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25 mars 2012 7 25 /03 /mars /2012 03:58
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Thomas J. Mulcair
MP
220px-ThomasMulcair.PNG
Leader of the Opposition
Incumbent
Assumed office
March 24, 2012
Monarch Elizabeth II
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Preceded by Nycole Turmel
Leader of the New Democratic Party
Incumbent
Assumed office
March 24, 2012
Preceded by Nycole Turmel(interim)
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Outremont
Incumbent
Assumed office
September 17, 2007
Preceded by Jean Lapierre
MNA for Chomedey
In office
1994–2007
Preceded by Lise Bacon
Succeeded by Guy Ouellette
Quebec Minister of the Environment
In office
2003–2006
Preceded by André Boisclair
Succeeded by Claude Béchard
Personal details
Born October 24, 1954 (age 57)
OttawaOntario
Political party New Democratic Party
Spouse(s) Catherine Pinhas
Residence BeaconsfieldQuebec,Canada
Profession Attorney, professor, politician
Religion Roman Catholic

Thomas J. "Tom" Mulcair (born October 24, 1954) is a Canadianlawyer, university professor, and politician. A New Democratic PartyMember of Parliament for the electoral district of Outremont in Quebec since 2007, and Leader of the NDP and Official Opposition as of March 24, 2012, he was selected as the leader of the New Democratic Party in the leadership election on March 24, 2012 with 57.2% of the votes on the fourth and final ballot.[1]

He was the provincial Member of the National Assembly of Quebec for the riding of Chomedey in Laval from 1994 to 2007, holding the seat for the Liberal Party of Quebec. He served as the Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks from 2003 until 2006, in the Liberal government of PremierJean Charest. Elected MP for Outremont in a by-election in 2007, he was named Deputy Leader of the New Democratic Party, jointly with Libby Davies, shortly afterwards, and has won re-election twice. On May 26, 2011 he was named the New Democratic Party's Opposition House Leader. Prior to entering politics, Mulcair was a senior civil servant in the Quebec provincial government, ran a private law practice, and taught law at the university level.

Contents

 [hide

[edit]Early life, family, and education

Mulcair was born in 1954 at the Ottawa Civic Hospital to Harry Donnelly Mulcair, an Irish Canadian father, and Jeanne Hurtubise, a French Canadianmother. He is the second-oldest of the couple's ten children, and was raised in the Wrightville district of Hull (now Gatineau) and in Laval, just north of Montreal. He graduated from Laval Catholic High School, and in Social Sciences from CEGEPVanier College.[2]

Mulcair graduated from McGill University in 1977 with degrees in common law and civil law. During his penultimate year, he was elected president of the McGill Law Students Association, and sat on the council of the McGill Student Union. He has been married to Catherine Pinhas since 1976. She is apsychologist with Turkish-Jewish heritage who was born in France, and the couple have two sons.[3]

[edit]Early career

The couple moved to Quebec City in 1978, and Mulcair was called to the Bar of Quebec in 1979.[4] He worked in the Legislative Affairs branch in Quebec'sMinistry of Justice and later in the Legal Affairs Directorate of the Superior Council of the French Language.[5]

In 1983 Mulcair became Director of Legal Affairs at Alliance Quebec. In 1985 he began a private law practice, and was named the reviser of the statutes ofManitoba following the Supreme Court of Canada ruling in the Manitoba reference case. Mulcair also taught law courses to non-law students at Concordia University (1984), at the Saint Lawrence Campus of Champlain Regional College in Sainte-Foy, and at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières. He served as Commissioner of the Appeals Committee on the Language of Instruction (1986).

Mulcair was President of the Office des professions du Québec (1987 to 1993), where he introduced reforms to make disciplinary hearings more transparent and successfully led a major effort to have cases of alleged sexual abuse of patients decisively dealt with.[6][7] Mulcair was also a board member of the group Conseil de la langue française, and at the time of his appointment to the Office des Professions he had been serving as President of the English speaking Catholic Council.

[edit]Enters provincial politics

He first entered the National Assembly in the 1994 election, winning the riding of Chomedey. He was re-elected in 1998 and 2003. When the Quebec Liberal Party formed a provincial government in 2003, Premier of QuebecJean Charest named Mulcair Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks. At the time of his appointment to Cabinet he had been serving on several volunteer boards including The Montreal Oral School for the Deaf, Operation Enfant Soleil and the Saint-Patrick's Society.[8] During his tenure he was a supporter of the Kyoto Protocol.

[edit]Advocate for improved environmental rights

On November 25, 2004, Mulcair launched Quebec's Sustainable Development Plan and tabled a draft bill on sustainable development. Also included was a proposed amendment to the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms to create a new right, the right to live in a healthy environment that respects biodiversity, in accordance with the guidelines and standards set out in the Act.[9] Mulcair's Sustainable Development Plan was based on the successful European model and was described as one of the most avant-garde in North America.[10] Mulcair followed the proposal by embarking on a 21-city public consultation tour, and the Act was unanimously adopted by the National Assembly of Quebec in April 2006.

