Open letter from Tom Mulcair to the Muslim community

Official Opposition leader, Tom Mulcair, wrote an open letter to the Muslim community

Dear Friends,

This has been a difficult and sombre week in Canada. We were all shocked by the terrible and violent events in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and in our nation’s capital, and we are united in mourning the deaths of two Canadian soldiers. We will not forget them and join with the Muslim community in sending our heartfelt condolences to their family and friends.

As we struggle to comprehend these terrible events, we stand shoulder to shoulder with our Muslim brothers and sisters. We are all Canadian, and we have all been profoundly touched by this tragedy.

In the days and weeks to come, whether talking about protecting civilians in the Middle East, fighting racism and Islamophobia or ensuring rights are respected here at home, New Democrats can be counted on to stand up for human rights.

These horrific, cowardly acts will not intimidate us. We will not allow them to divide our great country – instead, we must ensure they bring Canadians closer together.

Moving forward, we will continue doing the hard of work of ensuring Canadians’ safety while guarding our shared values of freedom, tolerance and an inclusive democracy.

We join you in praying for peace and safety for all Canadians.

 

Yours sincerely,

Thomas Mulcair

Leader of the Official Opposition \ Chef de l’Opposition officielle

*A copy of the letter is attached

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Statement on arrest in Halifax

NDP Deputy Leader Megan Leslie made the following statement:

 After yesterday’s tragic and traumatic events in Ottawa, this news is especially disturbing. However, it demonstrates that our law enforcement and first responders are on high alert across our country, and are ready to take swift action in order to protect the safety of Canadians.  On behalf of the NDP, I extend my sincere gratitude to these women and men.

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Speech by Thomas Mulcair on shooting at Parliament Hill and War Memorial

My fellow Canadians,

Today, the peace of our nation’s capital was shattered by an act of hatred and brutality. A cowardly act, designed to strike at the very heart of our democracy— at the heart of who we are.

But I stand here tonight in solidarity— side-by-side with my colleagues, with our Prime Minister and with all Canadians.

This attack struck with sudden and deadly violence.

It was carried out on the very ground where we come together to exchange ideas with the knowledge that whatever our differences we will always resolve them peacefully.

It was intended to make us more fearful of our neighbours and less confident in ourselves.

But it has failed.

Today’s events have instead only succeeded in drawing us closer, in making us stronger.

To the brave women and men of law enforcement, our security services and our Canadian Forces: Your determination, your professionalism and indeed your heroism today will not soon be forgotten.

Just as we have all borne witness to these horrific acts, we have watched in awe your acts of courage— now an abiding emblem of Canadian strength, values and valour.

The thoughts and prayers of everyone here in our nation’s capital are with the family and loved ones of Corporal Nathan Cirillo— the Canadian Forces member from Hamilton, Ontario who lost his life this morning, the second in just a few days.
Corporal Cirillo was literally standing on guard at a monument dedicated to the sacrifice of others who came before him.

To his family and friends, I tell you that 35 million Canadians— at home and abroad, from coast-to-coast-to-coast and around the world— stand with you tonight.

And we will not forget.

In this moment, Canadians are united in grief, and stricken with disbelief.

Canada is shaken today, but we shall not waver.

We woke up this morning in a country blessed by love, diversity and peace, and tomorrow we will do the same.

These acts were driven by hatred, but also designed to drive us to hate.

They will not.

We will stand up, and we will stand together.

We will persevere, and we will prevail.

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NDP statement on shooting at Parliament Hill and War Memorial

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair’s Principal Secretary, Karl Bélanger, made the following statement:

 “This morning’s horrifying attack has shocked all Canadians and shattered the peace of our nation’s capital. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the soldier killed and the people who were injured, and we are deeply grateful for the soldiers and law enforcement officials who quickly and courageously protected the public today.

As we seek to comprehend the enormity of this event, Canada stands united in grief and in resolute determination that we will not give in to fear.  May we give strength to each other at this difficult time.

The leader of the Official Opposition has spoken to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and will be issuing a statement later.”

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Conservatives should answer Malala’s call

Conservatives have yet to pledge to the Global Partnership for Education following June replenishment conference

New Democrats renewed their call on the Canadian government to provide funding for the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) replenishment.

 “This year’s Nobel Peace Prize went in part to Malala Yousafzai, the world’s leading advocate for girls’ education. Malala and many civil society activists have asked the Government of Canada to make a significant pledge to the Global Partnership for Education. Now is the time to answer the call,” said NDP International Development critic Hélène Laverdière (Laurier – Sainte-Marie).

