Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visits with the crowd during a visit to Abbotsford on Friday afternoon at the historic Gur Sikh Temple on South Fraser Way. (Photo by Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)

VIDEO: Trudeau speaks on anniversary of Komagata Maru apology at Sikh temple

During a two-day West Coast tour, Trudeau also spoke on technology, child care

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stopped through the Lower Mainland Friday, discussing child care and reconciliation, as part of two-day West Coast tour.

Trudeau began the day in Cloverdale, where he visited Don Christian Recreation Centre to talk about the federal child benefit program.

WATCH: Prime Minister visits rec centre in Cloverdale

“It’s great to see how many kids are being helped by the Canada Child Benefit,” he said. “The old system of child benefits was complicated. We simplified things, combining benefits into a simple, lump sum. One that’s paid out every month, tax free for families in need.”

Trudeau went on to say that nine out of ten Canadian families receive more money every month to help with the “high cost of raising kids” since the introduction of the benefit program.

Meanwhile, the opposition New Democrats are critizing the benefits program, saying some women who are fleeing domestic abuse are being told they need to get a form signed by their abuser in order to collect the Liberal government’s vaunted child benefit.

The NDP says constituents have been coming to their offices with letters from the Canada Revenue Agency, which oversees benefit payments, asking them to verify that they are eligible for the monthly allowance.

One New Democrat from B.C., however, says none of those avenues were open to one of his constituents.

“When there’s an abusive relationship, which led to this split, this puts the woman in a position of having to go to her abusive partner and get him to formally sign off on piece of paper,” said Wayne Stetski, who represents the riding of Kootenay-Columbia.

“That’s potentially dangerous physically for that woman. But it’s just absolutely wrong on principle.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau talked about the child benefit during a stop Friday in Vancouver where he was pressed about the extent to which it helps middle-class Canadians, particularly where housing prices and other costs were rising.

The benefit is not indexed to inflation, which means it does not increase with the cost of living. Indexation, as it’s known, is set to happen after 2019, the year the next federal election is scheduled to take place.

Trudeau said the government is trying to give families the tools they need to succeed, but acknowledged that the Liberals know there is more that can be done.

Trudeau talks diversity, Canadian values on anniversary of Komagata Maru apology

Following a stop in Cloverdale Trudeau visited a Sikh temple in Abbotsford to mark the one-year anniversary of his apology for the Komagata Maru incident of 1914.

This year is the 103rd anniversary of when the Canadian government barred the Komagata Maru’s seafaring passengers – which consisted of 340 Sikhs, 24 Muslims and 12 Hindus – from entering Canada.

WATCH: Hundreds gather as Trudeau visits Abbotsford

“As the oldest gurudwara in North America, the importance of this sacred place is not lost on me” Trudeau said outside the Gur Sikh Temple, which served as a centre for human rights advocacy against racist legislation in the early 20th Century.

“It’s a story that your community sadly knows all too well. The one all Canadians need to remember to keep in mind as we strive to build a better future that recognizes our mistakes.”

HAPPENING NOW: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaking in Abbotsford. SEE MORE: http://www.abbynews.com/news/justin-trudeau-coming-to-abbotsford/

Posted by AbbyNews on Friday, May 19, 2017

On Thursday, Trudeau toured tech studios in Vancouver and Burnaby, before attending a roundtable with business leaders from health care, clean technology, digital animal and visual effects.

Thursday night, Trudeau attended a Liberal party dunsraiser in downtown Vancouver, where he applauded local members for signing up 7,000 newcomers since last summer.

Trudeau called on his supporters to keep working hard as he warned about the momentum that upcoming leadership races could give the party’s rivals.

“We’ve got competition. The Conservatives are electing a new leader next weekend. The NDP will do the same later this year. And history has shown that these things matter,” he said, speaking to a room of a couple hundred people.

Outside the venue, protesters carried signs calling for an end to Kinder Morgan’s proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, whose terminus is in Burnaby, and to the Site C hydroelectric megaproject in the province’s north.

With files from The Canadian Press, Black Press

Just Posted

Team B.C. wins the 2017 WHL Cup

The team features Surrey natives and Valley West Hawks forwards Justin Sourdif and Cameron MacDonald

VIDEO: Crash closes Fraser Highway in Langley

One vehicle ends up in ditch, air ambulance called in

Optimist Club has its sights set on Cloverdale

The international club has been helping youth in the community nearly 100 years.

Surrey RCMP are looking for 47-year-old Audra Jager

Reports say she is easily confused and disoriented because of previous head injury.

Oct. 21st-27th is Newcomer Employment Week in Surrey

The City of Surrey is offering a number of services to help new residents find jobs

SLIDESHOW: PAN’s week in pictures

Highlights from this week’s Peace Arch News

WATCH: 10,000 signatures gained to stop ‘no pets’ rental policy

Pets OK BC said about 1,700 animals were surrendered to the BC SPCA last year due to housing issues

Silver Creek reacts after remains found, man arrested

Neighbours of property where remains were found say man arrested was sweet and polite

VIDEO: Oprah Winfrey and a celebrities attend ‘B.C. Miracle Concert’

Fundraiser featured Foster, Steven Tyler, The Tenors, Matteo Bocelli, Laura Bretan, Carly Rae Jepsen

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Search ramps up for B.C. woman after dog, car found near Ashcroft

Jenny Lynn Larocque’s vehicle and dog were found in Venables Valley, but there is no sign of her

Holy Heritage Rail Batman: Superheros come to Cloverdale historic train

The Fraser Valley Heritage Rail is hosting its third annual Halloween rail adventure Oct 28, 29

Surrey Eagles prep for road tilt with first-place Vernon Vipers

After a Friday night game against Wenatchee, the Birds take aim at BCHL leaders Saturday

Most Read