He wasn’t there when he said it

Tom Mulcair has been roundly criticized by media and other parties for his opportunistic comments regarding the Lac-Megantic tragedy where he seemed to be automatically putting blame on the government and looking for root causes right from the onset.

There is a time and place for such things of course but never while such a disaster is fresh and people are still unaccounted for.

But then to categorically deny he ever uttered the words even though caught on video is a serious gaffe and calls into question the integrity and good judgement of the Prime-Minister-In-Waiting.

Kelly McParland says it well:

So, to clarify, he insists he didn’t try to link the government to the tragedy, but then — while touring the devastated town — accuses Conservatives of cutting back on safety. He insists he’s misquoted in the video, but makes the same accusations more than once…

[As an interesting side-note, McParland’s references to the Conservatives and Rob Ford following that portion of the online article have been cut from the print edition. I’m guessing they were deemed not relevant and rightly so – especially the part about Ford.]

There is no doubt that Angry Tom’s little outburst did nothing to help his image. You can be sure that this will come back to haunt him during the next federal election.

This entry was posted in Canadian Government, Canadian Parliament, Canadian Politics, NDP, Thomas Mulcair. Bookmark the permalink.

57 Responses to He wasn’t there when he said it

  1. fh says:

    typical doublespeak Mulcair “do what Mulcair tells you to do. Do not do what Mulcair does” ndpq doublespeak

  2. Gabby in QC says:

    It is not surprising Tom Mulcair is backtracking somewhat from what he said. He’s doing so only because there was initially some negative reaction. Andrew Coyne, no friend of the Harper government himself, wrote a good column about Mulcair’s knee-jerk reaction. http://o.canada.com/2013/07/10/trying-to-score-political-points-before-knowing-all-the-facts-is-reckless/

    But Mulcair’s not the only one blaming the Conservatives for supposedly allowing the deregulation of transporting hazardous materials like oil and natural gas. That is the usual knee-jerk reaction: to find someone to blame, usually the government and the owner of the company involved in the accident. A local radio jock spent about 15 minutes a couple of days ago quoting the owner of the MMA railway company, mocking him & saying what he thought the owner SHOULD have said, because he didn’t sound contrite enough to satisfy the radio jock.

    What those critics forget, though, is that no amount of regulation or enforcement of strict regulations will guarantee that unwitting human error OR malicious intent will be completely eradicated. Tragic as the Lac Mégantic incident is, the fact remains that Canada, despite its huge geographical expanse necessitating an equally huge number of railway & road trips to get goods to market, has had very few incidents of the Lac-Mégantic magnitude. An acquaintance of mine traveling in Europe at the time reminded me about an eerily similar incident that took place in Viareggio Italy in 2009. In reading up on it, I happened upon the number of major train derailments that took place between 2009 and 2013 (culled from various Wiki pages). Total: 66, of which only 2 happened in Canada, including Lac Mégantic.

    What about some other countries’ incidents? Sweden 2; Switzerland & Germany 4 each; England & Scotland combined 6; Norway 6; U.S. 8. I’m quite sure those countries, especially the Scandinavian ones, must have quite stringent regulations, perhaps even more stringent than ours. Yet derailments have happened there too, and in even higher numbers than in Canada.

    Conclusion? Politicians should think and get their facts straight before shooting off their mouths. I know, wishful thinking.

