Saturday, 12 May 2012
Three Western Premiers Speak Up Against Mulcair Remarks
Mulcair, speaking on a CBC radio program last weekend said that the oilsands are artificially inflated the Canadian dollar and hollowing out the country’s manufacturing sector, a similar comment made by Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty earlier this year. He compared Canada's economic realities to "Dutch disease," referring to the collapse of the Dutch manufacturing sector in the 1960s after oil-industry development raised the country's currency.
The three Western Premiers see the results as divisive, remarks that have no place in today's reality of Canada.
Mulcair's remarks drew angry remarks from Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall. Wall called the comments divisive for one that aspires to lead the country and said if Mulcair thinks the oilsands are a disease, he wants to know what the NDP thinks the cure is. Saskatchewan has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country with the help of resource development of potash, uranium and oil.
"It's a concern for people out West. I think his economics are wrong. And there's a lack of recognition there that the resource strength for Western Canada is a strength for the whole country," Wall said.
Newly elected Alberta Premier Alison Redford also reacted stating that she is not sure if Mulcair's comments were well informed or just his opinion. She continued that she hopes he explains his motivation because she says someone looking to lead the country one day needs to understand just how important the oilsands are to the entire country.
British Columbia's Premier Christy Clark called Mulcair's remarks goofy.
"I really thought that type of thinking was discredited and it had been discredited for a long time. It's so backwards," Clark said. "I think that's just goofy."
She continued as to his remarks regarding "Dutch Disease" and said they just weren't accurate, calling NDP remarks as gobbledygook.
"The NDP talk their gobbledygook, but really they want less economic development," she said. "We all know it's a recipe for disaster."
Manitoba has an NDP government so naturally the remarks by its Premier would have to be guarded. Suffice to say that former Manitoba NDP Premier Gary Doer and presently Canada's Ambassador to the United States is pragmatic enough to support the oilsands.
Mulcair seems to be stuck on ideology and really hasn't put forward an alternative vision for Canada, at least not one that is all inclusive. A former Member of Quebec's National Assembly, it certainly looks as if Mulcair has not made the transition yet to the national stage. While he has to protect his party's turf in Quebec, he also needs to realize that he has to make some inroads in Western Canada. His approach isn't going to cut it. Remember the National Energy Program. How did that work for you?