Trudeau takes positions on provincial issues during Quebec visit

The Canadian Press
Associated Press

MONTREAL - Liberal leadership favourite Justin Trudeau waded into two areas of provincial policy today in Quebec.

Trudeau offered his opinions on Quebec language legislation and tuition fees, while also reiterating a promise to increase federal involvement in education.

Speaking at his alma mater, McGill University, he offered indications that a Trudeau prime ministership would be a marked departure from a Harper era defined by a hands-off approach to provincial issues.

Trudeau says the federal government should play a bigger role in education — as long as it respects provincial jurisdiction.

He also weighed in on two Quebec political issues that have made headlines in recent days.

Trudeau says he thinks the Parti Quebecois' plan to tighten language laws goes too far. He also says he doesn't support free university tuition — which does happen to be the PQ government's position.

The idea of free education is at the heart of a dispute between the provincial government and the more hardline student faction.

Those comments on provincial issues did not actually come up in a speech — they only emerged in response to students' questions.

Trudeau is making several stops in Montreal today during a Quebec tour.

His appearance at McGill drew an audience of a bit more than 100 students, with some unable to fit into the room. He later spoke to a packed auditorium, with about 300 people filling a hall at Dawson College, a number of whom stayed behind later to shat with him and get photos and autographs.