Categorized | Canadian Politics

Thomas Mulcair, NDP is the new Leader of the Opposition

Posted on 30 March 2012 by admin


  • Born in Ottawa on October 24th, 1954 to an Irish Canadian father and French Canadian mother. He is the second oldest of ten children. He was raised in Laval, North of Montreal.
  • Went to Laval Catholic High School. Was actively involved, through a school group, as a volunteer in many social and community causes.


  • Holds degrees in Civil Law (B.C.L.) and in Common Law (LL.B).
  • In 1975-1976, the final year of the B.C.L. program, Mulcairwas elected President of the Law Students Association and sat on the council of the McGill Student Union.
  • Married to Catherine Pinhas, a psychologist and French citizen, with whom he has two grown sons, Mathew and Greg.
  • The couple moved to Quebec City in 1978 with their son Matthew. Mulcair worked first in the Legislative Affairs branch of the Justice Ministry and later in the Legal Affairs Directorate of the Conseil de la langue francaise.


  • During his time at the Conseil de la langue française, Mulcair served as the union delegate and later was elected the Secrétaire de section of the (SPGQ) Syndicat des Professionnels et Professionnelles du Gouvernement du Québec (The Union of Quebec Government Professional Employees).
  • In 1985, Mulcair began a private law practice and was named the reviser of the statutes of Manitoba following the Supreme Court ruling in the Manitoba reference case. He worked regularly in Winnipeg over the next two years.
  • In 1986, his political mentor, Claude Ryan, named MulcairCommissioner on the Commission d’Appelsur la langue d’enseignement.
  • At the end of 1987, Mr. Ryan proposed that Mulcair be named President of the Quebec Professions Board (Office des professions du Québec); a position he held until 1993.
  • As President, Tom introduced wide-ranging reforms to make disciplinary hearings more transparent and successfully led a major effort to have cases of alleged sexual abuse of patients dealt with decisively.
  • During his tenure at the Quebec Professions Board, Mulcair became the first Canadian elected to the Board of Directors of the Council on Licensure Enforcement and Regulation.
  • In early 1994, upon the resignation of the sitting member of the National Assembly for Chomedey, Lise Bacon, the Quebec Liberal Party sought Mulcair’s candidacy. His run in the by-election turned into a race in the general election that was soon called. On September 12th, 1994 he was elected the Member of the National Assembly for Chomedey, his old home-town in Laval.
  • Re-elected in 1998 and served as Deputy House-Leader of the opposition. He was successively Justice Critic and Industry Critic.
    • In 2003 Mulcair was elected provincially for the third time and named to Cabinet as Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks.
    • Served as Minister until 2006. While minister, Mulcair took a tough stand on enforcement of environment laws and regulations. He also introduced wide-ranging legislation on sustainable development and carried out a 20-city tour of Quebec on the issue.
      • During a Cabinet shuffle, Charest offered Mulcair the position of Minister of Government Services in the Quebec government, and Mulcair chose to resign from cabinet rather than accept the apparent demotion. There was speculation that his contrary opinion on a project that would have transferred lands in Mont Orford Provincial park to private condominium developers led to his removal as Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks.
      • On February 20, 2007, he announced that he would not be a Liberal candidate in the 2007 Quebec general election.
      • On September 2006, Jack Layton invited Mulcair to Quebec City to address delegates at the NDP’s convention on the subject of Sustainable Development.
      • In early 2007, Jack Layton named Tom Mulcair his Quebec Lieutenant. After Mulcair’s victory in the Liberal stronghold of Outremont, he also named him Co-Deputy Leader of the NDP.
        • Federal NDP Leader Jack Layton died on August 22, 2011, following a battle with cancer, and was honoured with a state funeral. Mulcair stated that Layton’s death had hit him exceptionally hard, and that while he was considering a federal NDP leadership bid, he would need several weeks to make up his mind on that decision.
        • Mulcair declared his candidacy for the federal NDP leadership at a press conference in suburban Montreal on October 13, 2011. He attracted the support of 60 of the 101 other federal NDP MPs, including Robert Chisholmand Romeo Saganash, the only two to have dropped out of the leadership race.

On the fourth and final ballot, Thomas Mulcair was elected NDP leader with 57.2% of the votes.

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