Tom Mulcair vows he will stay on as leader of NDP next election

Tom Mulcair vows he will stay on as leader of NDP

As he questions the Liberal plan to bring in 25,000 refugees, Mulcair tells Evan Solomon that Canada’s Japanese internment camps are like Nazi camps

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair speaks to reporters in the foyer on Parliament Hill, shortly after addressing his caucus, on Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015, in Ottawa. (Justin Tang/CP)

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair speaks to reporters in the foyer on Parliament Hill, shortly after addressing his caucus, on Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015, in Ottawa. (Justin Tang/CP)

Despite losing his position as the leader of the Official Opposition and dropping back to third place in the past election, Thomas Mulcair vows to stay on as the leader of the NDP and fight the next election, he told SiriusXM’s daily radio program, “Everything is Political.”

“Yes, I will stay on, I’ve got very strong support in the party,” Mulcair said. “The party membership has always been there for me and I expect them to be there in April.”

The NDP has a leadership review scheduled for April in Edmonton where delegates will vote on Mulcair’s future. As reported recently in Maclean’s, some NDP MPs and senior officials who did not want to be named believe Mulcair’s time is up and he should now help with a transition to a new leader. If Mulcair does not get at least 75 per cent of the vote in April, according to one senior source, he should step down.

Mulcair does accept that he must bear the brunt of the blame for the poor showing in the campaign. “I am the leader of the party—all responsibility is always on my shoulders,” he said. As a consequence, a review process is already under way and over 20,000 members have already filled out a survey about the election and where the party needs to go now.

Trying to put a positive spin on the election, Mulcair pointed out that the 44 seats the NDP won in 2015 is the second-best showing in NDP history. That’s not quite true. The loss is greater that the seat count reveals. As a percentage of the seats in the house of Parliament, it’s actually the third-best showing for the NDP. While Ed Broadbent led the NDP to only 43 seats in 1988, the House of Parliament had just 295 seats. In other words, the NDP won 14.5 per cent of the seats in 1988. Today, there are 338 seats, so the 44 seats the NDP won constitutes 13 per cent of the seats.

Mulcair, who is a dual citizen of Canada and France, also criticized the emergency powers the president of France Francois Hollande invoked after the recent massacre that killed 130 people. “It is [Hollande’s] War Measures Act,” Mulcair said. “I strongly disagree with that.”

In the wake of the Paris bombings and new calls for enhanced security around the world, Mulcair remains strongly opposed to Canada’s anti-terror law passed under Bill C-51. He wants the Liberal government to revoke it fully, instead of just revamping it as they have promised. “Bill C-51 was an inexcusable attack on Canadian rights and freedoms and we have not changed our view on it at all,” Mulcair said.

Mulcair told SiriusXM that the new law was comparable to the laws that allowed the Canadian government to revoke property from Japanese-Canadians during the Second World War and force them into internment camps. But he went even further, comparing the internment camps in Canada to the Nazi concentration camps in Europe. “In the 1940s, the government, a Liberal government, decided to remove the property of Japanese-Canadians and bring them into what can properly considered to be concentration camps,” Mulcair said. He believes the term “internment camps” is a “glossing” over the true reality of the situation, which he called “a stain on our history.”

Mulcair later linked the refugee crisis in Syria to the Second World War as well, calling it the worst humanitarian crisis since the 1940s. Still, he has real concerns about the Liberals’ screening plan for taking in 25,000 Syrian refugees by the end of the year and the cost of their program.

“It started off with the Liberal government putting aside $100 million for this,” Mulcair said, “but in their own estimate it turns out it will be $1.2 billion, so understandably there are concerns from mayors and premiers as to who will bear that cost.”

On Tuesday, the Liberals clarified the cost, setting the number at $678-million over six years, and announced full details of their plan, including a scaling-back of their ambitions by planning to accept 25,000 refugees by February 2016.

Recent reports that many Syrian males might be excluded from being selected to come to Canada for security reasons, also perturb Mulcair. “Both Canadian law and international law, in particular the U.N. rules, preclude you from excluding classes of people based on who they are,” Mulcair said. “We shouldn’t propagate the myth that because you are a man from one of the worst regions in the world in terms of danger to the public that you should be automatically excluded.”

