The House

Tom Mulcair to keep 'steady hand on the tiller' until next NDP leader is chosen

This week on The House, Tom Mulcair wants to put an end to the rumours: he plans to stay on as leader of the NDP until his permanent replacement is chosen. Then, Conservative leadership hopeful Tony Clement weighs into the debate over the idea of a "anti-Canadian values" test for new immigrants.
Federal NDP Leader Tom Mulcair makes a speech during the 2016 NDP Federal Convention in Edmonton Alta, on Sunday, April 10, 2016. (Jason Franson/Canadian Press)
Listen to the full episode49:59

"You bet."​

Despite some rumblings, Tom Mulcair is planning to stay on as leader of the NDP until his permanent replacement is chosen.

"What I am happy to report is that I am looking forward to being a steady hand on the tiller as we bring the ship into port for the next leader," Mulcair told The House.

Back in April, party members present at the party's convention voted 52 per cent in favour of holding a leadership contest.

At the time, Mulcair announced that after talking to caucus the decision was made that he would stay at the helm until his successor is chosen.

This week, CBC News learned that a number of current and former NDP MPs have approached party president Marit Stiles to express frustration with leader Tom Mulcair's performance, saying it is time for him to step down and hand the reins of the party over to someone else.

"I am going to stay on until the next leader is there." - NDP leader Tom Mulcair

But Mulcair maintained he has the support to stay on for the time being.

"There's no question that the entire caucus has been spoken to and I've been speaking to them consistently throughout the summer in great numbers and support is extremely strong and I am very happy," he said.

Tom Mulcair wants to make something clear: despite the rumours, he plans to stay on as leader of the NDP until his permanent replacement is chosen. He joins us to talk about his future... and that of his party. 14:15

Clement's pitch: No to values test. Yes to enhanced security.

Conservative MP Tony Clement is applauded by supporters as he holds a rally in Mississauga, Ontario to announce his candidacy for the leadership of the Federal Conservative Party on Tuesday, July 12, 2016. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)

An "anti-Canadian values" test is an "unworkable and undesirable" option that focuses on the wrong thing according to Conservative leadership candidate Tony Clement.

"The problem with that proposal is that it focuses the attention of government officials to try to find ways to decide whether someone might be a good Canadian or might be a bad Canadian in the future and I just think that's completely unworkable," Clement told The House.

Instead, he argued the focus should be on enhancing security measures and focusing on potential terrorist threats.

Fellow leadership candidate Kellie Leitch continued this week to defend her suggestion that would-be immigrants should be screened for "anti-Canadian values," despite the criticism she's faced.

"It's not intolerant to believe in a set of values we expect everyone to share," Leitch told The Current this week.

On The House mid-week podcast, both Tim Powers from Summa Strategies and Jason MacDonald from Hill and Knowlton Strategies criticized Leitch's approach.

On The House mid-week podcast, Tim Powers and Jason MacDonald discuss how the Kellie Leitch "anti-Canadian values'" test story has been unfolding and its potential impact on the Conservative leadership race. 17:15

"The real threat is people who have thoughts and opinions and then translate those into violent actions against Canada and Canadians. Those are the people that I want to concentrate on, the terrorists who threaten national security," Clement said.

"What I'm looking at is greater registration of entry and exit for travellers to our country, doing immigration and refugee board hearings via video-conference wherever possible so that people who are trying to access our country don't step foot on our soil before we start that process going. We're going to have to, frankly, have to acquire more biometric info for foreign nationals, and we also to coordinate our efforts better, so I'm looking at a new terrorism secretariat, as well as cracking down on online recruitment, prohibiting foreign funds from being used for terrorist and recruiting efforts."

The Conservative leadership campaign has been dominated by the "anti-Canadian values" test discussion. Where does candidate Tony Clement stand on the issue? What's his pitch to his party's members? 10:34

The Senate's transformation continues. What's next?

The Senate chamber. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

At this time last year, there were 6 independent Senators.

There are now 24.

And there are currently 20 seats that are expected to soon be filled with more unaffiliated Senators. 

Combined that with the changes that have been brought in following the expenses scandal and you have a rapidly changing institution.

CBC senior reporter Alison Crawford looked at how the Red Chamber has changed since last year's election and what the next developments might be.

With 20 new unaffiliated Senators about the be appointed, the next few months will see even more changes come to the Red Chamber. CBC Senior Reporter Alison Crawford looks at how things have changed since last year's election... and what could be next. 14:35

In House panel - Mulcair's future and a fall preview

The centre block of the Parliament buildings in Ottawa. (Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

School is back in session. 

And Parliament is not far behind.

We look ahead to the fall sitting with Joël-Denis Bellavance, parliamentary bureau chief for La Presse, and Susan Delacourt, senior writer for the Toronto Star and iPolitics.

We look ahead to the fall sitting with Joël-Denis Bellavance, parliamentary bureau chief for La Presse, and Susan Delacourt, senior writer for the Toronto Star and iPolitics. 10:03