Opposition Leader Tom Mulcair addresses mostly party faithful at the Homalco Hall Sunday.

Mulcair confident of victory across B.C.

Success in this province in the next election could propel the party into the government

NDP leader Tom Mulcair is feeling bullish on B.C.

“Forty-two seats on the table in British Columbia in the next election,” Mulcair told a gathering of approximately 60 supporters at the Homalco Hall Sunday on the Homalco First Nation Reserve. “I can guarantee every single person in this room, the NDP will win the vast majority of those seats!”

Success in this province in the next election will complete the job of propelling the long-time “third” party in Canadian politics into the government. The previous NDP leader, the late Jack Layton, told Mulcair that the first task for the NDP would be to form the official opposition, but the party wouldn’t form the Official Opposition until it made a breakthrough in Quebec. In the last election, the party made that breakthrough and now holds Official Opposition status.

“For the first time in a full generation, a majority of Quebeckers elected a majority of their Members of Parliament from a federalist party,” Mulcair said. “That’s a sea change in Canadian politics.”

Completing the job of forming the government begins in B.C. where the base of the party is strong and a chance to win the majority of those 42 seats exists, Mulcair said.

It’s important the NDP take the next step and form the government because the Stephen Harper Conservatives are dismantling the country as we know it, he added. But Mulcair kept pointing out that the NDP has two enemies. Not only do they have to take on the Stephen Harper Conservative government, which is dismantling the country as we know it, but they also have to keep looking over their shoulder at the Justin Trudeau-led Liberal Party.

“The same Stephen Harper who boasts about being a good public administrator can’t deliver a fighter jet to the air force, he can’t deliver the grain to the market, hell, he can’t even deliver the bloody mail,” Mulcair said. “It shows that despite their boasts of trying to position themselves as good managers, good public administrators, that’s just not true.”

And there’s a reason for it, Mulcair said.

“They don’t like government,” he said. “They like being in power but they don’t like governing because governing is hard work.”

Governing requires a scalpel and precision but the federal Conservatives only know how to “whack at things with a rusty machete.”

And that’s where the NDP comes in as a viable alternative, Mulcair said, because when you watch the Liberals, you realize that they have a history that is like the old Peanuts cartoon where Lucy promises to hold the ball for Charlie Brown but always pulls it away when he goes to kick it, even though she promised she wouldn’t.

“Just remember L for Lucy, L for Liberal because they will always pull the ball away and you will always wind up flat on your back,” Mulcair said.

Mulcair then went on to compare the NDP’s 2015 and the Conservatives’ and the Liberals’ 2015.

In 2015, the NDP will release a child care plan that will invest in families and that will deliver a return on that investment. Harper’s Conservatives vision for families in 2015 will involve an income splitting plan that will only benefit the richest 15 per cent in our country.

“The other 85 per cent will be left behind, as usual,” Mulcair said.

Look at the life of working people in Canada, Mulcair said. To whom do we owe the fact that we don’t have a federal minimum wage in Canada, he asked. The Liberals, Mulcair said. They left minimum wage to the provinces in 1993.

The NDP, meanwhile, will bring in a $15 an hour federal minimum wage. But it’s not the government that pays the minimum wage, it’s the employers, Mulcair said. The NDP is going to give breaks to the small employers that pay that minimum wage.

The Conservatives have given $50 billion a year in tax breaks to Canada’s richest corporations.

“The ones that never asked for it and certainly didn’t need it and they’re not the job creators in our country,” Mulcair said.

What does Stephen Harper’s 2015 look like for jobs and wages, Mulcair asked? It’s the 15 per cent rule, he said. Harper has allowed companies to pay temporary foreign workers 15 per cent less than Canadian workers.

And that has suppressed the wages and working conditions of the average working Canadian, Mulcair said.