|Birth Day:||October 24, 1954|
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He started law school at the age of 18 after graduating in Social Sciences from CEGEP Vanier College. he would attend McGill University where he obtained degrees in common law and civil law. There he was elected president of the McGill Law Students Association.
Mulcair graduated from McGill University in 1977 with degrees in common law and civil law. During his penultimate year, he was elected president of the McGill Law Students Association, and sat on the council of the McGill Student Union.
The Mulcairs moved to Quebec City in 1978, and Mulcair was called to the Bar of Quebec in 1979. He worked in the Legislative Affairs branch in Quebec's Ministry of Justice and later in the Legal Affairs Directorate of the Superior Council of the French Language.
In 1983 Mulcair became director of legal affairs at Alliance Quebec. During that time, he played a role in amending Bill 101, the Charter of the French language, in opposition to the goals of Quebec separatists. In 1985 he began a private law practice, and was named the reviser of the statutes of Manitoba following the Supreme Court of Canada ruling in the Reference re Manitoba Language Rights case. Mulcair also taught law courses to non-law students at Concordia University (1984), at the Saint Lawrence Campus of Champlain Regional College in Sainte-Foy, and at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières. He served as commissioner of the Appeals Committee on the Language of Instruction (1986).
Despite early campaign polls which showed an NDP lead, the party lost 51 seats on election night and fell back to its former third place in Parliament. By winning 44 seats, Mulcair was still able to secure the second best showing in terms of the number of seats compared to Ed Broadbent's 1988 election campaign. However, this was still a smaller percentage than Broadbent had won in 1988 due to the increased number of MPs now represented in the House of Commons.
Mulcair was only the second NDP MP ever elected from Quebec, following Phil Edmonston in 1990 (one previous MP, Robert Toupin of Terrebonne, had crossed the floor to the NDP in 1986). Mulcair is also only the second non-Liberal ever to win Outremont, following Progressive Conservative Jean-Pierre Hogue in 1988.
Mulcair first entered the National Assembly in the 1994 election, winning the riding of Chomedey as a member of the Quebec Liberal Party. Mulcair claims he ran as a Liberal because at the time, it was the only credible federalist provincial party in Quebec. In that era, Quebec was the only province where the NDP was not fully organized; its Quebec wing had seceded in 1990 to preach sovereigntism. He was re-elected in 1998, and again in 2003 when the Liberals ousted the Parti Québécois (PQ) in the provincial election.
After the 1995 referendum, Mulcair was eminent in demanding an inquiry about the rejection of thousands of ballots for the 'No' side.
According to Le Devoir journalist Michel David, Mulcair is the person who coined the expression Pinocchio syndrome, which was the title of a book by André Pratte published in 1997 about lies in politics. In the book, Mulcair speaks about why he believes lying is common in politics, because, according to him, "people feel free to manipulate journalists and say just about anything."
On November 25, 2004, Mulcair launched Quebec's Sustainable Development Plan and tabled a draft bill on sustainable development. Also included was a proposed amendment to the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms to create a new right, the right to live in a healthy environment that respects biodiversity, in accordance with the guidelines and standards set out in the act. Mulcair's Sustainable Development Plan was based on the successful European model and was described as one of the most avant-garde in North America. Mulcair followed the proposal by embarking on a 21-city public consultation tour, and the bill was unanimously adopted by the National Assembly of Quebec in April 2006.
Mulcair accused former PQ minister Yves Duhaime of influence peddling. Duhaime filed a defamation suit in 2005 and Mulcair was ordered to pay $95,000, plus legal costs. In 2010 the provincial police anti-corruption squad in Quebec investigated the then mayor of Laval, Quebec, Gilles Vaillancourt, for allegations of bribing several provincial politicians. The probe contacted Mulcair to discuss a suspected bribe offered to him in 1994. Mulcair claims he never looked in the envelope and handed it back to the mayor.
Newly elected Premier Jean Charest named Mulcair minister of sustainable development, environment and parks. At the time of his appointment to Cabinet he had been serving on several volunteer boards including The Montreal Oral School for the Deaf, Operation Enfant Soleil and the Saint-Patrick's Society. During his tenure he was a supporter of the Kyoto Protocol, and drafted a bill amending the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms to include the right to live in a healthy environment. The bill passed in 2006.
