Some might consider this to be an attack against Tom Mulcair, however, I will justify this position because I am pointing out issues about the man who wants to be our next Prime Minister. Justin Trudeau has stated that “this campaign will not be about hair or beards” I am not questioning Tom Mulcairs’ demeanor in the HoC, or questions about his personal finances, although some might feel that these are legitimate questions to be asked. I will instead raise questions about honesty and integrity, questions that should be entirely fair to be raised in this campaign.
It is becoming increasingly worrisome at what appears to be the frequency with which Tom Mulcair has either mislead Canadians or “changed his mind or position” on serious issues. One practice that seems to have become very common for Mr. Mulcair is that of allowing voters to believe that a policy for the NDP may still exist even though it has not been raised since the campaign started. One example of this is the issue of Parliamentary Reform. It is true that the NDP did, prior to the election call, have a petition on their web site calling for action on this issue. However, since the election began, Tom Mulcair has been strangely silent on this issue, the NDP web site has no mention of the issue, and it is not mentioned anywhere in the NDP Financial Plan. Even the petition which was on the NDP web site is no longer to be found. If this were the only issue experiencing this “disappearing act” it would be of little concern, however, Tom Mulcair’s complaints regarding the Senate, an issue which he tried to frame his early candidacy around has experienced a similar erasure when one looks at the either the NDP web site or NDP Financial Plan. After all the cost of trying to abolish the Senate will be significant as pensions will have to be paid out, courts will likely award lost revenues, even if the courts did not award lost revenues, would a “labour friendly” government really encourage the dismissal of workers without compensation? It seems Mulcair does not want to answer the tough questions about his plans for Senate reform, so the subject has just “disappeared” from his national discussions.
The last issue that Tom Mulcair wants to discuss unless he can plug it into a speech to party faithful is what became known as Bill C-51. In an interview with Global News before the bill passed Tom Mulcair made some rather disturbing comments about the bill. First was his reluctance to assure voters that he would repeal the bill and not just change it. A position he has tried to advance without actually committing to it. In the same interview he suggested that there was not actually anything new in the Bill, that everything in the bill was already covered in other laws. If this is the case, why all the noise? Unless, he was able to stir up fear where none should have existed. Lastly, in the same interview he claims it is a large and difficult Bill, “the size of a Budget Bill” since his own financial plan is only 7 pages including a letter from him and comments from economists, one has to wonder if he really offers a “financial plan”, however the actual Bill C-51 is less than 40 pages in both English and French and I have attached a link for the readers benefit to review themselves. House Government Bill – Bill C-51 – Royal Assent (41-2)
In addition to these disappearing topics, one has to be concerned about the ever growing number of what can only be described as disturbing changes of position, while any candidate can be allowed to change their position on an issue and I would argue that any candidate unwilling to change a position in the face of changing evidence would be shortsighted. Let us review a number of Tom Mulcair’s “changes”, “flip-flops” or “untruths?”. Perhaps the one he is most famous for now is his now famous claim during the Globe and Mail debate that he never supported Bulk Water sales from the Province of Quebec. I will not argue the issue, I will instead allow Thomas Mulcair to speak for himself. The video from the National Assembly in Quebec has English subtitles so viewers can judge for themselves what Mr. Mulcair says. Of even more concern, this is not the first time Mr. Mulcair has denied saying this. always with different claims of what he did or didn’t say.
In September 2014, Thomas Mulcair said “Canadians want to know where we stand and they’re going to have a very clear idea,” when he posted the NDP policies platform on the party web site. However, in August 2015, once voters might actually pay attention to the policies of the NDP Mr Mulcair seemed to have a change of mind. ” The NDP has removed a detailed policy book from its main website that spells out the party’s beliefs on a wide range of issues” They have numerous excuses for why they removed the document, however, read what they said in 2014 and what they say now.
Next we have the issue of attack ads, although this issue has already been addressed on these pages. The change of position from a Candidate who pledged “You’re not going to see me attacking the others” to a party boasting that the attack ads against Justin were theirs first.
On the subject of the NDP Fiscal plan, Tom Mulcair repeatedly claims support from Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page, however, the real truth seems to be some distance from this. Kevin Page has been quoted as calling the Fiscal plan “swiss cheese”, going further others are even less complementary, yet in the face of this criticism Mulcair continues to claim support for his document.
Again during the Globe and Mail debate, Tom Mulcair made the statement to Stephen Harper “The UN has asked us to bring in 9,000 refugees before Christmas; you won’t do it. They’ve asked for 46,000 over the next four years, you won’t do it. ” The CBC analyzed this statement on a feature they have called “The Baloney Meter” after an assessment of the facts they determined “This one earns a rating of full of baloney.”
Even on principles which should, and seemingly did matter to the NDP such as tax hikes against the middle and lower class, with tax breaks in favour of the upper class, Mr. Mulcair has changed his position, witness his attack against Stephen Harper for “taking billions of dollars from the middle class, to give to the richest 15%” yet now he attacks Justin for taking from the richest and giving to the Middle Class.
Still unresolved is the issue of the Montreal Campaign offices, which the NDP insist were Constituency offices, although rules did not allow for the way the NDP were spending money. Read the issue for yourself and make up your own mind.
Lastly, is the one issue that Mr. Mulcair would least like discussed because regardless what he may claim, the facts are that he was convicted by a court of law of defamation and fined $95,000 with legal fees this incident cost the Liberal Party of Quebec almost $200,000
So, the evidence seems to be piling up. It will soon be up to the voters to decide.