 Laverdière expressed concern that Canada is lagging behind other countries on this issue. Unlike many other countries, Canada did not make a pledge at the June 2014 replenishment conference held in Brussels. Yet the Global Partnership for Education has a proven track record of success, helping 46 partner countries get nearly 22 million more children in school since 2003.

 “Funding for global education would complement Canada’s approach to Maternal, Newborn and Child Health” said Laverdière, noting that “education has major secondary impacts on the health of women and children by reducing the number of preventable deaths.”

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The fight to keep home mail delivery is far from over

Maintaining home mail delivery remains one of the NDP’s main priorities as it intensifies its campaign to save the services Canadians rely on and deserve. 

“With this government’s marked trend toward privatization, I would like to know if this is also their plan for Canada Post. Canadians are adamant about continuing to receive their mail at home,” said NDP Labour critic Alexandre Boulerice (Rosemont – La Petite-Patrie), who was joined by Susan Dixon – the woman behind the petition to keep home mail delivery, which now has 200,000 signatures.  

The end of home mail delivery will be particularly hard on seniors and people living with disabilities—something Canada Post and Conservatives have completely ignored.

“Susan Dixon’s petition has struck a chord with Canadians because she speaks for the many who will endure significant hardships if home mail delivery is ended,” added Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) President, Denis Lemelin, who was also in attendance today.

Boulerice also noted that Canada Post’s financial situation simply does not justify these cuts and criticized the lack of consultations to inform Canadians of the reasons for, and potential impact of, these changes.

“Citizens are being kept in the dark, but they have a right to know the truth. How much will the new community mailboxes cost? We need answers,” added Boulerice.

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Jean-François Larose betrays the memory of Jack Layton

The NDP caucus has criticized Repentigny MP Jean-François Larose for his decision to join a regional party.

 “This is a clear-cut act of disloyalty and betrayal of the memory of Jack Layton, along with the democratic choice of Repentigny voters,” said the Chair of the NDP’s Quebec caucus, Robert Aubin (Trois-Rivières).

 The NDP believes that MPs must respect the will of voters – a fundamental principle in our democracy. As a result, we unanimously voted in favour of a bill that would force defectors to step down and run under their new party banner in a by-election. 

 “Larose voted for this bill. Therefore, I would ask that he demonstrate that he is a man of principle and immediately step down in order to force a by-election in Repentigny ,” added Quebec caucus vice-Chair, Élaine Michaud (Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier).

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Conservatives and Liberals abandon belugas

Despite opposition from experts and citizens, Conservative and Liberal MPs have chosen to put the oil port project in Gros-Cacouna ahead of protecting St. Lawrence belugas – a threatened species under the Species at Risk Act. During a vote in the House of Commons tonight, they rejected the NDP motion to oppose this project.

“Conservatives and Liberals have once again sided with oil companies and ignored environmental consequences, instead of acting in the interest of their citizens and protecting a threatened species,” said Deputy NDP Environment critic François Choquette (Drummond).

This oil port project, which would be built right in the middle of the belugas’ natural habitat in the St. Lawrence Estuary, would have dire consequences for the survival of this species. In addition, the project does not meet basic sustainable development criteria for our natural resources that a growing number of Canadians strongly support.

“This project would be harmful to the environment, contrary to the public will and present almost no economic benefit for Canada. It’s shameful that the Liberals joined forces with the Conservatives to reject this motion, after positioning themselves as ardent defenders of the environment,” added Choquette.

This vote shows the NDP is the only party that will continue to fight to protect the St. Lawrence Belugas’ habitat, and to defend the interests of Canadians who care about the environment.

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Statement by Tarik Brahmi following the hit-and-run in Saint-Jean

Saint-Jean MP, Tarik Brahmi, made the following statement in response to the hit-and-run involving two military personnel in his riding:

“This was a tragic event and my thoughts go out to the two military officers who were injured in this hit-and-run, along with their families. I wish them both a speedy recovery. The allegations surrounding this hit-and-run are very serious and I have complete faith that the Sûreté du Québec investigators will shed light on the full set of circumstances surrounding this event. In the meantime, let’s allow the police to do their work and avoid jumping to conclusions.”

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Statement on the Alberta NDP Leadership results

Official Opposition Leader Tom Mulcair made the following statement regarding the Alberta NDP leadership results:

“On behalf of Canada’s New Democrats I extend sincere congratulations to Rachel Notley on her election as leader of the Alberta NDP. 

New Democrats have deep roots in Alberta and I’m looking forward to working with Rachel Notley as we unite progressives to build a greener, more prosperous Canada where no one is left behind.”

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