Mulcair says he had ‘no intention’ of running for Conservatives

NDP leader Thomas Mulcair flatly denied Tuesday that he was ever considering a run as a Conservative candidate in Quebec. He says he was in talks with them about working for the Prime Minister’s Office as an advisor, but declined because of the Tories’ environmental stance – not over money squabbles, as Maclean’s Magazine reported.

Mulcair made the comment to a group of reporters in the wake of a Maclean’s article that said the opposition leader was close to joining the Prime Minister’s Office as an advisor in 2007 before saddling up with the NDP.

The Maclean’s report said the advisory position was to be first step towards Mulcair running for the Conservative party. Mulcair, however, denied that.

“I had absolutely no intention in running for the Conservatives,” he told reporters, adding that the report of the $180,000 job offer is “absolutely false.”

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The magazine cited several anonymous sources claiming discussions between the PMO and Mulcair broke down over money, with Mulcair wanting nearly $300,000 – almost double what Harper’s office offered.

But Mulcair said it was disagreements over environmental policy, not money, that brought an end to the negotiations.

“As soon as I was able to have a substantial discussion with them and find out what their positions were on key issues like climate change and Kyoto, I put an end to the discussions. And what I chose to do instead was run for a party that represented my values.”

With files from The Canadian Press