06 September 2012

Did Mulcair really say that? #cdnpoli #nlpoli

According to CBC News, federal opposition leader Thomas Mulcair said that his party would honour a loan guarantee for the Muskrat Falls project “even if price tag goes up.”

But did he actually say that?

Not really.

For one thing, the quote in the body of the online story appears to put a caveat on any commitment:

“You have to be flexible, but you have to meet the basic criteria of public administration,” Mulcair said.

On Wednesday, CBC aired an excerpt of Mulcair’s interview with David Cochrane for this week’s edition of On Point.  Cochrane pressed Mulcair on the point of whether there is a number beyond which Mulcair wouldn’t go.  Listen carefully to what he says.

Mulcair is clear that he believes that a principle must be upheld, namely that federal government programs must be offered fairly and equitably across the province.  There cannot be one policy in one place and and another somewhere else.

But on the issue of cost, Mulcair stands behind fiscal responsibility.  While he didn’t say it in so many words, that’s a pretty clear indication that there is no blank cheque in Mulcair’s way of thinking.

And if you think that maybe Mulcair said something else, listen to what Jonathan Crowe says in the intro to the clip at about 1:15:00 into the show. The federal government must support green energy projects “but not at any cost.”

Not surprisingly a few of the province’s local Conservatives have been jumping all over the supposed Mulcair endorsement. 

They did the same thing during the summer when CBC claimed that federal Liberal Bob rare backed Muskrat Falls to the hilt.

CBC got that one wrong too.