Only federalists can stop climate change


Not that long ago, Jack Layton and the NDP would’ve killed for a front-page story. Presumably, this isn’t what they’d hoped for.

According to the piece in this morning’s Le Devoir, star Dipper Tom Mulcair arranged to have a $2-million donation by Hydro-Quebec to the Centre québécois d’actions sur les changements climatiques (Quebec Centre for Action on Climate Change) canned at the very last minute when he was environment minister in Jean Charest’s government. (It looks like the group’s website never recovered from the shock.) The environmental think tank was never given an explanation as to why the aid package was cut, but it’s been rumoured Charest was no fan of two of its three directors, whom he suspected were sovereignists.

Here’s the relevant bit from an e-mail sent to Mulcair by his then-chief of staff, Stéphane Gosselin:

I’ve learned Hydro-Quebec is about to hand out a financial aid package worth $2-million by 2012 to the Centre québécois d’actions sur les changements climatiques. Who’s involved? Sydney Ribaux, Hugo Séguin, Alexandre Turgeon and company. I’ve advised [Natural Resources Minister Pierre] Corbeil’s people earlier this week to tell them to intervene, but they didn’t do anything, and the deal will now be announced next Monday. We’re getting screwed by our own people… I haven’t given up and I’ll keep working my contacts to torpedoe this thing.

And here’s Mulcair’s curt response to Gosselin, after his chief of staff informs him Hydro-Quebec won’t be delivering the funding:


Looks like Mulcair wasn’t always so bad at toeing the party line after all.

[The picture was shamelessly lifted from Rob_‘s Flickr account.]


Only federalists can stop climate change

  1. Good. More old and irrelevant news. Really good.

  2. Because Mulcair and Layton sure aren’t stumping for more money to be put into environmental initiatives.

    This is totally hypothetical, but imagine they were promoting more action on climate change: Even then, it’s not like Mulcair’s history of blocking access to funding when it’s politically convenient to do so would be relevant.

    You’re right, Sisyphus—nothing to see here.

  3. 2006.
    Quebec provincial government story.
    Quebec Liberal Party. Well, at least in name.
    Some Quebec environmental agency that apparently Charest didn’t like.
    Mulcair a Liberal Quebec cabinet minister.
    Mulcair later dumped from ministry. Apparently for rubbing the wrong people the wrong way.
    It was news in 2006.
    Mulcair an NDP federal member.
    Apparently still rubbing some people the wrong way.

  4. Philippe, I apologize for the snarky tone of my previous posts. Unnecessary. My wife tells me that sarcasm is just one of the services I provide. But I’m getting old and sarcasm may be all I have left.
    In any case, the point I was trying to make is that the only thing your item shows is the history of an incident in Mulcair’s political career. An incident that’s two years old. I have no information about the internal dynamics of the Charest government or its’ relationship with that particular environmental group. You use the word “history” as though a clear and consistent pattern of behaviour was exhibited.
    Now, if you were to say that Mulcair had a history of rubbing people the wrong way……

  5. Sisyphus: I see what you’re saying, but I still disagree. The fact that, as minister of the environment, Mulcair couldn’t see past two-bit politics to allow Hydro-Quebec (for which he wasn’t even responsible) to donate to an environmental organization, just isn’t flattering to the NDP.

    It’s far from a fatal flaw—it’s just that it strips Mulcair of some of his ‘rebel with a cause’ veneer, an appearance that I can’t help but think had a lot to do with his victory in Outremont. Of course, it’s probably good to keep in mind that Le Devoir’s 22 readers aren’t going to swing the election either way.

  6. Unfortunately for M. Mulcair, I think pretty much all of Le Devoir’s 22 readers are in Outremont, a high class neighbourhood where soft nationalists were usually voting for Jean Lapierre, who hates Chrétien and Dion. It will be interesting to see how those who voted NDP last time will react to these emails showing pretty clearly Mulcair’s hatred towards sovereignists.

  7. Isn’t this pretty much par for the course in Quebec politics? My impression was that you did your level best to screw your opposite numbers, whether they be sovereigntists or liberals or your wife’s best friend’s mortal enemies, once in power. You know, old school. So it wouldn’t be a scandal per se, it would just annoy sovereigntists. Was Mulcair really hoping to pick up the sovereigntists vote? Is the NDP really going there?

  8. Consider this: not many urban french Québécois would consider voting for Harper’s Conservatives or for Dion ‘Clarity Act”s Liberals. So what’s left? NDP or Bloc, and many Québécois are tired of the Bloc in Ottawa (not meaning sovereigty is dead, don’t worry, how many pundits declared it was over in the 80’s!?), so NDP is courting these ones a lot in Outremont.

  9. Not many urban francophones outside Quebec City, you mean. But it will certainly be interesting to see if the NDP can pick up another seat, or several more seats, in Montreal. Or will they just split the leftish vote with the Bloc, delivering seats to the Liberals?

  10. Yeah… if you consider Québec a city..!(joking). But the only hope I see for the NDP is Westmount with Anne Lagacé-Dawson. I would absolutely love it if she could beat this astronaut who discovered he could’nt be sovereignist when he saw Canada from space..(!?!?)

  11. I think it probably had more to do with his having the opportunity to go into space in the first place. How’s that Astronautique Nationale program coming along, again?

  12. Garneau and Trudeau are the only people running I actively want not to win, although Trudeau at least had the decency to pick a competitive riding. Garneau is probably the only Liberal in the country would could possibly lose in Westmount ;)

  13. I know nothing about him apart from his being the first nice man in space. Why do you dislike him, stewie?

  14. Because he’s a carpet-bagger celebrity with no business in politics. He’s been shopping around for a winnable riding for years now, and I seem to recall that he threatened to walk on Dion and the Liberals unless they gave him a seat he couldn’t possible lose.

    Someone needs to just give him a Senate seat and be done with it.

  15. Oh no, sorry, I was being satirical; and I didn’t realise Garneau had literally said that being in space makes people federalists. That’s a bit strange.

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