Federal New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton has made his first official visit to the Prince George-Peace River riding since federal election campaigning began nearly two weeks ago.

Layton announced benefits for seniors care, as well as an HST proposition, while visiting with local NDP candidate Lois Boone in Prince George.

The seniors’ proposals involve helping residents provide homecare for aging family members, including doubling the current loan program for renovations and adding home care and long-term care to the Canada Health Act, essentially ensuring they would be covered by insurance.

While in the city, Layton addressed the controversial HST. He stated that if British Columbians vote against the HST, the federal government should allow the Province to keep the $1.6 billion it was given to implement it.

Layton had previously called on Prime Minister Stephen Harper not only to abandon the HST in B.C., but to remove the federal sales tax from home heating fuel to make it more affordable for residents.

The HST referendum has been tentatively scheduled for June 24.