Mulcair remortgaged home 11 times

NDP Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair arrives for a meeting May 28, 2012 at Parliament Hill in...

NDP Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair arrives for a meeting May 28, 2012 at Parliament Hill in Ottawa with Shawn Atleo, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations. (Andre Forget/QMI AGENCY)

Kristy Kirkup, Parliamentary Bureau

, Last Updated: 5:03 PM ET

OTTAWA - One of the central figures on the NDP front bench defended his boss Monday after a news story reported Thomas Mulcair remortgaged his home 11 times since the 1980s.

NDP House leader Nathan Cullen said Mulcair's mortgage is a private matter even though land records are publicly available.

A Postmedia News report on the weekend said land documents show Mulcair refinanced his home west of Montreal 11 times, bolstering the value of the mortgage from $58,000 to $300,000.

"I really think this is a personal matter. I don't think it's a discussion for public consumption. I really don't," Cullen told reporters. "There has to be a line as parliamentarians, for those of us engaged in public life, maintaining our personal lives as well. I think this is part of the personal."

Mulcair is a lawyer and longtime politician and his wife works as a psychologist in Montreal.

On Monday, the leader's office said the NDP chief and his wife "made these decisions for personal and family reasons" but indicated "they are part of his private life."

Cullen said questions shouldn't be raised about Mulcair's money-managing abilities.

"I look for the public statements, for the public work and Mr. Mulcair's work has been exemplary in his defence of Quebec and his defence of this country," he said.

Kristy.Kirkup@sunmedia.ca

On Twitter: @kkirkup


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