By Ruth Davenport - Metro Halifax
DARTMOUTH - The leader of Canada’s official opposition says a visit to Halifax this week wasn’t prompted by any possibility of a provincial election – though Thomas Mulcair says he’ll stump alongside Premier Darrell Dexter anytime.
© Metro Halifax/Jeff Harper
Federal NDP leader Thomas Mulcair, left, raises Premier Darrell Dexter's hand as they arrive in Dartmouth to a NDP event Monday.
“Premier Dexter’s been doing a magnificent job here in Nova Scotia for the past four years and he has all our admiration and our support,” said the leader of the federal New Democrats Monday. “Any time Premier Dexter calls, I’ll be there for him…because I think that the job they’ve been doing here is important. He’s been showing the importance of good, competent public administration.”
Mulcair was in town ostensibly to promote his campaign to abolish the federal Senate, an issue that’s taken him on a cross-country tour over the summer.
Mulcair’s visit included a tour of the Red Chamber at Province House, the home of Nova Scotia’s senate before its abolition in 1928 – but then Mulcair and Dexter went on to a barbeque at Alderney Landing that bore traces of rousing the party faithful.
Federal Liberal leader Justin Trudeau will also visit Nova Scotia this week, making stops with provincial leader Stephen McNeil in Cape Breton on Thursday and Halifax on Friday.
McNeil said the visit isn’t specifically electioneering, but said touring alongside Trudeau is getting more Nova Scotians politically engaged.
“There’s a lot of enthusiasm around his leadership, from rank and file Liberals and… people who have been non-political, who have been excited about his frankness, his openness,” he said. “It’s certainly a real contrast between the present prime minister and him and that’s been positive for us.”
Recent polls have shown the Liberals overtaking the NDP in voter support, but both Mulcair and Dexter dismissed those results.
“The upcoming election will be about whether people want to go back to repeating the mistakes of the past or whether they are prepared to look at the work that we have done,” said Dexter.
Dexter has not said when the upcoming election will be called, but McNeil said it has to be soon.
“What’s alarming is the rate of spending that’s happened in the last month alone,” he said. “Nova Scotians cannot afford for this to go on much longer.”