NDP Leader Tom Mulcair says he envisions himself becoming a source of guidance and experience for his party after giving up his Commons seat — something that could happen as early as this fall or winter.
Mulcair, who has been serving as the party’s interim leader since the NDP opted to elect a new steward in 2016, says he hasn’t made up his mind about how long he’ll remain the MP for Outremont after handing over the reins.
“The people of Outremont asked me to be their MP,” he told The West Block‘s Vassy Kapelos.
“That’s what I’m going to continue to do for a certain time. There are some parts of this that I haven’t decided yet, and I’m just saying that simply.”
Mulcair was first elected to the House of Commons a decade ago after serving in the Quebec National Assembly for over 12 years. He said he plans to “aid as much as I can” as the NDP gears up for the next federal election in 2019. That’s a race Mulcair has already said he won’t run.
“I’d love to become sort of a Stephen Lewis-esque grandfatherly figure always to be called upon for help and advice,” he said, referring to former Ontario NDP leader and diplomat Stephen Lewis.
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For the moment, Mulcair said, he’s focused on highlighting what he believes are the failings of the current Liberal government under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The Liberals have abandoned a number of key promises, he said, in particular, linked to democratic reform, use of omnibus legislation and access to information.
“They just dropped them without even apologizing,” the NDP leader said, noting that while recent polls show nearly 40 per cent of Canadians would vote Liberal again tomorrow, he sees the government approaching a “critical mass of broken promises.”
“People are starting to notice … it’s taking a while but it’s going through,” Mulcair said.
“I have to be really honest and admit that especially their leader has a knack for communication and for emoting.”
The NDP will choose their new leader this fall.
Watch the full interview with NDP leader Tom Mulcair above.