Accomplishments related to infrastructure included the completion of Autoroute 30 between Vaudreuil and BrossardAutoroute 50 between Gatineau and Lachute, the widening of Route 175 betweenStoneham and Saguenay, the widening of Route 185 from Rivière-du-Loup to the New Brunswick border and the introduction of a toll bridge which would complete Autoroute 25 between Montreal and Laval,[11] despite some public opposition by environmental groups.

[edit]Departure from cabinet

During a Cabinet shuffle, Charest offered Mulcair the position of Minister of Government Services in the Quebec government, and Mulcair chose to resign from cabinet rather than accept the apparentdemotion.[12] There was speculation that his contrary opinion on a project that would have transferred lands in Mont Orford Provincial park to private condominium developers led to his removal asMinister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks.[8][13]

On February 20, 2007, he announced that he would not be a Liberal candidate in the 2007 Quebec general election.[14]

[edit]Federal politics

200px-Thomas_Mulcair_2011-04-23.jpg
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Thomas Mulcair during the 2011 campaign

On April 20, 2007, Mulcair confirmed that he would be running for the New Democratic Party (NDP) in the next federal election.[15][16] His presence in the front row during a speech in Montreal by NDP Leader Jack Layton in March 2007 had already led to speculations to that effect.[17] He had previously given a speech at the Federal NDP Convention in Quebec City in September 2006.

Mulcair's maternal great-grandfather was former Quebec Premier Honoré Mercier, to whom he referred when he announced his return to politics in 2007: "My great grandfather was Honoré Mercier, so what else could you expect from me." [18] Mulcair identified former Quebec Liberal Party leader Claude Ryan as his political mentor.[19]

[edit]By-election win

Mulcair also became Layton's Quebec lieutenant. On June 21, 2007, in an uncontested nomination, Mulcair became the NDP's candidate in the riding ofOutremont for a by-election on September 17. Mulcair won the by-election, defeating Liberal candidate Jocelyn Coulon 48% to 29%; the seat had been a Liberal stronghold since 1935 (except for the 1988 election). Jean Lapierre suggested that Mulcair was likely aided by defecting Bloc Quebecois supporters (the Bloc candidate had finished second in the 2006 federal election). In addition, Coulon's writings had been condemned by B'nai Brith Canada, and the local Jewishcommunity in Outremont makes up 10% of the riding demographics.[20][21] The Conservatives focused their attacks on the leadership skills of Stéphane Dion, and there were allegations that Michael Ignatieff's supporters tried to sabotage the race for the Liberals to undermine Dion's leadership.[22][23][24]

Mulcair was only the second NDP Member of Parliament ever elected from Quebec, following Phil Edmonston in 1990 (one previous MP, Robert Toupin ofTerrebonne, had crossed the floor to the NDP in 1986). Mulcair is also only the second non-Liberal ever to win Outremont, following Progressive ConservativeJean-Pierre Hogue in 1988.

[edit]Deputy leader

He and colleague Libby Davies were jointly appointed deputy leaders of the party.[25] Mulcair was sworn in on October 12, 2007.[26]

On October 14, 2008, Mulcair was re-elected the Member of Parliament for Outremont, making him the first New Democrat to win a riding in Quebec during a federal general election. He defeated the federal Liberal candidate, Sébastien Dhavernas, by 14,348 votes to 12,005 (a margin of 6.4%).[27]

In the 2011 federal election, despite facing a strong challenge from Liberal Martin Cauchon, a former federal justice minister, Mulcair was re-elected once more with 56.4% of the popular vote, 21,916 to 9,204.

[edit]Controversy over Osama bin Laden

In a May 2011 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation television interview following Osama bin Laden's capture and killing in Pakistan, Mulcair was asked whether the U.S. should "release pictures of Osama bin Laden". Mulcair answered "I don't think from what I've heard that those pictures exist, and if they do I'll leave that up to the American military."[28] Asked a second time about the existence of the pictures, Muclair replied: "No, I don’t think they do [exist]. If they’ve got pictures of a cadaver, there’s probably more going on than we suspect in what happened there."[29] Mulcair's answer was initially interpreted as casting doubt on the existence of photos of bin Laden's corpse.[30][31] It received attention from American media outlets[32] and was criticized by Canadian politicians includingPaul Dewar, then NDP foreign affairs critic,[33]Chris Alexander,[30][31] and Marc Garneau.[32] In the run-up to his NDP leadership bid, Mulcair clarified that he had actually been referring to the question of whether any pictures exist showing bin Laden reaching with a gun before he was killed.[34] He added that he never doubted American forces had killed bin Laden nor that the U.S. had photographs proving bin Laden was dead.[34][35]Paul Wells of Maclean's noted that the CBC interviewer Evan Solomon failed to pose a clear question, thus leading to the miscommunication.[36]

[edit]Federal NDP leadership bid

250px-Thomas_Mulcair_2012-02-12.jpg
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Thomas Mulcair during a candidates debate on February 12, 2012 in Québec

Federal NDP Leader Jack Layton passed away on August 22, 2011, following a battle with cancer, and was honoured with a state funeral. Mulcair stated that Layton's death had hit him exceptionally hard, and that while he was considering a federal NDP leadership bid, he would need several weeks to make up his mind on that decision.[37]

Mulcair declared his candidacy for the federal NDP leadership at a press conference in suburban Montreal on October 13, 2011. He has attracted the support of 43 current federal MPs,[38] including Robert Chisholm[39] and Romeo Saganash,[40] the only two to have dropped out of the leadership race.

