Thomas Mulcair endorses Sheilagh O'Leary for mayor

James McLeod
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Sheilagh O'Leary — File Photo

Federal NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair made news Saturday night when he waded into the realm of St. John's municipal politics, endorsing Coun. Sheilagh O'Leary for mayor.

O’Leary is widely expected to run for mayor in the 2013 municipal election; she’s said she’s thinking about it, but hasn’t made any formal commitment yet.

That didn’t stop Mulcair from calling her “one of the most extraordinary politicians I’ve met in a long time” and endorsing her for mayor.

“I promise you I’ll be back, of course, many times to Newfoundland and Labrador, but I’ll really promise you I’ll be back to make sure that Sheilagh O’Leary is the next mayor of St. John’s,” he said. 

O’Leary laughed it off, saying that it feels good to have a political heavyweight in her corner, but she’s not committing to anything just yet.

“I’m so ecstatic to have the kind of support from a national leader like Tom Mulcair behind me. It’s just incredible that he would have that kind of confidence in me to run for the office of mayor,” she said. “I absolutely am thinking about it for sure, and it’s a year and a half down the road. We’ll see what happens.”

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Recent comments

  • Ben Dover
    May 15, 2012 - 09:48

    What's the problem, comrades? Socialism ROCKS!! THAT'S why so many people are risking their lives on little rafts on the open sea... to get from Florida to Cuba!!!

  • City Girl
    May 14, 2012 - 12:43

    Well, I hope by 2013, they have a whole new slate of people to run in St. John’s. O’Keefe said he wouldn’t raise taxes and then as soon as he got in the mill rate went up and all the rest voted with him. Shanny and Gerry Colbert has been there too long. All O’Leary cares about is the Arts community, Hanlon only cares about her interests in another country and Bruce Tilley (Who I’m still not sure on how he got back in) is usually falling asleep. Tom Hann, I think is great as a radio host but not so much as a councilor. Danny Breen, the verdict is still out on him, Sandy Hickman seems alright and the rest I have no idea what they do. So Mulcair can endorse a dog or a cat for major if he wants to; does that mean we have to vote for what he says. What does he think we are, a bunch of followers, who can’t think for ourselves. Go back to Ottawa and try and run the NDP party up there and mind your own business about municipal politics.

  • Lane
    May 14, 2012 - 10:23

    It is inappropriate for a federal party leader to take sides in municipal politics. Mulcair should mind his own business. Can you imagine if PM Harper endorsed a candidate for Mayor? He would be torn apart in the media for meddling in municipal business and trying to install a puppet Mayor. That's exactly what Mulcair is doing, but no one is criticizing. Smells like media bias to me.

  • Ron
    May 14, 2012 - 07:38

    I do not know Sheila, personally, from Adam or Eve....and the little I do know is pretty good. That said, the 'insecure males' out there should run for the office themselves, since you obviously have all the answers. By the way...speak with your MDs about your insecurities about, and around women...might be a gonad problem. A fine, squeaky bunch you are.

    • JT
      May 14, 2012 - 09:25

      This has nothing to do with O'Leary's gender. It has all to do with her left leaning politics. I would be thrilled if a woman with a good fiscal policies ran. Stop trying to play the gender card.

    • Christopher Chafe
      May 14, 2012 - 16:35

      Exactly JT, the disdain the general populous feels towards Mrs. O'Leary has NOTHING TO DO WITH HER GENDER, rather than her obvious stand against business and development. She does not want URBAN SPRAWL to continue YET she will raise HOLY HELL if a developer tries to revamp the DT core.

  • Billr
    May 14, 2012 - 06:32

    Wow is he out of touch. I voted for her in the last election because she got my "vote for a woman". It counts as two - first and last. I didn't know her. The last list was so pathetic I didn't use all my votes. The Province elected an entrepreneur who was financially independent (Williams) and we did very well. Too many retired Teachers etc. at City Hall. Ellsworth is the right one for Mayor. Self made man, very generous to the community (check out his donation record). Independent not trying to top up a pension - successful business knows there is somewhere besides downtown.

