A decade ago a friend of mine spent a summer apprenticing as a page in the National Assembly of Québec during the time that Thomas Mulcair served as Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment, and Parks in the government of Jean Charest.
He described vividly how opposition Parti Québécois deputies were terrified of Mulcair. His encyclopedic knowledge, searing intellect and brilliant rhetorical gifts could shred a careless opponent. His nickname at the time, The Grizzly, reflected that approach. This was no Winnie the Pooh or Panda -- tangling with Mulcair could leave an opponent seriously mauled.