Before their vocal opposition, Mulcair had not yet decided how to handle the bill. In fact, he told Tom Clark that he would not necessarily repeal Bill C-51 if elected, but only make amendments to it. The same stand as Justin's.
Perhaps the biggest mistake made by the Liberal leader, was showing his hand first, instead of waiting while Mulcair danced around the situation.
After all, Mulcair had the most to lose at the time. Quebec was still reeling from the murder of Patrice Vincent, who was run over with a car driven by Martin Couture-Rouleau.
Couture-Rouleau was on the RCMP terrorist watch list, as high risk, but there was little they could do unless he actually committed an act of terror.
In the days before Vincent’s killing, the RCMP tried and failed to restrict Rouleau-Couture’s movements by seeking a court-ordered peace bond to impose conditions on his daily routine. But a Quebec prosecutor reportedly believed there was insufficient evidence to take the case before a judge.
Meanwhile, authorities fear more individuals who are stopped from leaving Canada to become “foreign fighters” with overseas extremist groups will react violently on Canadian soil.Some changes to our security laws were necessary. Changes that might have prevented the death of Patrice Vincent. His sister Louise, spoke before the public safety and national security committee.
The sister of a Canadian soldier killed by a man with jihadist sympathies spoke out in favour of the Conservative government’s controversial anti-terror legislation, saying Bill C-51 is needed to prevent future attacks in the country.
She told a public safety and national security committee Monday that her brother’s death had an impact that went beyond her family or the province of Quebec.
“It touched the whole of Canada,” she said after showing the committee a sampling of letters and cards her family received after Vincent’s death. “It touched the world.”
“So this, C-51, is important,” she said, before adding in French: “Patrice Vincent must not have died in vain.”No one is surprised that Stephen Harper would push through a bill giving himself more control, but did he really need it to stifle dissent? We only have to look at the horrendous human rights abuses in Toronto during the G-20, a few years ago; to know that he will abuse his power, with or without any bill.
However, the way that this thing has been politicized by the NDP for political gain, means that Mr. Vincent's death means nothing to them. They had an opportunity to honour this man by calling for cooler heads to prevail, and sticking to their promise to amend. They should be ashamed.
Was Mulcair Set Up or Just Misguided?
Stephen Harper is not a stupid man. He had to know that there were items in Bill C-51 that would raise the ire of the opposition parties, allowing him to play the role of the only leader willing to protect us and make sure that Patrice Vincent's death was not in vain.
However, not even he, could have anticipated the media circus that Mulcair and the NDP would create. Yes, he knew there would be lots of protests, but has never cared about that. It only helps to feed his ego.
Not only did they temporarily knock Justin Trudeau down for him, but positioned themselves firmly on the side of what Harper has always called the "fringe".
Yes, there is a lot of opposition to the Bill, by many respected people, as well there should be. Because of their concerns, court challenges will remove the most egregious parts. I have enough confidence in our justice system to realize that. So does Thomas Mulcair and the NDP.
I also fully support the actual protesters, just not the groups planted by NDP riding associations, who have an agenda.
Richard Cleroux wrote recently that the NDP's public opposition to the bill could be a silver lining for Harper.
A major electoral factor was at play. If the Liberals had voted against the legislation, it would have given the Conservatives an opening during the general election campaign to say that Trudeau was on the side of terrorists, which is what the Conservatives are saying right now about Mulcair and his New Democrats.
Mulcair promises that if elected to a majority government, he’ll repeal the new law and CSIS and the police will have to continue working under the current anti-terrorism laws that seem to have served Canada so well. Trudeau promises, if elected to a majority government, to repeal some, but not all, parts of the lawNow only Mulcair is viewed as being soft on terror, by those who support the safety measures of Bill C-51, and Harper is already playing to that.
His campaign was launched in Montreal where instead of speaking on his (failed) economic policies, he is focusing on security and his protection of Israel.
Where Trudeau Sets Himself Apart From the Two Old Guys
At a Liberal gathering recently, a group of mostly NDP protesters marched outside, losing their voice while screaming that their freedom of speech was being taken away (get the irony?); several Liberal members came out to address the crowd.
But this wasn't good enough. They were out for blood and wanted Justin.
Despite the risk, young Trudeau complied, confronting the protesters, and answering questions as best he could, over the noise. I think that's the real story here.
Can you imagine Stephen Harper or Thomas Mulcair, confronting a group of noisy protesters? It would never happen. Mulcair's MO was usually to take pot shots at people and then run.
In a discussion over Justin's bravery, that included the usual "Liberal this and Liberal that" nonsense, one reader mentioned a time when she saw Mulcair in action.
The one time I had a chance to meet him at a science and policy conference he took no questions and hustled out without letting the scientists challenge his anti-nuclear and anti-GMO pseudoscience. And we were a friendly audience.This appears to be part of a new pattern. Give your speech and run. He's getting more like Harper everyday.
Both are certainly becoming petty. In Chantel Hebert's piece mentioned above, she revealed Harper's newest strategy in dealing with the growing popularity of Justin Trudeau. He simply refuses to use his name. She calls it a "small and ultimately petty gesture".
Just as petty is Thomas Mulcair, telling his followers that if they read a media report that mentions Justin before him, to write the source and "give them s**t!
Their fear is palpable.
On the other hand, it might be wise for the NDP not to let Mulcair answer questions. When he was in the Quebec legislature, he earned a reputation for his elaborate conspiracy theories. Some of them were quite comical and I plan to share them later.
He didn't need "pseudo-science" to make himself look silly. Often he just had to open his mouth.
It's going to be a long two and a half months for the poor man.