[edit]NDP Leader

On the fourth and final ballot, Thomas Mulcair was elected NDP leader with 57.2% of the votes. [1][2]

[edit]Leadership bid supporters[41]

[edit]Electoral record

[hide]Canadian federal election, 2011
Party Candidate Votes % ±pp Expenditures
New Democratic Thomas Mulcair 21,906 56.37 +16.84 $80,457
Liberal Martin Cauchon 9,204 23.69 -9.39 $51,130
Conservative Rodolphe Husny 3,408 8.77 -1.76 $18,319
Bloc Québécois Élise Daoust 3,199 8.23 -4.32 $10,456
Green François Pilon 838 2.16 -2.15 $4,578
Rhinoceros Tommy Gaudet 160 0.41
Communist Johan Boyden 143 0.37
Total valid votes/Expense limit 38,858 100.00
Total rejected ballots 291 0.74 +0.05
Turnout 39,149 60.46 +4.35

 

[hide]Canadian federal election, 2008Outremont[edit]
Party Candidate Votes % ±pp Expenditures
New Democratic Party (x)Thomas Mulcair 14,348 39.53 +22.33 $69,072
Liberal Sébastien Dhavernas 12,005 33.08 -2.10 $45,118
Bloc Québécois Marcella Valdivia 4,554 12.55 -16.46 $48,279
Conservative Lulzim Laloshi 3,820 10.53 -2.20 $24,421
Green F. Monsieur Corde à Linge Pilon 1,566 4.31 -0.51 not listed
Total valid votes 36,293 100.00
Total rejected ballots 253 0.69 -
Turnout 36,546 56.11 -4.67
Electors on the lists 64,556
New Democratic Partyhold Swing -6.05

 

Source: Official Voting Results, 40th General Election 2008, Elections Canada. Percentage change figures refer to a comparison with the 2006 general election, not the 2007 by-election.

 

[hide]Canadian federal by-election, September 17, 2007: Outremont[edit]
Party Candidate Votes % ±pp Expenditures
New Democratic Party Thomas Mulcair 11,374 47.50 +30.03 $76,194
Liberal Jocelyn Coulon 6,933 28.96 -6.22 $72,539
Bloc Québécois Jean-Paul Gilson 2,618 10.93 -18.08 $57,717
Conservative Gilles Duguay 2,052 8.57 -4.16 $66,401
Green François Pilon 529 2.21 -2.61 $169
Neorhino.ca François Yo Gourd 145 0.61 $1,774
Independent Mahmood Raza Baig 78 0.33 $45
Independent Jocelyne Leduc 61 0.25 $6
Independent Romain Angeles 46 0.19 $157
Canadian Action Party Alexandre Amirizian 45 0.19 $0
Independent Régent Millette 32 0.13 +0.08 none listed
Independent John C. Turmel 30 0.13 none listed
Total valid votes 23,943 100.00
Total rejected ballots 175 0.73 +0.03
Turnout 24,118 37.43 -23.35
Electors on the lists 64,438
New Democratic Partygain from Liberal Swing -18.3
Quebec general el
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Thomas J. Mulcair 25,363 71.10 +1.23
Parti Québécois Coline Chhay 6,568 18.41 -3.49
Action démocratique Vicken Darakdjian 3,384 9.49 +2.65
Marxist-Leninist Polyvios Tsakanikas 210 0.59 -
Equality Robert Tamilia 148 0.41 -0.50
Quebec general election, 1998
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Thomas J. Mulcair 28,293 69.87 +2.17
Parti Québécois Monia Prévost 8,869 21.90 -2.26
Action démocratique Vicken Darakdjian 2,768 6.84 +1.62
Equality Pierre Fortier 368 0.91 -0.01
Socialist Democracy Jean-Pierre Roy 195 0.48 -
Quebec general election, 1994
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
     Liberal Thomas J. Mulcair 25,885 67.70 +14.31
     Parti Québécois Lidi Costache 9,239 24.16 -0.44
     Action démocratique Gaétane Piché 1,997 5.22 -
     Equality Gary Brown 353 0.92 -17.69
     Economic Richard Gagné 243 0.64 -
     CANADA! Benjamin Simhon 212 0.55 -
     Commonwealth John Ajemian 154 0.40 -
     Natural law John Wolter 150

0.39

 

 

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