Mulcair hopes proper security screening would find any potential threat, regardless of gender or age.


Tom Mulcair vows he will stay on as leader of NDP

  1. I think Canada needs Mulcair’s integrity and I welcome his scrutiny of the government. All voices need to be heard.

    • Mulcair is his own worst enemy. he did such a good job scaring people about Harper, that he even scared his own supporters into voting Liberal.

      Now he’s trying to say that denying single men as refugees is somehow bigotted against gay men, or some such nonsense. Here’s a news flash Tom…….there chances of gay Syrian’s or other gay muslim’s is a lot less than you may imagine. In most arab/muslim countries, gay men are killed as soon as they are discovered. Either thrown from a tall building, or having a heavy brick wall dropped on them.

      Nice try for the “artists” vote though.

      • “. In most arab/muslim countries, gay men are killed as soon as they are discovered. ”

        Poor James just can’t resist sharing his imaginary world with everyone. Aren’t there more appropriate forums for that?

  2. Apparently from the article Mulcair did not use the word “Nazi” in conjunction with “concentration camps.” The term was first used in English by the English during the Boer War, and doesn’t automatically refer to the Nazi version. Solomon is out of line here. Godwin’s Law may apply.

  3. Mulcair has a few valid points. His remark about a single man in regards to the refugee’s plight is spot on. It is my belief the issue borders on disgrimination. It is perhaps time for Mulcair to move on though.

  4. This article clearly represents why the NDP will always be a third party as long as he maintains that job. He is an utter failure as a political leader. His so called integrity belies the fact he believes in the big lie and campaigns that way.
    I think he believes that once the Liberals change the FPTP in elections he will be bale to get some sort of cabinet post in a future coalition government. That will never ever happen in a government led by the Liberals as they simply do not trust him and never will. He really has no political ethics and is more like Harper than most people realize.

  5. Mulcair has clearly lost it. Going back to the Nazis and internment camps forgetting that in Tommy Douglas’s thesis he wanted to put “sub normals” in internment camps so they couldn’t procreate. He needs to have himself committed and soon. It’s 2015, not 1940. He knows that, right?

  6. So happy to hear this. I still believe in you Tom.

  7. I thought Mulcair would have made the best PM of the 3 main contenders, but if he really thinks that it should be business as usual in France after what happened, I can only shake my head. And, to compare the killing of 130 random people by terrorists determined to inflict as much damage as possible to the population at large to the targeted killing of Pierre Laporte and its aftermath shows a total disconnect from the notion of proportionality. Serious fail.

  8. As a member I received the “survey” after the election.

    It was a joke, was basically a push poll — with all sorts of fluffy language about holding the Liberals to account, meant to make you answer happily affirmatively to every thing. It was disrespectful to donors and members like myself.

    The party leadership and campaign team needs to be taken to task. They have betrayed the grass roots of the party, and tried to position themselves as the next Liberal party rather than a social democratic party. Many of their policy planks made a lot of sense when compared to the Liberals, who were prepared to offer anything and everything to get elected (and so did), but their rush to look like the “reasonable” and “responsible” party ultimately failed them.

    I don’t want a reasonable and responsible middle of the road party offering to restore some myth of a Keynesian, social spending past. I want a visionary left wing populist vision of a future that transforms the country. And if the rest of Canada isn’t there yet with me, that doesn’t mean you move the party to them — that’s not leadership. Leadership is moving them to your party, by convincing them, by speaking clearly and respectfully and explaining your positions.

    IMHO Layton started this trend of dumbing down left wing politics, using small language and pretend-folksy language. He pulled off the image well. Mulcair couldn’t. Mulcair’s strength is in his intellect and organizational abilities and biting debate style, and they threw that out during this campaign. Nobody was convinced by smiling Mulcair.

  9. 99% of the Allied Troops in Nazi camps returned from the War. The same cannot be said about Germans held in Eisenhower’s camps! How many Japanese lived to tell their tale?