On March 24, 2005, the following items were tabled in the Quebec National Assembly.
Copy of a letter, dated 24 March 2005, he sent to Mr. Jacques Saint-Laurent,Chairman of the Commission d’accès à l’information, asking him to investigate the conduct of Mr. Thomas Mulcair, Minister of Sustainable Development, the-environment and Parks, during Routine Proceedings, at the sitting of 22 March 2005.(Sessional Paper No. 1702-20050324)
Copy of a letter, dated 24 March 2005, addressed to Mr. André Dicaire, Secretary General of the Government, by Mrs. Line-Sylvie Perron, Executive Assistant to the Leader of the Official Opposition, concerning the observance of sections 30 and 33 of the the Act respecting Access to documents held by public bodies and the Protection of personal information.(Sessional Paper No. 1703-20050324)
On March 22, 2005; Thomas Mulcair, then Minister of Environment, failed yet again to present the necessary documents, requested by the opposition, to explain his actions in several matters. This put him in contempt, and the matter would eventually make its way to the Supreme Court. (1)
It might have been simpler just to buy a big black magic marker, like the one that Harper used when he was found in contempt, and produced heavily redacted documents. But Mulcair dug in his heels, citing cabinet confidentiality. His reputation for obstinance was well known.
Michel David in Le Devoir spoke of that reputation when in opposition, stating that “he literally horrified his opponents” with his “brutality or vulgarity”, earning him the moniker, “pit bull”. (2) David had hoped that Mulcair would be a “green pit bull” fighting for the environment, but it was not to be. Instead Mulcair fought for the economic interests of the multinationals.
In fact, one of the debates held on the day in question, centred around the appointment of William J. Cosgrove, to chair the public hearings on the environment. In that position, Cosgrove could select his own people to conduct the assessments, a red flag given who Cosgrove was.
He was President of The World Water Council, a group calling for the privatization of water services worldwide, and promoters of public-private partnerships, to control not only the environmental concerns, but the selling of water in bulk, to multinational corporations.
Maude Barlow, a foremost authority on the issue of water, has attended protests against the World Water Forums , held every three years, run by the WWC. In 2009, she was interviewed by Democracy Now during the event held in Instanbul.
They [the WWC] basically say that they are the collection of people around the world who care about water, and they come together every three years to have this great big summit. And every single year, the police presence gets more and more like the World Trade Organization, every single year, from the very beginning, when there was none, to this. But basically, the World Water Council, which puts this on, is really the big water corporations and the World Bank and some UN agencies and some northern development agencies, some academics, the odd small NGO — small as in, you know, NGOs, but really, it is the corporations, and it’s a big trade show. That’s what this is about. They’ll put on sessions on gender and water, but they don’t mean any of it. This is really about one development model for water, and that’s the privatization model. And that’s what they’re promoting, and that’s what their consensus is, and they refuse to include the notion of the right to water and, of course, the public trust into their documents.
Mulcair not only said that “he does not share the fears of people like Maude Barlow”, but that he found no problem with using PPPs to monitor water safety. Steven Guilbeault of Greenpeace told Le Devoir:
“one wonders what ideological alignment the new president of the BAPE gives commissions of inquiry when they have to decide on the adequacy of public facilities where PPPs are concerned, works that touch water in one way or another or, for example, on projects small private stations. Ultimately, one wonders if it is not a government strategy to reduce the moral authority of the BAPE, which annoys many developers.
Despite being called a conflict of interest, since Cosgrove worked for corporations trying to privatize the world’s water supply, he was allowed to stay in that position until 2007, and Mulcair would continue to allow PPPs to flourish, even in the building of a highway.
I am a huge fan of Maude Barlow. A respected voice on progressive issues and supporter of the NDP, when they were too. But did she ever think, during her many protests of the WWC, that it’s president was once lauded as hero (March 22, 2005) by the current leader of the NDP? It defies logic.
She has spent decades fighting for something, not realizing that she was held in such low esteem by Thomas Mulcair, who got his talking points from a man inside the walls, protected by soldiers, that kept her on the other side of them. I wonder how many times her name was brought up?
“Minister Mulcair, concludes Jacques Boivin [vice president of the of the Quebec Association for a World Water Contract] has just shown his true colors …it will not be economic development that respects ecosystems but ecosystems that must comply with the requirements of economic development.
So he is different from Stephen Harper, how?
1. CANADA, PROVINCE OF QUEBEC, DISTRICT MONTREAL, Citizens Committee of the peninsula-Lanaudière c. Quebec (Attorney General), 2006 QCCS 4861, SUPERIOR COURT; No: 500-17-023251-047, August 24, 2006
2. Green Pitbull, by Michael David, Le Devoir, December 7, 2004