  3. Bubba Brown says:

    Wow I will say it backwards Wow, what a week we get a “two-fer” ( two of) not to be confused with a “bogo” (buy one get one).
    Is there something about facial hair that short circuits logic?
    What with Mao Tsu Suziki offering up enviromental nirvana for only 80 billion, he like God will build a nest for the blind bird.
    I guess he was on a mental health day when it was explained the “nest” was in some cat’s tummy, but I digress, Canada is “Full”.
    I always thought Dr Doom was full of an excess of organic matter.
    As to full I had not noticed, perhaps some recent immigrants wandered onto Suzuki’s waterfront estate and looked at him, his all female bodyguards all haveing been at the mall having their toe-nails done in an enviro-mentally fashionable shade.
    Meanwhile Mr Muclair on a Diplomatic Mission to France (to visit his inlaws at our expense).
    Well he denies that he said what he said, because, well, he could not have said such a thing.
    Even if he did say it over and over again.
    That man talking to CTV, that is the evil Harper, wearing a beard!
    Sacre Bleu!
    Da same colour they painted dat hairplane!
    Somehow like the 60’s television series “the Fugitive” whose nemesis the “one armed man.”
    Mr McParland pursues the improbable, invisible, unobtainable “video” of doom allegedly starring the Mayor of Toronto, who when he isn’t making it rain by his excesses of KFC, indulges in film making with Somilan unlicensed drug distributors.
    This film can only be seen by Journalists ?
    We just have to “trust” them not our lying eyes.
    No “news” item in Full Canada apparently, is complete without a reference to this
    Sigh I am “Full”
    But I noticed that some recent immigrants have just noticed that swearing alligance to the crown is part of the Canadian Cizenship ceremony and they want that changed.
    They are free to somewhere else I am thinking, we are “full” of nuts already.

    • Greg says:

      Always enjoy reading your posts Bubba. Yes – Dr. Fruit Fly epitomizes the liberal hypocrite. He has 3 mansions, but everyone else should live in a Soviet style apartment block with 500 sq feet per famliy and shared bathrooms. His family immigrated here for a better life, but to hell with anyone else. He and everyone like him jet all over the world using more CO2 in one return flight than an average family in 1 year, but the poor who can’t afford to fly are supposed to suck it up and pay taxes on fuel to heat their homes and get to work. I’m am getting sicker of these people every day, and I was pretty sick of them before. Whoever thought it would be a good idea to name a school in Brampton after this commie nut should be taken out and strapped in public the good old fashioned way.

      • Liz J says:

        Wonder if Suzuki considers himself part of the human race he has referred to as maggots and fruit flies living in their own excrement?

        • Martin says:

          Dr Fruit Fly sees no inconsistency in advocating zero , or 1 child for young Canadian students, while fathering 5 children himself. A larger hypocrite would be impossible to find.

      • Frances says:

        Perhaps Canada wouldn’t be so full if Dr Suzuki and family would reduce their ‘footprint’ to that of regular Canadians. There must be room for a goodly number of immigrants on the excess he consumes.

    • Liz J says:

      I do hope Jason Kenney tells them to take the oath as it stands for this country or get their butt heads out of here. People can’t come here and demand we change our laws, our Constitution to fit with their beliefs or hatreds but they can come here and obey our laws and live as we do. We stand for something, or we stand for nothing. By bending to trouble makers who have an axe to grind against our principles,our sovereign state, or a hatred for our link to the British Monarchy, we stand for nothing.

    • fh says:

      I think the would be Canadian citizens are in the wrong country if they think swearing an oath to the Queen of Canada is discriminatory
      they should be asked to leave Canada not catered to

      • Liz J says:

        Exactly right but it won’t happen, we’re too lenient, we’ll pay their legal fees to fight us.

  4. Frances says:

    When will M. Mulcair think of blaming this on the oilsands?

  5. Bubba Brown says:

    Poor old train wreck Tommy just when he and Suzuki the maggot farmer thought they had a shot at stopping the rising of the seas etc;
    Australia has discovered oil shale deposits that are larger than Canada’s!
    That smell is Tommy setting fire to his beard ROFLMAO!
    Seems to me we were told by real scientists that we had enough oil for 600 years and enough natural gas for 1000 years.
    I guess we can double that, makes me a happy little crappy maggot.
    Suzuki has a carbon foot print the size of a city, hypocrite indeed, telling people not to breed while he does just that, typical elitiest with his tax free foundation.
    He can do no wrong with CBC pimping for him.
    I think he is entitled to his POV I don’t think he should have acess to our children to spread his gospel.

    • Martin says:

      See Paulstuff on BT for commentary re the deathly silence of CBC and Suzuki, compared to CBC and Tom Flanagan. Suzuki still gainfully employed by the national broadcaster.

  6. Gabby in QC says:

    There’s ben another tragic rail derailment … this time in Paris France, with 6 casualties thus far + many injured. I wonder if Tom Mulcair will scold the French government for making cuts to their transport safety, since he seems to know right from the very beginning of every accident where to lay the blame.

    • Joanne says:

      Gabby – Exactly what I was thinking. Hopefully he learned to keep his big yap shut.

