The Syncrude oilsands extraction facility is reflected in a lake reclaimed from an old mine near the town of Fort McMurray in Alberta Province, Canada on October 22, 2009.
Credits: QMI AGENCY
Which is odd, given that he talks about it every day.
But that's standard practice for the NDP. His fellow NDP MPs, Megan Leslie and Claude Gravelle, flew to Washington, D.C., last November to tell the U.S.
Congress about the evils of the oilsands, and asked for them to block the proposed Keystone XL pipeline through which we'd export our oil.
I doubt Leslie or Gravelle has been to Fort McMurray either. They've got time to jet around the world, disparaging our industry to foreigners, trashing our own country to strangers. But no time for a trip to the oilsands themselves.
Of course not. They have extremist opinions on the subject. Finding out actual facts about the place might contradict their radical theories. Can't have that.
But there¹s something else too. It's harder to badmouth someone once you've looked them in the eye.
And under Mulcair's leadership, the NDP has gone from merely opposing the oilsands to outright hatred of them. He's personal about it. Mean, even.
So it would be difficult for Mulcair and his fellow haters to walk the streets of Fort McMurray, to talk to the workers there - blue collar workers, Aboriginal workers, union workers, once-poor workers becoming prosperous now - and tell them that what they are doing is immoral.
For that is Mulcair's view. He doesn't just criticize the oilsands industry.
He has a moral disdain for it - it's much worse, for example, than the asbestos industry in his own beloved Quebec.
Every industry can be criticized; every public policy can be debated. But that is not what Mulcair is doing.
He is demonizing. Because he is a politician. And politicians demonize and polarize. They look at polls and make cold-blooded calculations. Mulcair is betting the western Canadians he is slandering wouldn't vote for him anyways.
But maybe more voters in Ontario and Quebec will because of it.
He's not betting on the best of human nature. He's betting on the worst.
He's counting on it. He's not trying to heal regional rifts amongst Canadian regions. He's looking for the opportunities if he pours salt into old wounds.
This scorched earth approach to national unity took a truly bizarre turn last week. Here's what Mulcair said about the oilsands in Parliament: "We're allowing these companies to use the air, the soil and the water as an unlimited free dumping ground. Their model for development is Nigeria instead of Norway."
Seriously. He compared the practices of Canadians working in the oilsands to Nigeria - a country with kleptocrats who have stolen a third of a trillion dollars from their own people; brutal dictators have murdered critics of the regime; environmental devastation; abject poverty; the slow-burn civil war.
Mulcair actually said that is the model chosen by Canadian companies. That is how we live and work. He compared us to them. That's how low we are in his eyes.
When the NDP was the third or fourth party, such bozo eruptions were good for a chuckle. But Thomas Mulcair is the leader of the opposition now, theoretically the man standing by to form a government if the Conservatives fall.
Put aside his socialism and economic illiteracy. His raw hatred for half of Canada must disqualify him from ever leading us.