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Mulcair’s Visit to Manitoba Flood Zone Vetoed By Tories

Posted in Featured, Talking Politics

Published on July 11, 2014 with No Comments

Tom Mulcair has accused the Harper government of playing petty partisan games with natural disasters after he was denied permission to tour Manitoba’s flood zone.

The NDP leader was in Winnipeg , just hours before floodwaters were expected to crest in the southwestern part of the province. With the help of Premier Greg Selinger’s office, Mulcair had arranged to get a briefing and a tour of a military command post that’s co-ordinating the work of 500 soldiers who’ve been helping fill sandbags and shore up dikes along the swollen Assiniboine River. Brig. Gen. Christian Juneau, commander of the third Canadian Division, had agreed to the tour, subject to approval by Defence Minister Rob Nicholson. But later  Mulcair said he was informed by Nicholson’s office that his tour had been vetoed. “Frankly, we find that regrettable,” Mulcair said during a news conference in Winnipeg. There are times when everyone just has to come together and put partisan politics aside and, unfortunately, Mr. Harper doesn’t seem to understand that.”

A spokeswoman for Nicholson said the government has nixed all tours for the time being. “The next 48 hours are key to dealing with the Manitoba flood as it is expected to push through Portage La Prairie,” Johanna Quinney is reported to have said.

Mulcair didn’t buy the government’s explanation, noting that opposition leaders have always been given clearance in the past to visit flood zones. And he noted that Prime Minister Stephen Harper took a 20-minute helicopter tour of Manitoba’s flood zone on Sunday, accompanied by local MPs.  “I do notice that rule didn’t seem to exist last weekend when Mr. Harper was able to go through. I don’t think there is any excuse for it,” Mulcair said. “This is a time when you are supposed to put partisan politics aside, have everybody working in one direction to show support for the people in those communities. That’s all we were trying to do,” he added.







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