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Tom Mulcair’s public speaking puzzle

Tease the day: The NDP leader less dominant outside of Ottawa


 

(Jeff McIntosh/CP)

Tom Mulcair’s approach to public speaking is, at times, a puzzle. For weeks, the NDP leader had the prime minister on the ropes during Question Period. He was cold and calculated as he pelted questions across the floor, looked in control as he dissected the government’s position about who knew what, and when, with respect to the Wright-Duffy affair.

Mulcair saw no bump in any poll after his commanding performance in the House. But no one who watched—even if that crowd mostly lived in Ottawa, and mostly not anywhere else—discounted the power of the performance.

And then, a few weeks later, in the aftermath of unspeakable tragedy in Lac-Mégantic, Que., Mulcair earns the ire of just about anyone within earshot. Here’s what he told CTV News after an out-of-control train plowed into Lac-Mégantic, exploded, and killed what might end up being dozens of residents.

“This tragic accident reminds us we are seeing more and more petroleum products being transported by rail, and there are attendant dangers involved in that. And, at the same time, the Conservative government is cutting transport safety in Canada.”

This morning, the National Post‘s Andrew Coyne points out that, even if Mulcair denies specifically connecting budget cuts to the rail disaster, he’s certainly implying something about the damage such cuts, if they are happening in the wrong parts of the wrong departments, can do. Even though there’s no evidence, yet, to prove any link, even implied.

People have short memories. Mulacir’s comments in Lac-Mégantic will fade in time. But if Mulcair can’t win the country’s support by dominating Question Period, he needs to find some way to do something outside of Ottawa. And so far, he hasn’t done much to challenge the ever-affable Justin Trudeau, the Liberal leader whose honeymoon period just won’t end.


What’s above the fold this morning?

The Globe and Mail leads with railway executive Edward Burkhardt’s rocky visit to Lac-Mégantic, Que., to answer reporters’ questions about the train that plowed into the small town’s downtown core. The National Post fronts findings of an RCMP report that contradict the Supreme Court’s conclusions in a case involving a woman killing her abusive husband. The Toronto Star goes above the fold with photos of missing residents in Lac-Mégantic. The Ottawa Citizen leads with an anxious resident of a small town outside the nation’s capital, Merrickville, who lives right beside rail tracks that carry crude oil. iPolitics fronts former Quebec premier Jean Charest’s suggestion that Prime Minister Stephen Harper take control of Canada-E.U. trade talks. CBC.ca leads with residents of Lac-Mégantic preparing for missing residents to be declared dead. CTV News leads with Lac-Mégantic residents seeking help as they rebuild their lives. National Newswatch showcases an Epoch Times story about NDP Leader Tom Mulcair’s trip to France.


Stories that will be (mostly) missed

1. CN Rail. Two years after John Jobson collided fatally with a VIA Rail train in southwestern Ontario, CN is suing his estate for $500,000—claiming it paid for substantial repairs to tracks. 2. Extradition. Federal authorities will extradite Sayfildin Tahir Sharif, a Canadian accused of conspiring to kill Americans in his native Iraq, to the United States—where he will face trial.
3. Terror trial. Amanda Korody, one of the accused in a foiled terror plot in Victoria on Canada Day, remains without a lawyer because of complications in the legal-aid process. 4. Nuclear. The cost of refurbishing a New Brunswick nuclear power plant might reach $3.3 billion, a total that’s hundreds of millions of dollars more than was originally budgeted.
5. Abortion. An 11-year-old Chilean girl was praised by her country’s president for pledging to give birth to a child conceived while her mother’s partner raped her. 6. Myanmar. Heroin addicts in the opium-rich nation are turning to a Christian-based treatment centre that locks up new arrivals in bamboo cells, and includes Bible study and prayer.


 

Tom Mulcair’s public speaking puzzle

  1. Yup. A. Coyne disses T. Mulcair. Shocking.

    And what’s more … I saw R. Goodale on the tv machine
    the other evening muttering about finding “root causes”.
    More shocking.

    • Yes and good for Coyne for having the courage to go after Mulcair for an inappropriate, false, and cruel response to a horrific tragedy. I wish he had left some of that courage here for some of the resident bloggers.

      Why would Mulcair make such an insinuation that Harper and his government were responsible for this tragedy- ?—–because he is willing to do anything to keep the windfall of Quebec NDP seats in the next election, even risk his credibility as a reasonable man.