    • Bec says:

      There are times…and this would be one of them that ‘karma’ has some credibility. He will eat some humble pie, as hard as that will be.

      To the sadness and tragedy of this one now too, heart breaking.

  7. Joe says:

    Regarding the railway tragedy poor old Tommy is barkin’ up the wrong tree. The way to prevent such events from occurring is not more regulation or government oversight but rather simple technology. The railways haven’t had the need and therefore did nothing to change technology created 100 years ago.

    Imagine yourself as the engineer of the train. You just drove the train for X hours and you are tired. It is time to change over so you leave the engine running and following protocol walk back along the train hand setting the brakes on a given number of cars along the length of the train. If the train is about 80 cars long for example the train is over a mile in length. So you just put in your 8 hours and now you have the job of walking a mile down and a mile back as you turn the locking wheels on various cars.

    Now compare that to your modern automobile. When I was a kid you used to test how good a truck you had by how much load in what gear could you start the engine without using the clutch. Now you have to fully depress the clutch or the starter won’t engage. Back on the old truck you turned a key (or shorted the wires) and stepped on a starter button. Now unless you have a key with the right chip in it the starter will not engage.

    Given the fact that a tired engineer is not likely to be the most diligent at locking up the car brakes wouldn’t it make sense to have an automatic braking system that would engage on demand or even if the engineer steps out of the cab?

    • Sandy says:

      Exactly what I was thinking Joe. “The railways haven’t had the need and therefore did nothing to change technology created 100 years ago.”

      My maternal grandfather was a CP engineer out of North Bay, Ontario, for his whole working life, including during the depression. I have photos of me when I was only 3 or 4 in his arms way up in his engine’s window.

      In the late 1940s he was in a horrific accident not far from North Bay. He was the only employee to survive (the two trains that crashed were freights and the old steamers) and had his lungs burned and legs and arms broken and spent months in hospital. The only reason he survived is that he saw the other train coming and had two seconds to throw his legs out the small window. When the trains hit he went air borne and came in contact with the electric wires which is what caused his burn. Other employees (and the cattle in the his train) died in the horrendous fire that resulted. His nickname at the hospital was Lucky Lindy after Linbergh.

      His son, my uncle, was a conductor for CP as well and retired about twenty years ago, about the time they stopped having a caboose and trainman/conductor. He’s in a nursing home now in North Bay and, from what I hear, saddened by the accident. He is also amazed at how many “cars” are now included on one train under one man’s supervision.

      It’s crazy! Hopefully, given these latest accidents, technology will now improve.

  8. Liz J says:

    Tommy jumped the gun with his untimely remarks on the tragedy, he may also have jumped the shark.

    Betting he won’t be making any remarks about the Paris derailment being due to cuts in government funding, That would tarnish his diplomatic pose as he practices to be Prime Minister. He may get an interest in politics in France if all doesn’t go well for him here, he has citizenship.

  9. Bubba Brown says:

    Cue the NDP-Q kazoo chorus…………….. Oh I’m a dual-citzen whack job and I’m OK . I whine all day and go to the lavvetree……………
    apologies to Monty Python, John Cleese etc;
    Then I’m off to Gay Pareeeeee……………..
    The following article is GOLD hard time believing it is in Macleans, enjoy !
    This is true and as good as it gets, worth saving to fav’s

    by Ken Boessenkool on Friday, July 12, 2013 1:43pm:

    A number of the Canadian commentariat have worked themselves into a lather saying that of the many bad things Stephen Harper’s Conservative government is, conservative isn’t among them. Or for some, of the many good things the Conservative government isn’t, conservative is among them.

    Both groups are wrong. Profoundly wrong…


    On the whole, the Harper government learned well one lesson of the ill-fated Martin government. That government never seemed to find a small problem they weren’t willing to turn into a big problem. And so Harper successfully campaigned against them saying, “if you have hundreds of priorities, you have no priorities.”

    Harper, in contrast, focuses on small, incremental, doable policy…


    Early on, Harper managed to undo some fairly big initiatives of his predecessors. Anyone who has been in government knows that inertia is probably the most powerful force. And hence undoing bad policy ought to be hailed as a victory, a step forward, a conservative coup…

    Tax and Social Policy

    But enough about incrementalism and undoing. Have the Harper Conservatives actually done anything conservative?


