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Wall goes after Mulcair’s oil sands comments

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall used Twitter to poke at Thomas Mulcair and comments the federal NDP leader made about resources and the high Canadian dollar.


May 8, 2012
by CANADIAN PRESS

REGINA: Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall used Twitter to poke at Thomas Mulcair and comments the federal NDP leader made about resources and the high Canadian dollar.

Wall took issue with comments Mulcair made while discussing the oil sands.

The NDP leader told a CBC radio program that the oil sands are artificially inflating the Canadian dollar and hollowing out the country’s manufacturing sector.

He called it the definition of Dutch disease – a reference to the Netherlands and how a natural gas find in that country led to declines in manufacturing in the 1960s.

While the oil sands are largely an Alberta issue, Saskatchewan’s economy is heavily dependant on resource revenue and Wall demanded Mulcair explain himself.

“Resources have been the cure, not the problem,” tweeted Wall, whose Saskatchewan Party government is opposed by the NDP in the provincial legislature.

“What is his cure? Higher resource taxes? NDP needs to explain.”

Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver issued a statement saying more than 500 major resource projects worth $500 billion are scheduled to come on line over the next 10 years.

He said they will create hundreds of thousands of high quality jobs and generate economic growth across the country.

Oliver said the oil sands alone are responsible for close to 400,000 direct and indirect jobs in every region of Canada.

Mulcair told the radio program he wants to see the oil sands developed in a responsible way that sees more refining done in Canada and less raw product sent abroad.

Mulcair is not the first politician Canadian politician to raise the issue of the high Canadian dollar and the oil sands.

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty drew Alberta’s scorn earlier this year when he said he preferred a lower dollar to a growing oil and gas sector in Western Canada.

His remarks were characterized as unnecessarily divisive by Alberta Premier Alison Redford, who argued the whole country benefits by supplying goods to a strong resource sector.

McGuinty later tried to tone down his remarks saying he is proud of the work being done in all parts of the country.

© 2012 The Canadian Press