NDP Leader slams PM for speech at Conservative convention
SUMMERSIDE – Canadians should probably expect to hear the phrase “I couldn’t care less,” a lot in the coming year.
Federal NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair speaks to the P.E.I. Federation of Labour annual convention Saturday. Colin MacLean/Journal Pioneer
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair certainly got a lot mileage out of the quote on Saturday as he gave the keynote address to the P.E.I. Federation of Labour annual convention.
“A government that ‘couldn’t care less’ – now that’s something I’ve said before in speeches, and that would be me as a politician interpreting what (Prime Minister) Stephen Harper says. But actually, last night he was kind enough to stand there at a podium and say he ‘couldn’t care less,’” said Mulcair.
The Leader of the Official Opposition was referring to Harper’s address from Friday night to the Conservative Party of Canada annual convention.
Harper was referring to the ongoing Senate scandal and debate ragging in the Senate over whether to throw out three Conservative appointees who are currently under investigation by the RCMP.
Harper has stated unequivocally that he wants the three senators, Mike Duffy from P.E.I. and Pamela Wallin and Patrick Brazeau, expelled from the Upper House.
On this, Harper told thousands of Conservative supporters in Calgary that he expects accountability from everyone in his government.
“Our opponents then immediately accuse us of being unfair, nasty and ruthless, and they then portray the offenders as victims, or even martyrs,” said Harper, according to a story published by the Toronto Star.
“I couldn’t care less what they say, we will do the right thing,” he added.
Mulcair had a field day with that last statement, saying that it gives a glimpse into the Prime Minister’s mind.
“The Senate scandal has given us the opportunity the learn more about Stephen Harper’s character,” said Mulcair.
“Yesterday (Friday) he had a chance to come clean at his convention and instead he told Canadians ‘he couldn’t care less.’ Well, that does summarize Stephen Harper, he couldn’t care less,” he added.
He also hinted at the fact that this is a phrase Canadians will be hearing again from the Opposition.
“It’s interesting. I’ve never seen that before – a Canadian Prime Minister looking at Canadians on an issue of great import for the whole country and saying he ‘couldn’t care less?’ I think it’s something he’s going to wear it for some time,” he said.
During his address Mulcair also praised the P.E.I. Federation of Labour for its opposition to recently introduced changes to the Employment Insurance program, made numerous flippant comments about embattled P.E.I. Senator Mike Duffy, criticized Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s support of the status quo in the Senate and generally slammed Harper for his confrontational stance with unions and labour groups.