      Mulcair is angry that the Trudeau fool is able to climb in the polls, even in Quebec.simply on his name and hair and fluff appeal while the cutting and intelligent Mulcair, who performs brilliantly in Parliament, is forgotten about.

        • I`m sorry but please don`t expect me to take seriously a Regina blogger who writes from an NDP perspective as he defends the indefensible remarks coming from Mulcair.

          Listen, Coyne is not saying that we should ignore the cause of the derailment—–just don`t be so insensitive to the feelings of those who are close to those who lost their lives in this tragedy, including the PM who was one of the first to go there, by trying to score politicial points. What the hell is wrong with you guys ?

          Canada`s rail system and our method of transporting goods is not something that began in 2006. Humans make mistakes every day. Have a thorough investigation, find out the cause, try to implement new strategies to double-check safety procedures, think about transporting as much dangerous goods as possible through unpopulated areas underground in a large pipe, reduce your consumption of oil products——just don`t defend a guy who thinks it`s ok to insinuate the day after a tragedy that it must be the fault of Harper.

          • Expectations are funny. I expect you to take him
            as seriously as you apparently expect me to
            take Coyne. This never works.

          • I would expect a reasonable man to digest the critique that Coyne wrote about Mulcair`s inappropriate remarks, think about it, and choose not to defend those remarks by sending me to the cynical blather of an NDP blog.

          • I’m sorry but please don’t expect me to take seriously a Conservative hack who will defend anything Harper does no matter how indefensible, and no matter how absurd the best defence he can muster.

            A hack who certainly didn’t shed tears at the “cruelty” of it all when Conservatives accused others of supporting those who rape children, or others who slaughter innocent people.

          • I’m sure he also rushed to the defense of those who asked questions about the F35 purchase — you know, the ones who were accused of hating the troops.

          • To be fair, that accusation isn’t in the same class as the accusation of supporting child rapists and terrorists, or even supporting policies that may have contributed to the Megantic disaster, the former two accusations being in a class all their own.

          • As I recall, the intimation was that by questioning the F35, you were willing to risk the lives of Canadian troops to save a few bucks… but I’ll concede that to you.

      • I get the “inappropriate”; “false” seems likely but we won’t know for sure until the investigation is complete. But where do you get “cruel”?

        • Look, I know it is popular around here to refer to Stephen Harper as an unfeeling cold man, and many of you could care less about how he might really feel about any situation.

          But he walked in that red zone, near that bar where most of the victims were vapourized only hours before, where they were simply having a good time as countless other young Canadians were, just like your sons and daughters.He could certainly see the devestation, the looks of horror on other`s faces, probably the smell of burnt human flesh.
          And then he goes home to his own kids, and imagines.
          And then the next day he reads in the morning paper that Mulcair has pinned the fault of the disaster on Harper and his Conservative government.

          That`s cruel,

          • oh puhleeeeeze.

          • This is one of the silliest things I’ve ever read.

            If Harper isn’t to blame in this (and you clearly don’t believe he is), he doesn’t have anything to feel bad about with regard to Mulcair’s comments, since Mulcair’s criticism is unfounded and toothless.

            I totally agree with you that Mulcair was trying to cash in on a tragedy. However, if you’re seriously going to sit here and suggest we should have a pity party for Harper… sorry. I feel bad for the people who were killed and their families, not Harper.

            Mulcair was out of line, but don’t try to turn Harper into a martyr.

          • The problem with you and Mulcair and many on this site is that you have your own preconceived idea of what type of person Harper is. You couldn`t possible believe that he has any compassion, that he would feel hurt by Mulcair insinuating that harper was somehow responsible for this tragedy.
            Sure Harper knows Mulcair`s criticism is unfounded and sure he is comfortable enough in his skin that the constant nasty comments and rumours from the left directed at him mean nothing to him, but really —-the day after he goes to Lac Megantic he has to read this garbage from Mulcair.

            Supposing it went down differently.
            Let`s suppose Mulcair went to the accident site, and quietly commented after that we must do all we can do to help the people there. Suppose Harper then told CTV that the reason the accident happened was because the NDP had been campaigning against building a new pipeline to transport the oil—-silly, I know but so was Mulcair`s remarks—-I`m just trying to stay on the same level.
            Now, what do you think is the chance your pre-conceived opinion of Harper would make you think he was being cruel to Mulcair.
            Jeez, Wherry would have cancelled his holiday to post 6 times a day on that one.