In 2006, Mulcair opposed a proposed condominium development in the mountain and ski resort of Mont Orford National Park. During a February 27, 2006 Cabinet shuffle, Charest removed Mulcair from the sustainable development, environment, and parks portfolio, and offered him the lesser government services portfolio. His opposition to the government's development plans fuelled speculation that this was a punishment, which led Mulcair to resign from cabinet rather than accept the apparent demotion. The testimony of Jean Charest, incoming environment minister Claude Béchard, and the owner of the company pursuing the development plan, Andre L'Esperance, all contradicted Mulcair, saying that the Orford deal had been approved by Mulcair before he left.
On February 20, 2007, he announced that he would not be a Liberal candidate in the 2007 Quebec general election.
Although Mulcair has identified former Quebec Liberal Party leader Claude Ryan as his political mentor, his presence in the front row during a speech in Montreal by NDP leader Jack Layton in March 2007 led to speculation about his political future. Over the course of several months, Layton persuaded Mulcair to run for the NDP in Quebec, where the party had no seats. On April 20, 2007, Mulcair confirmed that he would run for the NDP in the next federal election.
Mulcair also became Layton's Quebec lieutenant. On June 21, 2007, in an uncontested nomination, Mulcair became the NDP's candidate in the riding of Outremont for a by-election on September 17. Mulcair won the by-election, defeating Liberal candidate Jocelyn Coulon 48% to 29%; the seat had been a Liberal stronghold since 1935 (except for the 1988 election). Jean Lapierre suggested that Mulcair was likely aided by defecting Bloc Québécois supporters (the Bloc candidate had finished second in the 2006 federal election). In addition, Coulon's writings had been condemned by B'nai Brith Canada, and the local Jewish community in Outremont makes up 10% of the riding demographics.
Mulcair was sworn in on October 12, 2007. Earlier, he was named co-deputy leader of the NDP along with Libby Davies. As the party's Quebec lieutenant, he worked to improve the standard of translation for the campaign's francophone party materials, with Layton's support.
On October 14, 2008, Mulcair was re-elected as the MP for Outremont, making him the first New Democrat to win a riding in Quebec during a federal general election. He defeated the federal Liberal candidate, Sébastien Dhavernas, by 14,348 votes to 12,005 (a margin of 6.4%).
In the 2011 federal election, despite facing a challenge from Liberal former federal justice minister Martin Cauchon, Mulcair was re-elected once more with 56.4% of the popular vote, 21,916 to 9,204. The NDP became the Official Opposition for the first time ever, mainly on the strength of winning 59 of Quebec's 75 ridings, including Mulcair's. This was a notable political event, nicknamed the "orange wave".
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. On October 13, 2011, at a press conference in suburban Montreal, Mulcair declared his candidacy for the federal NDP leadership, scheduled for March 23–24, 2012. He attracted the support of 60 of the 101 other federal NDP MPs, including Robert Chisholm and Romeo Saganash, the only two to have dropped out of the leadership race.
On April 18, 2012, Mulcair moved into Stornoway with his wife Catherine Pinhas. On September 14, 2012, he was sworn into the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, entitling him to the style "The Honourable" for life.
Nevertheless, following the election of Justin Trudeau as leader of the Liberals in April 2013 the political fortunes of the NDP appeared to be on the decline, with the party falling back to its traditional third place in public opinion polls. The party would go on to lose a June 2014 by-election to the Liberals in the previously safe riding of Trinity-Spadina, which was made vacant following incumbent Olivia Chow's decision to run unsuccessfully in the 2014 Toronto mayoral election.
During the Mike Duffy expenses controversy and other expense scandals related to the Senate of Canada, the NDP reasserted its longstanding position that Senate should be abolished. Mulcair promised to seek a mandate for Senate abolition during the 2015 Canadian federal election even though the Supreme Court had ruled in 2014 that abolition would require the consent of all ten provinces.
In 2014, as NDP leader, Mulcair announced that “an NDP government would launch a national public enquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women within 100 days of taking office”. Mulcair believes that “only a full public inquiry would get to the root causes of violence against aboriginal women”.
