Thomas Mulcair and the Satellite Offices
June 14, 2015
The House of Commons Board of Internal Economy has declared that the Federal NDP owes the House of Commons 2.75 million dollars for misdirected funds and 1.2 million dollars for inappropriate postal expenses. The speaker plans to garnish the salaries of affected MPs if they don’t pay up. NDP leader Thomas Mulcair claims the whole thing is a partisan attempt by the Conservatives and the Liberals to slap down the party in the face of its gain at the polls, but the invoices for postage and satellite office costs, as well as the salaries of staff working in Montreal, Quebec City and Toronto while the party declared they were in Ottawa, those bills can’t be denied.
Mulcair would be wise to make this problem go away, and quickly. The NDP has a tradition that “Someone else pays.” The satellite office controversy plays squarely to this perceived weakness in their culture.
If Mulcair and company can’t get their heads around the idea of working within a budget, the university-graduate votes which have gravitated to the NDP over the Bill C-51 protest will take to the air again before election day, especially if Trudeau looks like a man who spends within his means and pays his bills.
All that working-class-hero stuff Mulcair’s using to soften his image won’t work if Canadians can’t trust him to balance a chequebook, and the rumour about the 11-times renegotiated mortgage on his house can’t inspire confidence.