          • I think the reaction would be a roll of the eyes and “typical CPC crap” remarks.

          • …………….proving my point.

          • the point of course, being that CPCs typically say crap.

          • You’ve completely mistaken me. I don’t care if he’s unfeeling and uncaring. I don’t care if he’s a better guy than Santa. Same goes for Mulcair. Same goes for Trudeau. It’s immaterial.

            If I told you that you were responsible for this accident, would you feel bad? No, because you know that you didn’t have a blessed thing to do with it. IN FACT, I’d be the a**hole for suggesting it. Why wouldn’t the same principle apply to Harper? Do you honestly think, whether he’s sensitive as a kitten or cold as ice, that Harper was hurt by Mulcair’s comments? SERIOUSLY?

            Further, I’d expect Harper to act the same way Mulcair did if the roles were reversed… and I wouldn’t feel sorry for Mulcair. As far as the Wherry left-wing-media bias speculation, I’ll leave you to it.

          • Truth be told, I’d imagine Harper’s reaction when he read Mulcair’s comments was “YESSSSSSS!” with a fist pump. It probably put a skip in his step. Deep down, it was your reaction too.

          • Well, I see you`ve expanded your pre-conceived opinions of people, but you haven`t answered my question—-would your reaction to me calling Mulcair`s remarks cruel be the same if the roles were reversed.

            Oh, and when gottabesaid is in a position where he-she expects the people of Canada to elect you as the next PM, and then you accuse me of being responsible for the accident then expect to be judged differently than annoymous blog contributor.

          • “would your reaction to me calling Mulcair`s remarks cruel be the same if the roles were reversed.”

            My answer in the last post: “Further, I’d expect Harper to act the same way Mulcair did if the roles were reversed… and I wouldn’t feel sorry for Mulcair.”

          • I asked you a question that would simply require a yes or no answer about how you would react to me if the roles were reversed.

            The fact that you choose to use weasley words and go on about Harper reacting to Mulcair tells me what I already suspected about the liberal hypocrite.

          • Odd, I thought he was pretty damned clear.

          • I thought I was clear, but I’ve re-read your question.

            Now, as I understand it, you’re hypothesizing that if Harper had turned around and blamed the accident on the NDP, would I say Harper was being cruel to Mulcair? The answer is no. He’d be capitalizing on a tragedy to score political points, and you might consider it cruel to the families in Lac Megantic, but cruel to Mulcair? No. Not at all.

            But, you’ll notice that I called Mulcair out for what he said. I think that means I don’t have to listen to you calling me a hypocrite… especially when having to answer strange, hypothetical questions.

          • Thanks for the answer.

            I will disagree with you. I would think Harper would be cruel by trying to tie such a tragedy to Mulcair with such loose evidence.

            But I also understand your more rational approach to the subject.

            Maybe conservatives are just more sensitive and people.

            Tell lenny I`m only half serious.

          • That you’re claiming you’d think a Conservative cruel for doing anything suggests your seriousness is closer to +/- 0.00%.
            But maybe you just couldn’t get to a computer to whinge about “cruelty” when Conservatives were telling their opposition that they supported child rapists and terrorists.

          • Sorry lenny, I thought it was obvious that I said I was only half-serious about conservatives being more sensitive than liberals.

            I was completely serious about everything else.

            Now climb off your pulpit and go review some of the accusations you guys have been tossing at Harper and Co. since day 1.

          • Then theres Justin’s freind Ben Levin! You were saying?

          • I’ll I can suggest is that you read it again if you’re having trouble comprehending it.

          • It’s disgusting that you would try to link Justin with Ben Levin. Justin is not friends with him. Levin worked for Kathleen Wynne and Justin just happened to be sitting next to him in Wynne’s row at the Pride Parade. Don’t try to make those sort of insinuations – stick to the issues.

          • You are one of the most “annoymous-est” contributors here.

