What Thomas Mulcair said in 2010 about envelopes and the mayor of Laval

Notes from a news conference about Louis Riel


A little more of the back story to this week’s news about Thomas Mulcair and the envelope.

In November 2010, Bloc Quebecois MP Serge Menard, since retired, alleged that, in 1993, he was offered a cash-filled envelope by the mayor of Laval. On November 16, 2010, Mr. Mulcair—nearer the end of a news conference with Pat Martin about Louis Riel—was asked about the controversy.

Two questions for Mr. Mulcair. One, you might have heard of allegations of the mayor of Laval handing out cash in envelopes. Were you ever offered cash in an envelope by the mayor of Laval? Did you ever see cash in envelopes around the mayor of Laval?

Mr. Mulcair responded as follows.

No. And one thing preoccupies me with that is that a person who went on to become justice minister and public security minister, felt that he wouldn’t do anything about it. In my career, the only time anybody ever came up to me with an issue they described had happened to them, that would’ve constituted an offence, I invited the person to go to the police and when they said they weren’t sure if they could do that, I said that I would do it myself and I did. And it had nothing to do, by the way, with Laval city hall. It was an issue involving somebody in the work that I was doing at the time. So I’ll leave it to you to sort out the different versions that are no doubt going to come out today. But all I can say is, as a citizen, I’m worried with regard to our democratic institutions when someone who went on to become justice minister and public security minister says he didn’t seem to have anything he could do about it and in regard to those institutions I think it’s a serious preoccupation for all of us.

As the Canadian Press noted yesterday and the Globe’s Daniel LeBlanc notes in his story, whether Mr. Mulcair saw what was in the envelope that the mayor of Laval alleged brandished during the 1994 meeting—apparently before Mr. Mulcair was elected, for whatever that is worth—is a matter of some debate. But the Conservatives seem to be trying to chide Mr. Mulcair now in a similar fashion to the way Mr. Mulcair chided Mr. Menard in 2010.


What Thomas Mulcair said in 2010 about envelopes and the mayor of Laval

  1. According to the investigation documents obtained by La Presse, Mulcair left no doubt: “mais pour lui il était clair que c’était de l’argent,” the investigators wrote. (Translation: “but for him it was clear that this was money”) That’s what the investigators say he said in 2011.

    Now, in 2013, when Mulcair is confronted with his comments from 2010, it’s suddenly not as clear to him and he parses the meaning of the reporter’s question.

    Add to that Mulcair’s obvious hypocrisy — taking Serge Menard to task for conduct he knew he was guilty of — and his sense of moral superiority, and it’s obvious that Mulcair was protecting his political career by misrepresenting the facts to reporters and to the public.


  2. Only one other comment on this story? That says a lot about how selective this comment board is.

    When Mulcair has a lapse of ethics, it doesn’t warrant the talk, but when Harper is even suspected of having been associated with something unethical, these comment boards go crazy. That tells a much bigger story. Good to know.

  3. Mulcair was a Quebec Liberal. Passing around bags of public money is what those guys have been doing for years.

    Now when will we starting hearing about the envelopes that he accepted?

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