Tories continue 'Dutch disease' attacks

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OTTAWA – Heritage Minister James Moore says the brouhaha over NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair’s ‘Dutch disease’ diagnosis has revealed his "divisive nature" to Canadians.

Moore – the government’s lead attack dog against Mulcair over his theory the resource boom is hollowing out Quebec and Ontario economies – took another shot at the newly minted NDP leader Tuesday.

Someone auditioning for the role of prime minister shouldn’t alienate three provincial premiers in two short months on the job, Moore charged.

"He’s got the premiers of… British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan furious at him for not only disregarding the strength of Western Canada’s economy but also dismissing them as duly elected premiers of their provinces and territories," Moore told reporters in Moncton, New Brunswick.

Mulcair’s theory sparked the ire of the western premiers, who see the resource booms in their respective provinces as an engine for Canada’s economy.

He later dubbed them Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s "messengers" when they lashed out at him in the media and on Twitter, adding fuel to their fire.

The Conservatives picked up on the frustration being expressed in Western provinces and tore into Mulcair repeatedly last week, accusing him of playing one region against the other.

The NDP shot back, saying the Conservatives were trying to create divisions that didn’t exist.

Still, while Mulcair has refused to back down from his comments, he did concede to scheduling a visit to the Alberta oilsands.

He’s expected to drop in as early as next week.