          • Agreed

          • If the man who told us all that the recession would provide us all with a good opportunity to invest in stocks cheaply can’t take some unfounded criticism, then maybe he should leave politics. Please!!!
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-nrGWwHalCU
            – a song for Harper

          • You and the PM are obviously tight, since you can speak for what he thinks and feels. When you sit down with Harper at dinner, I’m sure he shares with you his distress about the calumnies heaped upon him. Glad you’re there to clue us in to Harper’s emotional depth.

  2. Er, honest question, is the Epoch Times legit now?

  3. One can only imagine the field day of Alberta bashing that Mulcair and other short-sighted and hypocritical socialists would be having if the train had originated in Alberta and not North Dakota.

    The point that Coyne and other rational Canadians are making is that it is simply counter-productive and irresponsible to attempt to pinpoint train derailments on a specific government, because of some imaginary cutbacks on inspectors—-I know that evil and false tactic was used in Walkerton—-it is entirely possible that Lac-Megantic may have been caused by human error and neglect just as Walkerton was.

    Meanwhile the CBC is busy listing the train derailments that have happened since 2006, as if that type of disaster must have coincided with the CPC government. Only a fool would link to the CBC in an attempt to reinforce a cynical argument.

    • You have a rich fantasy life. And you lie like a rug.

      • Only a fool.

        • Yes, you’ve often demonstrated that tendency.

  4. so what if by waiting a week to bring up this issue necessary changes are pushed back one week and another train disaster happens that week? Should people still have waited for some reason people haven’t really pointed out 9some commenters seem to feel that the victims’ families DON’T want safer rail travel, which seems a bit odd and probably unsubstantiated).

    • As I said before ( exhausting ), we have been transporting goods by rail for more than 10, 000 weeks in Canada. Another week won`t matter. I`m sure the word spread rather quickly among brakemen across the country to make damn sure parked trains don`t start rolling down the hill.

      And how can we make necessary changes to a system if we are not sure what caused the derailment the day after it happens ? There is no defence for Mulcair`s remarks.

      • y’know htere might be some truth in all of that. But the question is phrased as “what if”?

        So what then? (it may seem untoward, but so are the comments about it being disrespctful to the families (but so were the statements made against trudeau).ZOMG what if naother rail disaster occurs because safety measures weren’t put in place in a timely manner because people were angry that the opposition brought it up?

  5. Right after an event it is ‘too soon’, ‘cruel and insensitive’ etc to
    bring it up. Even though PR firms tell companies they have to get on it
    within 60 to 90 minutes of occurring or they lose the public and the
    case.

    The head of the company involved is discovering that fact, now that’s he’s finally shown up….and while blaming someone else.

    ‘Too soon’ is an iffy thing though. Suddenly it becomes ‘too late’, as the
    event is now classed as ‘over with’….even ‘long over with’….and
    ‘why are you always bringing up old stuff?’

    The ‘right time’ seems to be at 4am, and only for 5 mins about 3 weeks later. Then it gets classed as ‘already dealt with’.

    As Macleans has pointed out, our worst train disaster was in 1864….we’ve
    been using trains a long time. In those days though we were
    transporting coal, wood, cattle and people. Not oil, gas and chemicals.

    So you’d think we’d make sure our transportation system was in good shape…. latest tech available, totally updated and all that.

    Nooooo

    So when something happens, yet again….everybody pretends it was no one’s
    fault, it just sorta happened……well unless you can find some poor
    sap down the line to pin it on. But it’s certainly never the fault of
    anyone in power.

    As to Harper, he came into office pushing Canada as an ‘energy superpower’ of all things. And yet all along he’s goofed it up….telling Obama a pipeline is a ‘no brainer’! He hasn’t pushed for any green tech in the oil sands, or insisted on cleanups….nope,
    it’s all costly ads for the awesomeness of Alberta.

    And now….it turns out there isn’t even enough money….or any priority….in the system to transport this ‘energy’ safely.

    7 years in….after all the years in the wilderness, when you’d think
    they’d have given some thought to an agenda, some planning, some
    effort….but no…..nada.

    But ssshhhh don’t say anything…..that would be ‘cruel’ to Mr Stephen Sensitive ya know.

    • I was talking with a friend about this today. My points being the
      lack of any green technology initiative, myopic focus on resource
      extraction, poisoning of pipeline debates, passing up a great
      opportunity to invest in the infrastructure of this country, China,
      etc… have set Canada back a decade at best and at worst caused Canada
      to miss the boat entirely and Stephen Harper is solely responsible for
      it.

