04/02/2013 04:49 EDT | Updated 06/02/2013 05:12 EDT

Mulcair Says 'Door Is Always Open' To Hyer


Chances of reconciliation between the NDP and Thunder Bay Superior North MP Bruce Hyer look remote.

NDP leader Tom Mulcair was asked about Hyer's situation during his visit to Thunder Bay Tuesday.

Hyer was elected as an NDP candidate, but left the party last year to sit as an independent member. During a scrum with reporters Tuesday afternoon, Mulcair made it clear that any attempt to get Hyer back into the caucus would have to be initiated by the MP himself.

"It's important to point out that I didn't remove Bruce Hyer from the caucus. He removed himself from the caucus and he never spoke to me before during or after. So my door is always open for everybody," Mulcair said.

Mulcair's itinerary in Thunder Bay included a meeting with the Thunder Bay Port Authority, talks with Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Harvey Yesno and a visit to the Bombardier rail car plant.

'Important for us to listen'

After touring the Bombardier factory, Mulcair told reporters that industries such as Bombardier, and Canadian municipalities, need to be able to plan for the longer term.

He said that's why the NDP has been talking about these issues for a long time.

"Canada is one of the most urban countries in the world, yet we don't allow our municipalities enough money to take care of their infrastructure,” he said.

“Transit is a key a element … we've got gridlock in a lot of major Canadian cities."

The NDP leader said he was looking forward to a meeting later in the day with the Grand Chief of NAN.

"It's important for us to listen ... to find out whether the requirements set down by the Supreme Court are being respected,” Mulcair said.

“To make sure that developments like the Ring of Fire take place because First Nations have been at the table and their rights respected. We think that's a precondition to a respectful and harmonious development of this magnificent potential."

Mulcair added the federal government has primary responsibility for relationships with First Nations, “but the provinces have to be there."

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