Politics on TV: Mulcair blames Dunderdale for Penashue - Macleans.ca

Politics on TV: Mulcair blames Dunderdale for Penashue

The three things you need to see


Here are the three things you should not have missed:

  1. Thomas Mulcair on the NDP convention
  2. MPs talk about the return of the House on Monday
  3. Updates on the Rehtaeh Parsons case

Thomas Mulcair:

From the NDP’s policy convention in Montreal, party leader Thomas Mulcair spoke to Power Play, and began by commenting on the Labrador by election, where Mulcair said that Peter Penashue broke the law, and that premier Kathy Dunderdale could blame herself because she was from the same party. (Apparently he missed the province’s Anything-But-Conservative campaign a couple of elections ago, or the fact that not all provincial Progressive Conservatives automatically line up with federal Conservatives). Mulcair also claimed credit for the ousting of three cabinet ministers – Duncan, Oda and Penashue – which he claimed was from the hard work of the opposition, as opposed to the journalists who dug up the information on them. Mulcair also dismissed the concerns of the more colourful and socialist resolutions up for debate at the convention, and said that by the end of the weekend, Canadians would see a party has a progressive vision and who are responsible public administrators. Over on Power & Politics, Mulcair avoided answering questions on the makeover from the “Angry Tom” image and instead said “If you’re not angry with Harper, you’re not paying attention.”

Return of the House:

With Parliament coming back from a two-week break on Monday, both shows got a panel of MPs to weigh in on the issues, Power & Politics hosting a panel comprised of Pierre Poilievre, Megan Leslie and Kevin Lamoureux. There were fireworks between Hannah Thibedeau and Poilievre as Thibedeau insisted that Poilievre answer her questions on temporary foreign workers rather than reading statements that disputed figures from Statistics Canada on job numbers, while Leslie claimed that Jason Kenney was “conspicuously silent” on the issue of temporary foreign workers (apparently missing that he was in front of the cameras vowing an investigation the day the RBC story broke). Lamoureux insisted that there was no way that the country needed as many temporary foreign workers as we accept. On Power Play, an MP panel of Michelle Rempel, Robert Chisholm and Elizabeth May looked at the Rehteah Parsons case, where Rempel praised the way that Harper said this was about more than bullying, and said that they need to ensure there are laws in place to allow the justice system to seek remedies. May said the Parsons case was preventable and was part of a broader issue of the treatment of women, while Chisholm said that they need to make sure there are consequences for actions.

Rehtaeh Parsons:

With news that the RCMP in Halifax were going to reopen the case based on new credible information that did not come from Anonymous or an online source, Thibedeau spoke with Queen’s University law professor Nicholas Bala and Elizabeth Fry Society executive director Kim Pate. Pate said that it was likely there was enough evidence to proceed with charges against Parsons’ attackers but they simply chose not to press charges because women who report violence are not treated as credible, and that there are enough laws on the books that simply need to be enforced. Bala agreed that the police were likely not aggressive enough in pursuing leads, but the fact that there were recordings of the assault would help to implicate the attackers. Bala added that there are gaps in the law when it comes the cyberbullying aspect that should get greater legislative scrutiny.

Worth Noting:

  • Newfoundland and Labrador premier Kathy Dunderdale said that she had a good relationship with Peter Penashue and was blindsided by his comments about withholding his signature from projects.
  • Bob Rae gave yet another exit interview, this time to Don Martin, and said that a government that tries to control everything in the most unrealistic ways opens itself up to a great deal of humour.


Politics on TV: Mulcair blames Dunderdale for Penashue

  1. Mulcair should watch himself with comments like these – Newfoundlanders and Labradorians notice small things like this and the New Democrats don’t have as much strength on the ground as it appears. Ryan Cleary could easily lose St. Johns South – Mount Pearl to a Liberal running under a Trudeau banner and Jack Harris will be fine because he’s Jack Harris – the people of N&L simply respect the guy and whenever he does well the NDP usually does well in Newfoundland & Labrador, too.

    It’s easy to forget that Newfoundland has been a fairly strong federal-red province and since the ABC campaign, federal Conservatism is essentially poisonous to anyone who touches it. The NDP made gains from ‘the townies’ at the expense of the Conservatives, and we must remember as well that for years these Tories have been characterized as red Tories. I think it’s reasonable to suggest that many chose the least-left party after the Conservatives (if they didn’t abstain from voting).

    If the NDP want Newfoundland seats, especially federal ones, they’ve got to make visible/promote Jack Harris and it’s just said-and-done.