      He has hurt Canada immensely just from an economic perspective alone, its staggering.

      • Sad to say you may be right about missing the boat altogether. Canada is so far behind……

        Now we’re paying good money to go back to British colony status….and yet Japan just successfully tested their 311mph maglev train.

        In spite of being a series of tiny islands, and the only country in the world to be nuked, and having no oil, and being subject to huge earthquakes….they have advanced robotics and…..311mph

        Jesus wept.

        • Yes, I am sure Japan has Jesus weeping quite a lot. Especially when they fed their school-age children and nursing mothers dolphin meat full of mercury. Of course we must be in awe of their advances with robots. Have you seen some of the robots that have now taken over much of the care of the elderly in nursing homes? One model of robot actually looks like a baby seal…all white and fluffy and can provide affection almost like a human. I guess they could have modeled it after a dolphin as those are cute too but given that the country has a propensity for trapping and slaughtering or shipping dolphins to water parks, they might not feel that kind toward them. Meanwhile, Japan is so advanced that one of its government ministers regularly comments about what a drain the old people there are on society and how they should just ‘hurry up and die’. You know Emily, Canada might not have a 311 mph maglev train but we aren’t hurrying old people like you “out of existence either”.

          • Ahhh, you’ve decided to argue about something else now, have you?

            Bored again?

            Yup, the Japanese eat both dolphin and whale….which has nothing to do with technology and science, but whatev…

            Of course we eat seal, and shark fin soup and fish eggs and snails….and in Alberta, testicles.

            Yes, Taro Aso said that. Japan has the longest living people in the world….and no big amount of young people coming along to pay for pensions. A problem we are also facing, so don’t bother being cocky.

            On top of which we have Third World conditions on our reserves…..

            Now then….we return to the lack of accomplishment by Harper.

            PS…these are the robots you’re so concerned about….Japan has all different types….industrial, medical….even ones that dance.

            http://www.parorobots.com/

          • Bored…hmm…
            As for eating dolphin and whales having nothing to do with science….there is NO WAY you have a masters in science if you cannot see that eating meat full of mercury is bad for you! Dolphins and Whale meat is full of mercury. Testicles are not. We are not feeding seal to kids in our lunch program.
            Also, using robots to replace nurses and caregivers is a hell of a lot different than using them in industrial settings. You might be a little socially inept but surely you can see that a robot attempting to soothe an over-wrought person isn’t really going to do the trick. Maybe, then again you don’t see it. “Gee, Emily I’m sorry…you have dementia…but hey, shit happens. Now let’s change your diaper.”
            As for you talking about 3rd world conditions on First Nations reserves, you really should read Colby Cash’s editorial about the conditions on the reserves in Alberta. Those bands are rich and yet the third world conditions exist on those reserves as well. Why is that?

          • Well, they aren’t full of mercury or they’d all be dead so stop being silly.

            The robots work very well, thanks.

            Back to Harper’s incompetence….

          • Look up Minamata Disease. Wikipedia will tell you all about it.

          • Quite familiar with it thanks….and I sure hope all these red herrings you’re tossing around don’t have mercury in em. LOL

            Now back to Harper’s incompetence.

          • I am just pointing out that Japan is not the utopia you seem to think it is. As for you denying something which is a well known scientific fact….the amount of mercury in long living and large fish/sea mammals, I do not understand. A scientist has no reason to deny the science. No one in Japan denies it. Why would you?
            However, carry on complaining about Harper’s incompetence. I am sure it is quite significant.

          • No, you’re running the ‘divert, distract’ tactic. Don’t you think anybody notices what you do?

            Part of that tactic involves lying, and attacking the other poster. It’s supposed to put them on the defensive, and explaining things at great length. I’m quite aware of it….Rick Omen does it all the time….. and just ignore it.

            Back to Harp’s massive incompetence……

          • Lying……lying….WHAT lie did I tell? Pony up, Emily!

          • Oooh the shock and outrage. LOL

            Sorry sweetie, I said nothing about Japan being a utopia, nor did I deny anything about mercury poisoning….and I have no interest in what some nutbar politician said.

            I said they have maglev trains and advanced robots in spite of all their troubles….and we are way behind them.

            Now then don’t you have your annual horse massacre to go to?

