Mount Orford Park and why Trudeau and Mulcair were arguing about water during the French Debate

September 26, 2015

In the recent French language debate Justin Trudeau baited Thomas Mulcair with the latter’s proposal to sell water to the United States. Mulcair responded with an angry snarl. I wondered why, so I looked around on Google and a couple of blogs.

JT was deliberately baiting Mulcair with the reference to water exports, and he even got the response he was seeking, with Mulcair’s protest running along the lines of can’t-anybody-simply-discuss-something?

Both know water isn’t the issue. The real killer of Mulcair’s hopes of victory is likely to be the 2006 revelation of the Quebec government’s plans to privatize 650 hectares of Mount Orford Park, an idea Mulcair initially proposed to cabinet while Quebec Environment Minister, and then to developers, and then signed into law.

Then the story goes he turned on Charest and tried to use the illegal development as a lever to push his boss from power. The ensuing battle left Mulcair out of cabinet and soon in search of a new political home, first with the Harper Conservatives, and then with the NDP.

The whole Mount Orford Park debacle began with Mulcair proposing a debate in caucus about the privatization of public land. One thing led to another. The water debate videos show Mulcair’s M.O., his method of operation, when he has a scheme in his head.

The Mount Orford Park story further provides a more detailed context to Mulcair’s claim that he resigned from the Charest cabinet on a question of “principle.”

This story may well be why the Conservatives aren’t taking Mulcair seriously, and why they continued to attack Trudeau with an ad campaign even when his polls were in the twenties. They knew Mount Orford Park would come out later in Mulcair’s campaign.


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