POLITICS

Tom Mulcair touts NDP achievements in year-end review

06/17/2015 11:15 EDT | Updated 06/17/2016 05:59 EDT
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair said his party is "indeed, a government in waiting," following his party's final caucus meeting on Parliament Hill on Wednesday.

- ANALYSIS | Tom Mulcair's 'government in waiting' rattles Liberals and Tories

Mulcair went through a brief review of the party's accomplishments, including eliminating microbeads and sales tax on feminine hygiene products, over the last Parliamentary session. Behind him stood the NDP caucus, with female NDP MPs in the front row.

The NDP leader also condemned comments made by Canada's Chief of the Defence Staff as "completely wrong and totally unacceptable."

In an interview with CBC's Peter Mansbridge on Tuesday, Gen. Tom Lawson characterized persistent military sexual misconduct as a product of "biological wiring".

"But if only the problem were as simple as the departure of one general who said something that was totally wrong," Mulcair said.

"The real problem is no one is working for a change in the culture in the military on the issue of sexual harassment and that's the real key issue." 

Mulcair said an NDP government would work with senior military to force that cultural change.

On Tuesday, Mulcair portrayed his New Democrats as champions of manufacturing and small business, with a strong track record of balanced budgets, during a speech in Toronto to the Economic Club of Canada.

The NDP leader has seen his star rise in recent polls, eclipsing the Liberals and tying Stephen Harper for best prime minister.

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau was also expected to address the media after his party's caucus meeting at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier hotel.

On Tuesday, Trudeau laid out the party's vision for what a Liberal government would look like, in a speech that highlighted transparency and accountability. Among other major promises, he proposed an end to the first-past-the-post voting system after the 2015 general election.