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Mulcair to lecture Alberta on environment

By Daniel Proussalidis, National Bureau

OTTAWA - NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair will use his upcoming tour of the Alberta oilsands to promote Quebec's model of "sustainable development" for the whole country.

"It's a vision to include economic, social and environmental aspects every time the government takes a decision," said Mulcair, a former Quebec environment minister. "The legislation I brought forward in Quebec was a model in North America for sustainable development."

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall said Mulcair's proposal "could significantly damage the job-creating potential" of the oilsands or any other industry.

Wall also invited Mulcair to Saskatchewan.

"Come and have a look at a potash mine," Wall said on Sun News Network.

For now, Mulcair will only spend Thursday in Alberta, meeting Fort McMurray Mayor Melissa Blake, touring a Suncor oilsands facility, and heading to Edmonton to meet with deputy premier Thomas Lukaszuk.

Alberta Premier Alison Redford won't meet Mulcair, but he denies feeling snubbed.

"I'm sure that it'll work out some other time," he said.

Mulcair's relationship with Western premiers has suffered recently.

He's dismissed them as "messengers" for Prime Minister Stephen Harper and mused about so-called "Dutch Disease" from oilsands development in Alberta allegedly hurting manufacturing in Ontario and Quebec.

Mulcair insists he's not worried those comments will be fodder for Wall, Redford and B.C. Premier Christy Clark when they meet in Edmonton on Tuesday.

"I have nothing against provincial politicians," he said.

Still, Mulcair has dropped all talk of Dutch Disease, switching to pushing the feds to take measures that could slap additional costs on oilsands development.

"Since the beginning we've made it clear that we're very concerned that the federal government is not enforcing federal law -- the Navigable Waters Act, the Fisheries Act, migratory birds, not looking at cumulative health effects, not looking at groundwater, not monitoring the water in any way shape or form," Mulcair said.

 


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