  • Paul C.
    May 14, 2012 - 00:41

    Thomas Mulcair for Mayor of St. John's. Let him work at a political level he can possibly handle, where he cannot do much harm to Canada. .

  • joe blow
    May 13, 2012 - 23:01

    I have had little to no respect for O'Leary ever since she called in to take a few strips off Randy Simms because he had made a silly joke about women on his show. Everyone knew Simms was joking and it was harmless, but she was outraged and would not accept Randys explanation. I thought it was rather silly and something she should have ignored. Someone said she was focused on the Frivilous and I agree. Sure shes a mouthpiece and can talk you blind, but I would not want her in the mayors chair.

  • JMPA
    May 13, 2012 - 21:25

    Interesting that most of the comments are negative and from men.....go figure. What is it about an articulate, educated, vibrant woman, who stands up to big business, who doesn't want every green space in the city taken over by condos or office towers, that intimidates you....could it be the small man syndrome!!!!!!!!!! Go for it Sheilagh with bells on.

  • m
    May 13, 2012 - 20:10

    Beware the O'Lear!!! Fear the O'Lear!!! The city does not need more spend and tax p[oliticians. Mayor now is bad enough.

  • O'Keefe is not OK
    May 13, 2012 - 17:25

    O'Keefe has got to go. Just a political oppotunist who says what you want to hear, but does not do it. He is back and forth on issues, you don't know where he stands. He won't do anything to risk any vote, like when he allows the Oppupy Crowd to take over the park without opposition becuase they would vote against him if he did, but ti is not a big enough issue for the averge jow to take a vote from him for. I'll endorse O'Leary, or anyone else for that matter.

  • Southy
    May 13, 2012 - 17:03

    Tomas Munclair is out to lunch!! O'leary may or may not be a good choice for mayor but Tomas Munclair is absolutely crazy, and his comments about the oilsands prove it!!

  • Scott Free
    May 13, 2012 - 15:35

    Mulcair might be smitten with O'Leary, but its a bit of a premature jubilation as the popularity contest is a good ways off yet.

  • bob conway
    May 13, 2012 - 14:50

    o leary for got to be kidding.

  • Mark Harnett
    May 13, 2012 - 14:34

    Sheilagh O'Leary is an example of exactly what we DON'T need for council leadership. Her focus is entirely on the frivolous while ignoring the economic and infrastructure demands of the city, which NEED to be addressed. It's great that she likes bike lanes (which go unused and clutter up the roads), but how about a sustainable and progressive view of business development in the downtown area instead of a knee-jerk 'pro-heritage' and anti-business attitude. If you want workable bike-lanes and public transit, you have to have a critical population density to support their use - which we won't get by refusing every request to develop a new property downtown outright. Business and development are not dirty words - and Mulcair's endorsement is even more reason to not vote for her.

  • Eli
    May 13, 2012 - 13:53

    Only reason O'Keefe is there now is it was either him or Ellsworth. It was a choice of you're damned if you & damned if you don't. O'Keefe has as much fiscal responsibility as a cows a*se.

  • Dave
    May 13, 2012 - 12:25

    Well, that's great - a Quebecois politician butting his nose into Newfoundland politics, telling us how we should vote. If Mulcair wants us to vote for Sheilagh, everyone should do the opposite. Thomas Mulcair's realm is federal politics (and the ruinous economic policy of the NDP). Neither of those things are needed in a municipal election in St. John's. Butt out Thomas.

    • Audrina
      May 13, 2012 - 18:35

      Dave, if it was the reverse, and a federal politicial from Nfld was endorsing some mayoral candidate on the mainland, I bet you'd be A-OK with that. Some of the cherished double standards on this island are well past their best before date.

  • Chris
    May 13, 2012 - 12:19


  • sealcove
    May 13, 2012 - 12:13

    Did you know Mulcair is againt off shore drilling just saying

  • Someone
    May 13, 2012 - 11:43

    I guess he wants as many Dippers across the land as he can get. God help us all.