Justin Trudeau defines middle class as: 'Those living paycheque to paycheque'

Daniel Proussalidis, National Bureau

, Last Updated: 8:34 AM ET

OTTAWA - Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau has a new definition of Canada's middle class that could exclude anyone who has some money socked away for a rainy day.

"For me, it's people who live paycheque to paycheque," Trudeau said Wednesday.

That's a switch from what the Liberal leader said earlier in the week.

"People who live off their incomes are the middle class and those who live off their assets, their portfolios, their trust funds are not," Trudeau said Tuesday, similar to how he defined middle class a day earlier.

When Trudeau raised the issue of middle class debt and financial stress in the Commons during question period, Prime Minister Stephen Harper tore into Trudeau's new paycheque-to-paycheque definition of middle class.

"So that would exclude, Mr. Speaker, people of modest incomes who have saved something, like pensioners, who are not living from paycheque-to-paycheque," he said. "And, of course, Mr. Speaker, it would include people who have a very affluent lifestyle and spend all their money even though they get a very large paycheque."

The prime minister said Trudeau's comments leave him confused.

"I have no idea what the leader of the Liberal Party is talking about and I suspect he doesn't either," he said.


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