    Let’s start with the big ones – tax and social policy…

    Foreign Policy

    The other big one is foreign policy. For decades the Canadian government sought to be a middle power, a consensus builder and a follower. A sideshow in nearly all eyes but our own. The Harper Conservatives energetically turned the page on this approach. Harper took sides on the global stage openly, early and emphatically…

    Economic Stimulus

    [Please read more at the link provided]

    • Joanne says:

      Bubba, thanks so much for that list. However since it is the property of Macleans, I’m going to edit your comment to provide a link and snippets in each category. Thanks for your understanding.

  10. Sandy says:

    Wow! Well Done Bubba. This could be made into a new type of accomplishment list.

  11. Mary T says:

    One of those complaining about taking the Oath to the Queen has been in Canada since 1964. Would love to see his tax returns re Are you a Canadian Citizen- or his census, and wonder if he has ever voted in Canada. Oh, and does he have a Cdn Passport. He says he is an activist and works to get rid of the Queen. Is he married, have kids born in Canada. Does he get any govt cheques or spend Canadian money. He shouldn’t as it has the Queen’s picture. If he makes enough noise Can Rev might check up on him and find he has filed false returns without thinking about it. I know a few people who thought they were Canadians only to discover they weren’t. Children of war brides comes to mind. My sister/law was born in Sweet Grass Montana and never knew she was not Canadian till she applied for a passport one summer when in University. She had voted in elections, filed tax returns etc. She got that fixed in a hurray. That hospital was the nearest to her parent’s farm, and lots of kids were born there.

  12. Bubba Brown says:

    Impressive yes! But then so is our Conservative Majority Government.
    They make the news and do the heavy lifting, those who just whing, whine , preen, posture, and just read the news, Listening Mr Mandsbridge?

  13. Frances says:

    Today I’m mourning with the residents of Lac Megtanique. Such a disaster – my prayers for the dead and those who mourn them.

    That being said, we have to remember that many towns, particularly in the West, grew up around the rail lines. I’ve been long enough on the Prairies to remember th cries of towns when CPR and/or CNR dropped branch lines, effectively closing their grain elevators and forcing local farmers into long-haul situations for their grain. The Calgary mayor is posturing about this; he needs to learn some history: Calgary grew around the CPR station, though not without issues (there was a local woman whose pigs kept straying onto the tracks, with the expected consequences and her cries for compensation, as I remember). It is at it is: to be blunt, CPR did extremely well during the flood, and it’s rather doubtful whether a bridge built to current engineering standards would have stood up as well as the 102-year old one did.

    However, towns like Lac la Biche – and, no doubt others – have a point: it’s one thing to have a small rural railway passing through town; it’s quite another to suddenly have multi trains per day running through. It’s as if the old gravelled road through town suddenly becomes a four-lane throughway, but with no provision for access by the locals.

    Of course, the real irony is that this was Bakken oil from North Dakota travelling – via Canada (and why this route is a real issue) – to a refinery in Maine using a railway with an American CEO (or whatever that man’s title is) who didn’t even figure out that, given the accident happened in Quebec (albeit in the Eastern Townships which were historically English) a Francophone translater might have been a good idea.

    • Gabby in QC says:

      Good points. But to be fair to the Chairman of the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway, there was a francophone spokesman from the company in Lac-Mégantic from the beginning of the incident but apparently, according to a Montreal radio reporter cum commentator, the public was dissatisfied with his performance too.

      This column is instructive on how a polished PR performance should go

      However, what is the usual reaction following such performances?
      “Spin” “Talking points” “Photo op” “Scripted” i.e. insincere.
      In other words, the proverbial “damned if you do, damned if you don’t”.

  14. Liz J says:

    I’m more than a little teed with these s-disturbers who are taking us to court over swearing allegiance to our Queen.
    I’m with Matt gurney in the NP today: “If you don’t want to pledge allegiance to the queen, don’t move to a Commonwealth country”.
    I especially agree with this:”Becoming a citizen of a new country is a tremendous responsibility. If you can’t sign up for all of it we don’t need you”. I’m hoping Jason Kenney makes some intervention and refuses them citizenship.

