Thomas Joseph "Tom" Mulcair (born October 24, 1954) is the Leader of the Official Opposition in Canada, a lawyer, university professor, and politician. A New Democratic Party Member of Parliament for the electoral district of Outremont in Quebec since 2007, he was selected as the leader of the New Democratic Party, thus the Leader of the Official Opposition, in the leadership election on March 24, 2012, with 57.2% of the votes on the fourth and final ballot.
He was the provincial Member of the National Assembly of Quebec for the riding of Chomedey in Laval from 1994 to 2007, holding the seat for the Liberal Party of Quebec. He served as the Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks from 2003 until 2006, in the Liberal government of Premier Jean Charest. Elected MP for Outremont in a by-election in 2007, he was named Deputy Leader of the New Democratic Party, jointly with Libby Davies, shortly afterwards, and has won re-election twice.
On May 26, 2011, he was named the New Democratic Party's Opposition House Leader. On March 24, 2012, Thomas Mulcair was elected to be the new federal NDP leader, succeeding the late Jack Layton. Prior to entering politics, Mulcair was a senior civil servant in the Quebec provincial government, ran a private law practice, and taught law at the university level.
Mulcair was born in 1954 at the Ottawa Civic Hospital, to a French-Canadian mother, Jeanne (née Hurtubise), and an Irish-Canadian father, Harry Donnelly Mulcair. He is the second-oldest of the couple's ten children. His maternal great-great-grandfather was the 9th Premier of Quebec, Honoré Mercier. Mulcair was raised in the Wrightville district of Hull (now Gatineau) and in Laval, just north of Montreal. He graduated from Laval Catholic High School, and in Social Sciences from CEGEP Vanier College.
He first entered the National Assembly in the 1994 election, winning the riding of Chomedey. He was re-elected in 1998 and 2003. Minister of Sustainable Development, Mulcair accused former Parti Quebecois minister Yves Duhaime of influence peddling. Duhaime filed a defamation suit in 2005 and Mulcair was ordered to pay $95,000, plus legal costs.
When the Quebec Liberal Party formed a provincial government in 2003, Premier of Quebec Jean Charest named Mulcair
On April 20, 2007, Mulcair confirmed that he would be running for the New Democratic Party (NDP) in the next federal election. His presence in the front row during a speech in Montreal by NDP Leader Jack Layton in March 2007 had already led to speculations to that effect. He had previously given a speech at the Federal NDP Convention in Quebec City in September 2006. Mulcair has identified former Quebec Liberal Party leader Claude Ryan as his political mentor.
On June 21, 2007, in an uncontested nomination, Mulcair became the NDP's candidate in the riding of Outremont for a by-election on September 17. Mulcair won the by-election, defeating Liberal candidate Jocelyn Coulon48% to 29%.
On October 14, 2008, Mulcair was re-elected the Member of Parliament for Outremont, making him the first New Democrat to win a riding in Quebec during a federal general election. He defeated the federal Liberal candidate, Sébastien Dhavernas, by 14,348 votes to 12,005 (a margin of 6.4%).
In the 2011 federal election, despite facing a strong challenge from Liberal Martin Cauchon, a former federal justice minister, Mulcair was re-elected once more with 56.4% of the popular vote, 21,916 to 9,204.
Federal NDP Leader Jack Layton died on August 22, 2011, following a battle with cancer, and was honoured with a state funeral. Mulcair stated that Layton's death had hit him exceptionally hard, and that while he was considering a federal NDP leadership bid, he would need several weeks to make up his mind on that decision.On the fourth and final ballot, Thomas Mulcair was elected NDP leader with 57.2% of the vote, beating challenger Brian Topp's 42.8%.
On April 18, 2012, Mulcair moved into Stornoway, with his wife, Catherine Pinhas. On September 14, 2012, he was sworn in as a member of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, and is entitled to the style "The Honourable" for life.