In his time as NDP leader, Mulcair has promoted "a balanced and principled approach" to the conflict in the Middle East, criticizing "Stephen Harper and the Conservatives' one-sided approach". Mulcair has stated that he is "an ardent supporter of Israel in all instances and circumstances", while also stating that he is also an "ardent supporter of the creation of a Palestinian state". He has criticized some of the settlement policies of the Israeli government as illegal under the Fourth Geneva Convention, while also opposing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement against Israel as "grossly unacceptable". On July 22, 2014, Mulcair issued a statement where he reiterated his strong support for a ceasefire and negotiated two state solution during the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict.
By May 2015 however the NDP had managed to recover much of its lost ground in public opinion polling and was finding itself in a tight three-way race with both the Liberals and Conservatives. Commentators pegged several factors, including Mulcair's opposing stance against the Conservative's Bill C-51 which the Liberals agreed to support and the surprise win for the Alberta NDP in the 2015 Alberta provincial election, as having helped revive the federal party's lagging fortunes. The party also enjoyed success in getting two of its bills through the House at this time, the first of which abolished the so-called "tampon tax" on feminine hygiene products, while the second banned the use of "pay-to-pay" fees charged by banks, although the latter was later blocked from the House floor by the Conservatives.
Mulcair believes that Canada can be a "positive force for peace, justice and respect for human rights around the world". During a policy speech in May 2015, Mulcair announced the NDP would "increase overall funding for development assistance and ensure that poverty alleviation remains at the centre of Canadian aid efforts".
At the NDP's party convention in April 2016, Mulcair was also criticized by Alberta delegates for what was seen as implicit support for the "Leap Manifesto", a program which was seen as opposing Alberta's oil industry and thus a political threat to Rachel Notley's NDP government in Alberta. At the convention, 52% of delegates voted for a leadership review motion to hold a leadership election within 24 months, marking the first time in Canadian federal politics that a leader was defeated in a confidence vote. Mulcair was asked by his caucus to remain as leader until his replacement was selected. His tenure as leader ended at the leadership election held October 1, 2017, with the election of Jagmeet Singh as Mulcair's successor.
Mulcair announced on December 18, 2017 that he would be resigning his House of Commons seat in June 2018, when the House rises for its summer break, in order to accept an appointment at a university. On January 11, 2018, Mulcair assumed the volunteer position of chair of the board of Jour de la terre Québec, a non-profit organization dedicated to environmental issues. Mulcair joined the political science department as a visiting professor at Universite de Montreal effective the summer of 2018.
Following the October 1, 2017 election of Jagmeet Singh as NDP leader, Mulcair was appointed energy critic in the NDP's shadow cabinet. Mulcair resigned as MP for Outremont on August 3, 2018. His seat was gained by Rachel Bendayan of the Liberal Party at the triggered by-election. It was then retained with an increased majority at the 2019 general election.
On July 17, 2018 Mulcair also announced that he had accepted a position as political analyst on Montreal talk radio station CJAD effective August 28, 2018. He will also appear on CTV News Channel (owned by CJAD's parent company Bell Media) starting in fall 2018, and on the French-language network TVA in a similar capacity.
In the days prior to the leadership vote, Mulcair confirmed his intention not to stand for parliament in the next federal election, expected in 2019, and suggested that he may resign his seat in the House of Commons as early as Christmas 2017 to accept one of the university appointments that has been offered to him.
As a consultant hired by homeopathy giant Boiron, Mulcair launched in November 2019 the company’s public relations campaign to get the Quebec government to create a professional order for homeopaths. As homeopathy is considered a pseudoscience and its preparations are not effective for treating any medical condition, Mulcair’s involvement in the campaign and the new organization Quebec Coalition for Homeopathy has been criticized by several Canadian science communicators, such as Olivier Bernard, Alain Vadeboncoeur, Timothy Caulfield as well as McGill University’s Office for Science and Society.
After being voted out as NDP party leader, Mulcair criticized Jagmeet Singh's leadership of the NDP during the 2019 federal election. In 2020, he would also criticize Singh for calling Bloc Quebecois MP Alain Therrien racist on the floor of the House of Commons.
Currently, Thomas Mulcair is 67 years, 1 months and 3 days old. Thomas Mulcair will celebrate 68th birthday on a Monday 24th of October 2022.
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