NDP ousts Mulcair after contentious convention

News Apr 10, 2016 by Alex Boutilier Hamilton Spectator

EDMONTON — Thomas Mulcair is no longer the leader of the New Democrats.

A full 52 per cent of delegates at the NDP's Edmonton convention voted to seek new leadership for the party after October 2015's crushing electoral defeat.

Mulcair was thanked for his leadership directly after the vote. The party will have to hold a leadership convention in 2017.

In a speech to delegates before the vote, Mulcair asked the party's rank and file to "stand with him" in a last-minute appeal to keep his job.

The themes were similar to speeches Mulcair has been giving for months — reducing income inequality, raising corporate taxes and closing tax loopholes, pushing for universal pharmacare and a national child care system.

"(Canadians) are counting on us to fight for them and stand up to well-connected and powerful interests. We can't let them down. We can't get distracted. We have to push forward," Mulcair told the crowd.

"If you keep standing with me, then together, we will never stop fighting."

In the end, the stood up for a change in leadership.

The undercurrents at the Edmonton convention, at times, looked unfavourable to Mulcair's chances since delegates began arriving last week.

A debate on the Leap Manifesto, a far-left call to action backed by outside activists and artists, occupied a considerable portion of the convention.

The manifesto, which advocates for a transition from fossil fuels and a moratorium on new pipeline infrastructure, pitted the federal left wing against Alberta Premier Rachel Notley's administration.

While Leap advocates claim that wasn't the intention, Notley's government — including the premier herself — were not shy in denouncing the manifesto.

Mulcair was forced to walk a delicate line between the two sides, suggesting that he was open to the manifesto's ideas while not ruling out oilsands development.

"There's no contradiction. (One is) having a strong, aspirational debate around a project that says … the other is a practical approach to what is happening in Canada," Mulcair told the Star on Saturday.

Delegates voted to debate the ideas behind the manifesto at the local level for two years, and have that debate inform their 2018 policy convention. The vote angered delegates from Alberta, who are said to number around 400 of 1,800 delegates — and the decision was far from unanimous.

While Mulcair enjoyed the support of a number of union leaders, the convention opened Friday with a speech from Canadian Labour Congress president Hassan Yussuff. Yussuff, who said publicly he would not be supporting Mulcair, criticized parties who focus on parliament more than their own activists — a less than veiled criticism of Mulcair's leadership.

Both Notley and party elder Stephen Lewis gave rousing speeches Saturday, but Notley barely mentioned Mulcair and Lewis stayed above the fray of the leadership debate, focusing instead on the New Democrats' contrasts with Justin Trudeau's Liberals.

Toronto Star

NDP ousts Mulcair after contentious convention

News Apr 10, 2016 by Alex Boutilier Hamilton Spectator

EDMONTON — Thomas Mulcair is no longer the leader of the New Democrats.

A full 52 per cent of delegates at the NDP's Edmonton convention voted to seek new leadership for the party after October 2015's crushing electoral defeat.

Mulcair was thanked for his leadership directly after the vote. The party will have to hold a leadership convention in 2017.

In a speech to delegates before the vote, Mulcair asked the party's rank and file to "stand with him" in a last-minute appeal to keep his job.

The themes were similar to speeches Mulcair has been giving for months — reducing income inequality, raising corporate taxes and closing tax loopholes, pushing for universal pharmacare and a national child care system.

"(Canadians) are counting on us to fight for them and stand up to well-connected and powerful interests. We can't let them down. We can't get distracted. We have to push forward," Mulcair told the crowd.

"If you keep standing with me, then together, we will never stop fighting."

In the end, the stood up for a change in leadership.

The undercurrents at the Edmonton convention, at times, looked unfavourable to Mulcair's chances since delegates began arriving last week.

A debate on the Leap Manifesto, a far-left call to action backed by outside activists and artists, occupied a considerable portion of the convention.