  6. Coyne is an accomplished conservative writer.
    what a surprise that he would diss tom Mulcair.
    Wait until next year – and 2015 – when the corporate media concentrates on sliming the New Democrats.

    • Mr. Coyne is a Liberal.

      • No he’s not

        • Excuse me but did you miss his announcement in Macleans during the last federal election that he was voting Liberal and that he recommended every one else do so as well?

          • If you vote Lib in one election, that doesn’t make you a Lib.

            ‘Coyne has said that he considers the political labels “left” and “right” to be “tribes” of “self-quarantine.”[9] He endorses a strong federal government,[10] more market based economic solutions,[11] and a stronger role for Canada in the War on Terror.[12] Coyne is also a proponent of proportional representation in Canada’s House of Commons[13] and believes Canada should remain a constitutional monarchy rather than become a republic.’

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Coyne#Background

            Or, if you’re going to fuss about Wiki again, there’s always this……

            http://ubyssey.ca/features/coyne432/

          • Yes, I am certain he voted Liberal in only “one” election. Hahaha! I will certainly remember your admonishment to be careful about labeling people, Emily. I wouldn’t want to be calling anyone a “Con partisan” just because they voted for the CPC in one election. Hey, don’t forget to correct the other bloggers who are calling Andrew Coyne, a Conservative.

          • Coyne is neither Con nor Lib. Pay attention.

          • I know…I know….just because he admitted to voting Liberal once and told everyone why it was a good idea to do so (prior to the election) doesn’t mean he really IS a Liberal. I get it! You don’t have to beat the thing to death. If You say he isn’t a Liberal….

          • I don’t say it….he does. Pay attention.

          • I do pay attention to his words and his actions.

          • Not very well it seems.

          • It’s that reading comprehension problem again..

          • Something! It’s like there’s a block!

          • You couldn’t possibly read him with any regularity and say that.

          • dude, srsly. he’s a natural conservative that became so concerned with CPC behaviour he endorsed the teh Liberals, on the banner of (direct quote IIRC) “The Conservatives can do more damage to democracy than the Liberals can do to the economy.” He’s an ideological supporter who became so terrified of their actions he felt he had to break ranks and warn people.

            Your use of the word in this sense was silly.

            Jeez, why do I even need to point this out.

          • So he is now a Liberal. What is so difficult to figure out? He is disgusted with CPC and he now supports the Liberal Party of Canada. Whatever.

          • It shouldn’t be difficult. I don’t know what to suggest.

            Keep reading GFMD’s comment and maybe the repetition will help?

          • Gee lenny, the stalking tendencies and the inane comments can only mean one thing…you like me…you really like me!

          • This from a woman who tracks who upticks a remark she finds offensive and attacks that poster. Who’s the stalker? And don’t tell me you’re ‘done’ – the internet doesn’t work like that. In real life you can storm out of a room and slam the door, not in this format.

          • Is this your mean girl way of telling me you approve of internet bullying and plan to launch a campaign against me, Jan?
            I will tell you as I have before that I AM DONE!
            No, I don’t have to be dramatic and “storm out of a room and slam a door”. I can just chose to ignore you and lenny and your bs “baiting. I don’t need your permission to comment and I certainly don’t have to answer to either of you.

          • You go girl, but when I think you’re full of it, I will be calling you out on it.

          • Now would be the appropriate time to cite some evidence that he supports the Liberal party. You claim to read him – let’s see some quotes.

      • Do you read him consistently? Depending on what he writes he’s a Con, a ‘leftie’ and everything in between. Trying to tie him to a political party is a fool’s game. The only thing he can be accurately labelled is a libertarian.

    • Slime like the NDP should be slimed!

  7. All this erudite emetic is amusing because it will be quite meaningless come the next election where Canadians will have to decide who they want for prime minister of all of Canada:

    – Quebec supremacist Trudeau “Quebecers are better than the rest of Canada….”, and, “Quebecer were the best prime ministers…”, and “I am a son of Quebec”… even though he was born in Ottawa!

    – Quebec corruption-stained Mulcair and active citoyen de France… and his bearded fuzz-face a la Smith Bros. cough drops…lol

    – All-Canadian Stephen Harper.

    No matter how much hatemongering is spewed against Stephen Harper, true and loyal Canadians cannot possibly sell out the RoC to Quebec interests.

