NDP MP criticized for calling WW1 a “capitalistic” war “on the backs of the workers and peasants”

Andy Radia
Politics Reporter
Canada Politics

Unfortunately — or fortunately based on your point of view — there isn't a statute of limitations on a politician's words.

On Tuesday, the 6 year old words of NDP MP Alexandre Boulerice came back to haunt him.

QMI Agency is reporting — 'conveniently' on the 96th anniversary of the Battle at Vimy Ridge — that in 2007 Boulerice wrote a blog post criticizing Canada's involvement in World War 1.

Writing on a left-wing Quebec blog, New Democrat MP Alexandre Boulerice mocked the conflict as "a purely capitalist war on the backs of the workers and peasants.

"The only ones to have refused this butchery, to have rejected the call of the 'sacred union' within each nation, were communist activists," Boulerice wrote in his 2007 posting on the blog Presse-toi à gauche (Hurry to the left).

Boulerice also sniped at Canadian soldiers involved in the Battle of Vimy Ridge, claiming that "thousands of poor wretches were slaughtered to take possession of a hill."

[ Related: Canadians find that the best way to mark Battle of Vimy Ridge is to pass on its significance ]

The Tories were quick to pounce. Party spokesperson Fred DeLorey emailed Yahoo!this statement late on Tuesday afternoon.

Today is the 96th anniversary of the Battle at Vimy ridge, a battle that forged our national identity and marked the beginning of our proud nation. The brave sacrifice and heroism of Canadian Veterans is a matter of fact, one that Canadians from coast to coast can be proud, except for one senior member of Thomas Mulcair’s NDP.

In an article authored by senior NDP MP Alexandre Boulerice, he called the sacrifice of our Canadian Veterans "A war of bourgeois who always wanted more money. A purely capitalist war, on workers’ and farmers’ back. What’s the point?"

He further said that 'the only ones who rejected this war were the communist activists.'

On a day when Canadians stand together to remember and pay tribute to our brave Veterans, it is absolutely unacceptable for such anyone, much less a senior member of Thomas Mulcair’s NDP, to denigrate and disrespect the legacy of those who served, sacrificed and gave their lives in the defence of freedom and democracy during World War I.

Thomas Mulcair and Alexandre Boulerice must immediately retract these inflammatory and inappropriate comments and to formally apologize to the Canadians and Veterans they have insulted.

The NDP did not respond to queries from Yahoo! Canada News, but NDP Principal Secretary Karl Belanger took to Twitter questioning the timing of the QMI story:

So QMI "breaks" a news story about something written 6 years ago about which QMI wrote 2 years ago? #cdnpoli#media

— Karl Bélanger (@KarlBelanger) April 9, 2013

Belanger also referred to a NDP statement — about the Vimmy Ridge anniversary — noting that Boulerice retweeted it.

Boulerice's past is somewhat controversial because of his involvement with the Quebec Solidaire, a separatist party in the province of Quebec.

Incidentally, Boulerice is one of the NDP MPs featured on the Conservative Party's' attack website called Mulcair's NDP.

[ Related: The secret to Justin Trudeau's popularity: Thomas Mulcair ]

"Mr. Boulerice is a former union communications officer, who has long been active in Quebec provincial politics," claims the Tories' blurb about him.

"He campaigned for a Québec Solidaire candidate in 2007 (Canada Newswire, February 16, 2007) and he was a candidate for its predecessor party, l’Union des Forces Progressistes, in 2003. Mr. Boulerice donated over $3,700 to Québec Solidaire and its predecessor party since 2003. According to the Directeur général des élections du Québec, his most recent donation was given in 2012 indicating that Mr. Boulerice remains supportive of Quebec Solidaire and its policies even as he sits as a federal MP.

"Quebec Solidaire is a far-left party that clearly supports separation."

Something tells me there's a Tory research staffer in some back office somewhere dedicated to the Boulerice file.

(Photo courtesy of Reuters)

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