  15. Gabby in QC says:

    Another good column from Andrew Coyne:
    Despite calls for reviews, Canadian railway safety is getting better, not worse
    … If the rails are indeed unsafe, if the regulatory regime has been fatally weakened, it should show up in the accident statistics: over time, a higher probability of accidents will translate into their actuality. These statistics are easily available from the Transportation Safety Board website. Yet they [statistics] are never cited — possibly because they show, unambiguously, that rail safety is improving, steadily and markedly. …”

  16. Gabby in QC says:

    Another good column about reactions to the Lac-Mégantic tragedy, by Eric Duhaime (via NNW, like other links I provided in previous comments):
    “… There have been, unfortunately, a few vulture-politicians hovering around Lac-Megantic in the last few days who, instead of feeling the pain of a decimated community, have tried to push their political parties’ ideologies and blame their opponents for what could be the worst railway tragedy in Canadian history. …”

    • Liz J says:

      Count on Eric Duhaime for reasoned comment. He’s a first class journalist, he’s got this one pegged right on the mark.

  17. Bubba Brown says:

    On the colonizers that are pretending to be immigrants;
    Who are kvetching about taking a citzenship oath.
    As the grandson of an orphan immigrant from the slums of Glasgow who came here at 10 for a better life.
    All on his own, strange country, sent to a farm by the Pas, treated like a rented mule.
    He walked away by 12, never looked back.
    All he wanted was opportunity to live with hope, to own the roof over his head.
    Not for a handout, he worked his whole life.
    When 4 of his sons were overseas fighting for Canada and to free Europe from the 1000 years of darkness, that would have been their lot under the Nazi jackboot.
    He was cutting cordwood in the bush with a bucksaw and an axe hauling it out to a trail stacking it and then hauling it to the mill stacking it again.
    He got paid $5.00 a cord, less what he paid the truck for hauling.
    He was 70 then and put $700 dollars by that winter.
    That fall he had put up 60 tons of hay, he mentioned having a heck of a time getting binder wire and that the days weren’t long enough.
    That winter he found time to set his traps for muskrat they were getting over a dollar for a prime hide, big money!
    That is a lot of wood, he was not a big man, but ate no “idle bread”
    I have his letters to my Mom, a woman he had yet to meet.
    She was a war bride living in London, soon to face the north Atlantic in a returning convoy to come to Canada.
    The war was very much still on.
    They passed a inbound convoy as they came out into the North Atlantic.
    Mom said they lined the rails and waved at one another.
    They had been given a pass by the wolfpack, which then pounced on the heavily laden
    My family came here from great adversity is my point.
    Times have changed, yes, but I am thinking we are making it too easy for some of these colonizers.
    I just don’t understand the hardship of an oath of citzenship.
    This ain’t there, it’s here, if you want to bring there here, maybe you should just stay there, save us all a lot of aggravation.
    My kin were and we are proud Canadians who appreciated the opportunity to come here from the terror of war, the grinding poverty of the old world.
    We have lived free and prospered and are proud to be called Canadian, we call no man master.
    The colonizers who seek to change our customs and loyalties, who disrespect our tradition and law, should be shown the door, they are free to leave and to go back from whence they came.
    Disrespecting us from the git-go is a poor way to start out, says much about your unsuitability as an immigrant.

    • Liz J says:

      Well said Bubba. Sad too are the legals who agree to take their cases instead of telling them to shove off. This is how it is in this Monarchical system in the Dominion of Canada from sea to shining sea. We live free under the rule of law in the best country in the world with no interference from our Soverign. We have had no civil wars, we are a young country and have prospered thanks to our ancestors who came here and forged an existence through great hardships to build this country. We do not need any immigrants who have an axe to grind, a hatred for our history, our roots and ties.

  18. Liz J says:

    So another horse is killed in the chuck wagon races at the stampede, sad really that anyone would even watch it. I thought by this time they would have put an end to cruelty to animals for such stupid events.

    Another stupid event is the running of the bulls in Spain, in this case it’s hard to feel sorry for the idiots who get gored, can’t blame the bulls for stupidity.

