Tom Mulcair talks TPP, next 'orange wave' to party faithful in B.C.

Tom Mulcair says he'll focus on the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal, an inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women, and electoral reform over the next four years as he leads the NDP.

NDP leader says trade deal bad for Canadian jobs and farming industry

Federal NDP Leader Tom Mulcair told the B.C. provincial NDP convention in Vancouver on Sunday that his party will push for proportional representation in choosing MPs, among other things, when Parliament resumes. (Graham Hughes/Canadian Press)

Tom Mulcair says he'll focus on the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal, an inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and electoral reform over the next four years as he leads the federal NDP.

Mulcair laid out priorities for his deflated New Democratic Party during the counterpart B.C. provincial party's convention in Vancouver today.The federal party went from 103 seats in 2011 to just 44 in last month's election.

He said the election results were not what the party had hoped for, but he was happy for being able to grow the B.C. caucus to 14 members of Parliament.

"All we have to do is to make sure that in 2019, everybody understands that the orange wave starts in the Pacific and works its way east," he said.

Mulcair also stressed that the election resulted in the second-largest number of NDP MPs in history, putting a positive spin on the party's current state.

He took the opportunity to criticize the TPP, saying the massive trade deal would put Canadian jobs at risk, increase the cost of medicine and threaten the country's farming industry.

"This was a trade deal negotiated in secret behind closed doors. Canadians did not see the full text of the agreement before the election, and there's no reason for the new government not to release the full text, including side agreements, right now."

Electoral reform

One of the biggest priorities Mulcair highlighted is to fight for proportional representation in Parliament, calling the current first-past-the-post system of electing MPs "out of date."

"Every vote should count, and in the last election again, more than 30 per cent of Canadians stayed home," he said. "The entire House of Commons should truly resemble the diversity of our country because, as we have heard before, it is 2015," he said, referring to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's now-famous comment from last week.

He also outlined the need for an inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women, and to usher in a "new era of nation-to-nation relations with First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada."

He said an inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women would begin with consulting the women's families.

Mulcair also spoke to members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees at their national convention on Friday.

The NDP chief said the party will continue to uphold the values of past leaders such as Jack Layton and former Saskatchewan premier Tommy Douglas, including free universal health care and environmental protection.

Mulcair addressed his caucus and the media last Wednesday for the first time since the election.


  • This story has been updated from a previous version that incorrectly stated Tom Mulcair was to address his caucus Wednesday for the first time since the election. In fact, that happened last Wednesday.
    Nov 08, 2015 6:13 PM ET


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