmatic prime minister” who is right to tackle climate change and invest in infrastructure.

The Prime Minister is also set to meet with the CEO of Thomson Reuters Corp. and attend a roundtable with Canadian women business leaders.

When asked about Canadian aerospace manufacturer Bombardier, which has requested a $1-billion lifeline from the federal government, Mr. Trudeau praised the company’s C Series aircraft as “an extraordinary airplane … more efficient, more fabulous in all ways than just about any other plane on the market.”

But while he said the government wants to ensure a strong aerospace industry in Canada over the next several decades, he would not commit to any government funding at this time.

“We are very much looking at this as what is the right investment and is it a smart investment for Canadian jobs, for the Canadian economy and for the global market,” Mr. Trudeau said. “This will be answered when we have the right answer to give. We’re taking our time and acting in a deliberate and thoughtful way to make sure that we’re doing the right thing in the interests of both the Canadian industry and high-quality jobs, but also our responsibilities towards taxpayers.”