The federal NDP’s leader was put on notice on Sunday, with the delegation at the party’s convention voting for a new leadership race – and Regina-Lewvan MP Erin Weir had a front seat for the whole thing.
Weir attended the convention, and was standing almost directly behind Thomas Mulcair as he made a speech after the vote was announced.
Afterward, Weir called the convention “momentous”.
“I think people are also feeling optimistic about the way forward, the opportunity to renew the party,” said Weir.
“We’re certainly looking forward to having a leadership competition, and being able to put a new leader in place.”
The MP declined to say whether he supported Mulcair’s leadership. He did say there was some tension as the vote was taking place, but said he didn’t see any acrimony, infighting, or backstabbing.
Thanks to a change made in the rules at the convention, the leadership race could take up to two years, and Weir said on Sunday that’s it’s too early to tell who might take a run at the top job.
At the convention, the NDP also voted to take the controversial Leap Manifesto back to their riding delegations to look it over. It includes language about moving quickly away from fossil fuels, which some critics say would devastate Canada’s energy industry.
Weir said he hadn’t read through the whole document yet, but he did say there’s likely things in there that he will and won’t like.
In an interview with MainStreet on Monday afternoon, he once again wouldn’t say whether he supports the LEAP manifesto as a whole, noting that there are certain elements that need to be debated. He also added that he supports the concern about inequality and the move to build a fairer society in the LEAP manifesto.
When it comes to the issue of building pipelines, he noted that pipelines can be a could way of moving oil, “provided they’re subject to a rigorous environmental review process”.
While speaking on MainStreet, Weir said while he supports the move toward a greener economy, he is conscious of the need to do it in a way that still supports jobs and a strong economy
He said climate change is an important issue, and the LEAP manifesto addresses that, but, being as he represents an oil-producing province, he thinks a move away from fossil fuels need to strike a balance with people’s jobs and welfare.