    • It seems the media doesn’t report much of what Mr. Trudeau says on anything. While he was in Calgary for the stampede and the flood, they made a big deal out of him attending the Tory premier’s pancake breakfast where he said he was looking to garner support from middle of the road pc’s.
      He was also on the front of the Calgary Herald saying if he is successful in being elected PM in 2015, he will attend every Calgary Stampede on one condition. That being, if he is invited to ride his horse or a horse in the yearly Stampede parade.

  8. Andrew Coyne is a coward who does not stick to his principles.

    The media is, again,making ridiculous issues over words used. Coyne, like Maclen’ is paid to find fault with Mulcair. He is however no longer required to fawn over Trudeau as patently as this guy is. “The honeymoon that won’t end”. Barf. What are you because you sure aren’t a journalist.

    • Shame on the media for making an issue over words used.

  9. THEN END THE HONEYMOON PERIOD. JUST STOP REPORTING THAT HE’S “EVER-AFFABLE.” THAT’S NOT EVEN A THING.

    THIS IS IN YOUR POWER. YOU CAN DO IT!!

    • Yeah, ‘ever affable’ is a ‘thing’….and to show he’s not you’d have to find him being snarly about something. Good luck with that.

  10. Let’s pick apart Coyne’s most important paragraph, shall we?

    Coyne states:

    “Certainly this one accident, as unprecedented as it is horrific, is not sufficient evidence in itself. Consider what a singular convergence of events was required to bring it about. A highly flammable cargo; an unattended train; parked on a hill; on the main track, not a siding; above a town; far enough from town to build up great speed; and, as a final piece, that fatal bend in the track as it entered town. If any one of those is not present, no disaster and no deaths. But even if all are, you still need two more: the failure (so it seems) of the air brakes; and the failure (so it is alleged) to lock the hand brakes.”

    A highly flammable cargo: How closely is this regulated by TC?
    An unattended train: Is this permitted by TC’s regulations? Should it be allowed outside of railyards and zero-grade sidings?
    Parked on a hill: Is this permitted by TC’s regulations? Should it be permitted?
    On the main track, not a siding: Is this permitted by TC’s regulations? Should it be?
    Above a town: Is this permitted by TC’s regulations? Should it be permitted?

    The bend in the track: According to reports, residents have complained about this bend for some time. I’m not sure what federal regulations apply to local resident’s requests for safer railway configurations, but perhaps locals shouldn’t be ignored when they complain about safety issues in their own backyard.
    Failure of the air brakes: Does TC not require some redundancy in these safety systems? If they don’t, they should.
    Insufficient application of the hand brakes: Are there regulations within TC which require hand-brakes be applied on parked, unattended train cars? Were they followed? Does TC have the staff to do spot inspections to make sure such regulations are being followed?
    Coyne doesn’t mention it, but what about the issue of having a single operator responsible for such dangerous cargo. Two sets of eyes will catch more mistakes than one set.

    It seems that, contrary to Coyne’s main point, there are a lot of questions we can ask of Transport Canada and the responsible minister regarding this accident, and regarding rail transport safety in general.

  11. Mulcair was decent in the House of Commons, but he should be a good performer there after his many years of experience in politics. He was a lawyer, so it’s expected that he should know something about cross-examination. But if Mulcair wants to win the next election, he will need to transfer his skills in the House outside onto the campaign trail and figure out how to connect with real voters the way Jack Layton did or the way Justin Trudeau seems to be doing.

  12. I’m glad that somebody somewhere has the guts to tell the truth. One crew member in charge of 70 thin skinned tanker cars across Canada; Ottawa gave permission for this. The Conservatives campaign on deregulation and privatization. This is not something they are ashamed of, this is policy.
    They don’t believe in government regulation period.
    Meat packing, tar sands, transportation, you name it. Thanks Thomas Mulcair, for your courage knowing the wrath of the Conservative political machine and Ottawa journalistic establishment would attack as usual.

  13. I’m proud of Tom for having the courage to point out that Harper’s policies are threatening the health of all Canadians. Cuts to public safety have consequences.

    The reaction is typical. It reminds me of the cons who pretended Mike Harris slashing public safety investment had nothing to do with Walkerton.

    Actions have consequences. It’s something most three year olds know. Not Mr. Coyne for some reason. I pity his developmental retardation.

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