Unifor President Jerry Dias thinks NDP interim leader Tom Muclair should have, “stepped down yesterday” and that the party is “stuck” and “rudderless” without a leader.

In an interview with CTV’s Question Period Sunday, the president of the Canadian labour union said that the NDP needs to put someone in place sooner rather than later, even if it’s just a different interim leader to get the party moving forward.

Mulcair has said he will stay on as NDP interim leader until a new leader is chosen or until a leadership review.

“He needs to move and give the party the opportunity to rebuild, just like (former Liberal leader Michael) Ignatieff stepped aside and gave Justin Trudeau the opportunity,” said Dias.

Dias compared the NDP situation to that of the Liberals just a few years ago, saying that with both Stephane Dion and Michael Ignatieff as leaders, the Liberals were “rudderless.” Today, he said, they have an overwhelming majority government because they changed quickly.

Dias also brought up former Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger who served from 2009 to 2016. Selinger received less than 51 per cent of the vote during the NDP leadership convention and lost the following election to a Conservative government. Dias said this is because the NDP can’t seem to change.

“We stay too long, we’re afraid to make changes,” said Dias. “The party is going nowhere and we need to be honest.”

Dias said the NDP needs to get on with the rebuilding process and needs to stop waiting for the worst to come before moving into action. There’s no point in waiting until the party has fallen to 10 per cent in the polls when they can get a head start right now with a new leader.

“We need to get on with the rebuilding process and we’re not doing it with Tom hanging around for another eight months,” said Dias.

Progressive government

Dias responded to CTV’s Craig Oliver’s idea of the NDP getting “sucked up” by the Liberal party as “nonsense.” Oliver proposed the NDP should think about joining with the Liberal Party but Dias said NDP voters only voted Liberal to get Stephen Harper out of office.

“All we want is a progressive government,” Dias said. “So far is Trudeau performing well? The answer is absolutely yes.”

He called the Liberals’ adoption of centre-left ideas, a shift from centre-right, a “brilliant move” once they realized that Mulcair and the NDP were leading in polls. When asked what’s left for the NDP, Dias said those on the left need to continue pushing the Liberal party and the NDP should occupy that space.

“We need a progressive party from the left because heaven only knows the Conservatives are going to continue to push him from the right,” said Dias.