The manifesto, which advocates for a transition from fossil fuels and a moratorium on new pipeline infrastructure, pitted the federal left wing against Alberta Premier Rachel Notley's administration.

While Leap advocates claim that wasn't the intention, Notley's government — including the premier herself — were not shy in denouncing the manifesto.

Mulcair was forced to walk a delicate line between the two sides, suggesting that he was open to the manifesto's ideas while not ruling out oilsands development.

"There's no contradiction. (One is) having a strong, aspirational debate around a project that says … the other is a practical approach to what is happening in Canada," Mulcair told the Star on Saturday.

Delegates voted to debate the ideas behind the manifesto at the local level for two years, and have that debate inform their 2018 policy convention. The vote angered delegates from Alberta, who are said to number around 400 of 1,800 delegates — and the decision was far from unanimous.

While Mulcair enjoyed the support of a number of union leaders, the convention opened Friday with a speech from Canadian Labour Congress president Hassan Yussuff. Yussuff, who said publicly he would not be supporting Mulcair, criticized parties who focus on parliament more than their own activists — a less than veiled criticism of Mulcair's leadership.

Both Notley and party elder Stephen Lewis gave rousing speeches Saturday, but Notley barely mentioned Mulcair and Lewis stayed above the fray of the leadership debate, focusing instead on the New Democrats' contrasts with Justin Trudeau's Liberals.

Toronto Star

NDP ousts Mulcair after contentious convention

News Apr 10, 2016 by Alex Boutilier Hamilton Spectator

EDMONTON — Thomas Mulcair is no longer the leader of the New Democrats.

A full 52 per cent of delegates at the NDP's Edmonton convention voted to seek new leadership for the party after October 2015's crushing electoral defeat.

Mulcair was thanked for his leadership directly after the vote. The party will have to hold a leadership convention in 2017.

In a speech to delegates before the vote, Mulcair asked the party's rank and file to "stand with him" in a last-minute appeal to keep his job.

The themes were similar to speeches Mulcair has been giving for months — reducing income inequality, raising corporate taxes and closing tax loopholes, pushing for universal pharmacare and a national child care system.

"(Canadians) are counting on us to fight for them and stand up to well-connected and powerful interests. We can't let them down. We can't get distracted. We have to push forward," Mulcair told the crowd.

"If you keep standing with me, then together, we will never stop fighting."

In the end, the stood up for a change in leadership.

The undercurrents at the Edmonton convention, at times, looked unfavourable to Mulcair's chances since delegates began arriving last week.

A debate on the Leap Manifesto, a far-left call to action backed by outside activists and artists, occupied a considerable portion of the convention.

The manifesto, which advocates for a transition from fossil fuels and a moratorium on new pipeline infrastructure, pitted the federal left wing against Alberta Premier Rachel Notley's administration.

While Leap advocates claim that wasn't the intention, Notley's government — including the premier herself — were not shy in denouncing the manifesto.

Mulcair was forced to walk a delicate line between the two sides, suggesting that he was open to the manifesto's ideas while not ruling out oilsands development.

"There's no contradiction. (One is) having a strong, aspirational debate around a project that says … the other is a practical approach to what is happening in Canada," Mulcair told the Star on Saturday.

Delegates voted to debate the ideas behind the manifesto at the local level for two years, and have that debate inform their 2018 policy convention. The vote angered delegates from Alberta, who are said to number around 400 of 1,800 delegates — and the decision was far from unanimous.

While Mulcair enjoyed the support of a number of union leaders, the convention opened Friday with a speech from Canadian Labour Congress president Hassan Yussuff. Yussuff, who said publicly he would not be supporting Mulcair, criticized parties who focus on parliament more than their own activists — a less than veiled criticism of Mulcair's leadership.

Both Notley and party elder Stephen Lewis gave rousing speeches Saturday, but Notley barely mentioned Mulcair and Lewis stayed above the fray of the leadership debate, focusing instead on the New Democrats' contrasts with Justin Trudeau's Liberals.

Toronto Star