    • Joe says:

      Actually Liz J the horse was not killed. The horse died of natural causes. Apparently the 12 year old was cooling down after a race and dropped dead. Much as we don’t like it animals die just like humans. I knew a farmer who had a prize bull. He shipped it to the Calgary Bull Show and Sale with the intent of winning the top prize and then selling the animal. He took out $100,000.00 insurance policy on the bull before the trip. Being a bit of a tight wad he let the policy lapse at midnight the night before the sale. His animal won the top prize and was then given the best treatment available including having supervised sleeping quarters. To safe guard the integrity of the next day’s sale every hour a veterinarian’s assistant visited the animal and noted in a log book what the bull was doing. The log read something like. 11 PM bull standing in pen. 12 PM bull eating hay. 1 AM bull lying down chewing cud. 2 AM bull dead.

      • Liz J says:

        Sorry, but I’m not a fan of chuck wagon races, there have been several horses killed in those races over the years, one is one too many. Animals deserve better from their supposed superior beings.

        • Joanne says:

          Animals deserve better from their supposed superior beings.

          So do unborn children.

          • Liz J says:

            Of course.
            Not comparing but some of the same mentality probably exists, mans’ inhumanity to their own species. It’s a horror beyond what most people want to hear about, it’s beyond even religion.

            • Joe says:

              Actually Liz I always find it the opposite. People who treat animals like animals usually treat humans like humans. On the other hand those who treat animals like humans also tend to treat humans like animals.

              I’m far from a rodeo fan but having spent time working animals (horses and cows) I have to admit those boys and girls in the stampede are top grade. I have driven a team of horses a few times but the thought of driving a four horse hitch at a full gallop would take a lot more horsemanship than I could ever muster.

      • wilson says:

        Marathon runners, hockey players, people who over exert themselves without knowledge of their condition also die.
        PMSH began the program of defibrillators at rinks because of it.
        People continue to run marathons and play hockey.

        • Liz J says:

          Sure it’s fear, we have so many great choices for PM Harper to choose from it’s got them running scared and frantically running off at the mouth.

        • Liz J says:

          In no way was I comparing animals to people or accusing people of abusing them, there are exceptions, but most who are involved with or own animals take very good care of them.
          I’m just a softie when it comes to animals!

  19. wilson says:

    I see ‘someone’ is trying to downplay the importance of the upcoming cabinet shuffle, calling our team tired and old and having lost it’s way.
    Sounds like fear to me.
    The Libs should be very worried, as PMSHs new cabinet will out shine their one man band leader of the old white guys, hands down.
    CPC has their convention in October, which will again draw away the media from Trudeau, giving the Opps a birds eye view of what they are up against.
    PM Harper’s team will be young, highly experienced and ready to win another majority in 2015.

  20. Bubba Brown says:

    Well said Wilson!
    It is halftime, PM Harper made some great picks, some not so good.
    That is life.
    Not even Conservatives are perfect. ;<(
    Fix the entitlements expense boondoggle and lets just move forward.
    Saint Jack and Olivia rode their expense accounts like a rented mule, wheres the outrage?
    On balance we have done well over the past 11 years and the future looks bright in the best country on earth.
    Just listen to Junior obfuscating about Saint Suzukis blathering.
    Jr says there is a way……………..does not say what it is, maybe the man behind the curtain had not finished typing his response.
    His daddy said "just watch me" Junior says "just elect meee"
    Note to Jr obfuscation is NOT policy.
    He then falls back on his signatue position "Conservatives picking fights" ?
    Suzuki was the one hallucinating and picking fights IMO
    If he was sitting at one of those covered bus stops in the rain, the other commuters would be out standing in the rain, so they wouldn't have to listen to his ranting.
    Meanwhile back in the USSR the white/black POTUS must be in mourning the white/hispanic was acquitted on all charges.
    It is not a crime to defend yourself.
    It now comes out that there was something on the order of 3x the information on Treyvons cell phone than was released to Mr Zimmermans Lawyers.
    The man who blew the whistle was fired by Florida "Justice" dept the story is at Newswatch Canada it would not link?
    The "News" is just spin, the truth is out there.

    • wilson says:

      Trudeau calls taking a stand ‘picking a fight’. He’s a frightened little guy, scared to take a position!

  21. Liz J says:

    To-day is Cabinet shuffle day, wonder if there will be any surprises?

Comments are closed.