Mulcair says no to wealth tax

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair is throwing cold water on the idea of his party raising taxes on the wealthy if it forms government even though a star candidate in Toronto supports such a tax hike.

OTTAWA — NDP Leader Tom Mulcair is throwing cold water on the idea of his party raising taxes on the wealthy if it forms government even though a star candidate in Toronto supports such a tax hike.

The NDP leader re-affirmed his position on the tax issue at a party event in Ottawa on Sunday that served as a unofficial launch to the next federal election campaign, although that is two years off.

Of more immediate concern is the high-profile battle between two journalistic heavyweights — the NDP’s Linda McQuaig and Chrystia Freeland of the Liberals — in the upcoming bylection in Toronto Centre. McQuaig, a journalist and author, has made news highlighting the issue of income inequality and voicing support for a tax hike on the rich.

Mulcair said that is not party policy and he expects McQuaig to be a team player.

“She’s an extraordinary candidate… but she’s also playing now as part of a team and there’s not the slightest problem with that,” he said.

“I’m very clear, no increases in personal taxes will be in any way shape or form part of our political offer in 2015.”

In an email statement, McQuaig said she was “proud” to be running on Mulcair’s team “and fully support the party’s policies, including its call for higher corporate tax rate.”

“The NDP is the only party that has solid ideas to address the dramatic rise in income inequality, through strengthening public programs, creating quality jobs and increasing the fairness of the tax system. There are many ways to do this,” she added, without mentioning the wealth tax.

Earlier, Mulcair spoke to the NDP federal council, telling about 100 party organizers and workers to start preparing for the next election.

In a campaign-style speech, Mulcair declared Ottawa “broken” and that the NDP, the only party among the big three never to have held power, is the only choice for Canadians who want to see real change.

If elected, he said an NDP government would roll back recent tax reductions on corporations, replacing them with “targeted tax incentives” for smaller firms to create jobs for youth, strengthen public pensions and reverse the Conservative plan to raise the age of eligibility for Old Age Security to 67. As well, he promised to put negotiations with First Nations on the front burner, saying talks should proceed on a “nation to nation” basis.

“Tomorrow marks the 250th anniversary of the Royal proclamation of 1763, that document uses the term nations to describe the first residents of Canada. It’s about time that governments start recognizing we have to work nation to nation,” he said. “This paternalism that is a sign of the past has got to stop.”

The NDP leader met with Aboriginal leaders in his residence at Stornaway later Sunday.

Following the breakthrough in the 2011 election, which gave the party official opposition status for the first time, NDP policies and pronouncements have drawn greater attention and scrutiny because of the real possibility the party could win government.

The arrival of the charismatic Justin Trudeau appears to have revived Liberal Party prospects, dropping to NDP into third place in the public opinion polls. But at about 25 per cent support, the party remains in striking distance of the Liberals and Conservatives.

Mulcair says his party is ready to take the next step, saying the Conservatives will be facing a well-oiled machine in 2015.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

This Dec. 2, 2020, file photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows vials of the COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Johnson & Johnson via AP
What you need to know about Johnson & Johnson’s approved single-dose vaccine

Canada added a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine to its pandemic-fighting arsenal on Friday,… Continue reading

FILE - This March 20, 2018, file photo shows the YouTube app on an iPad in Baltimore. YouTube on Friday, March 5, 2021, said it has removed five channels run by Myanmar’s military for violating its community guidelines and terms of service. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
YouTube cancels Myanmar military-run channels, pulls videos

YouTube monitoring the situation for any content that might violate rules

Statistics Canada’s offices in Ottawa are shown on Friday, March 8, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Canada posts $1.4B trade surplus for January, first surplus since May 2019

Total imports increased in January to $49.8 billion

The wreckage of a fatal crash involving a semi-truck and the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team bus near Tisdale, Sask., is seen on Saturday, April, 7, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Court to hear arguments on delay in Broncos lawsuit for proposed class action

11 lawsuits have been filed by victims and their families

Bryson, six, and Mara, eight, play with puppies from Dogs With Wings Saturday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
WATCH: Dogs With Wings introduces Red Deer program

A program that trains puppies to be certified service, autism, facility and… Continue reading

Team Canada third John Morris follows as second Carter Rycroft (right) and lead Nolan Thiessen (left) sweep his rock during round robin competition against Team Newfoundland and Labrador at the Brier curling championship, Wednesday, March 9, 2016 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Champions at The Brier list

Brier champions since the inception of the Canadian men’s curling championship in… Continue reading

FILE - This Jan. 22, 2013 file photo shows Martin Bashir at the EA SimCity Learn. Build. Create. Inauguration After-Party, in Washington. British police said Thursday March 4, 2021, that they will not launch a criminal investigation into the journalist Martin Bashir over his 1995 interview with the late Princess Diana. (Photo by Nick Wass/Invision/AP, File)
UK police won’t probe journalist over 1995 Diana interview

Diana’s brother alleged Bashir used false documents to convince Diana

Dillon Dube scores hat trick for Flames in 7-3 win over Senators

Dillon Dube scores hat trick for Flames in 7-3 win over Senators

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Toronto on Tuesday, January 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Liverpool's manager Jurgen Klopp gives instructions during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Chelsea at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, England, Thursday, March 4, 2021. (Phil Noble, Pool via AP)
Liverpool slumps to historic 5th straight loss at Anfield

Liverpool slumps to historic 5th straight loss at Anfield

Philadelphia Flyers' Sean Couturier (14) celebrates with teammates after scoring against Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry (35) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, March 4, 2021, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Flyers rally from early deficit to stun Penguins 4-3

Flyers rally from early deficit to stun Penguins 4-3

Most Read