News / Canada

NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair on terrorism, the youth vote and climate change

Opposition leader Thomas Mulcair sat down with Metro to talk about some of the important issues facing Canadians. Here are his thoughts:

The Youth Vote

— “Young people today finishing their studies are finishing with $60-$70,000 in debt. When are they supposed to start a family if that’s what they want for themselves?”

— “We have a generation now that’s earning less than their parents and grandparents. The biggest inequality in our country is between generations.”

— “In the last election 65 per cent of young people aged 18 to 25 stayed home, two out of three. That worked out very well for Mr. Harper, by the way, because when young people stay home the right wing wins and democracy loses. We have to change that.”

Racism and Islamophobia

— “We’re a country of immigrants. My wife is an immigrant to Canada. It’s becoming a more and more closed place under the Conservatives.”

— “Mr. Harper’s signaling out the Muslim community has been I think one of the worst things I’ve seen in my political career.”

— “If you have the highest elected official in the country openly using terms that can lead to Islamophobia. I find it reprehensible, it’s abject, and I never thought I’d see it in Canada.”

Terrorism and Bill C-51

— “This is a horrible piece of legislation, very dangerous to our rights and freedoms.

— “I’m not trying to understate the importance of fighting terrorism. This is a real issue that requires real solutions.”

— “When you have convictions, you have to have the courage of those convictions, even when it’s tough, even when you’re being told that the polling numbers are completely against you.”

— “You’re opening yourself up to First Nations groups, environmental groups social activists being snooped on, having their privacy, their private life snooped on, because they’re doing what’s supposed to be normal in a free and democratic society.”

The importance of cities

— “I think the best plan is to have a federal government that works with the provinces and territories.”

— “People have to understand the importance of coming to grips with issues like gridlock.”

Environment

— “I would love nothing more than if my first act as prime minister of Canada would be to attend the COP 21, the Conference of the Parties to Kyoto in Paris in December of this year. I firmly believe that this is the defining issue of our times, because it’s the future. This is the one that’s going to resonate for generations and generations to come it we don’t get it right. And we have to get it right.”

— “Canada is the only country in the world to withdraw from Kyoto and I think that’s scandalous.”