Christy Clark Dismisses Federal NDP Leader’s Economic Critique of the Tar Sands as “Goofy”


Read this blog from on BC Premier Christy Clark’s recent dismissal of Federal NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair’s concerns about the net economic impacts of unchecked Tar Sands development on Canada’s economy is simply “goofy”. (May 12, 2012)

B.C. Premier Christy Clark is firing back at federal NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, calling his stance on the oilsands “goofy.”

Clark told CBC Radio’s The House that Mulcair’s comments about the negative economic impact of Western Canada’s resource sector on provinces that rely heavily on manufacturing don’t make sense.

“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.”

Clark was responding to an interview with the NDP leader on CBC Radio’s The House last week. Mulcair told host Evan Solomon that the resource sector in Western Canada is driving up the dollar artificially and straining the manufacturing sector in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick.

The Opposition leader 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.

Clark said that comparison isn’t accurate.

“The NDP talk their gobbledygook, but really … they want less economic development,” she said. “We all know it’s a recipe for disaster.”

Clark said British Columbia is stepping up investment in mining and forestry and that Mulcair’s perspective clashes with the province’s philosophy on economic development.

“What I hear him saying is ‘you know Western Canada, we don’t want you to make that big contribution anymore. It distorts our ability to be able to do things in Eastern Canada,'” she said.

“I’m sorry, that is not what this country is built on.”

Clark isn’t the first premier to criticize Mulcair’s comments. Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall said earlier this week that Mulcair’s take on the oilsands is divisive.

“It’s a concern for people out West,” Wall said. “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.”

Clark was set to leave for her second trade mission to Asia on Saturday. She has made exporting Canadian resources to Asia a priority and the route for the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline, which would ship crude from the oilsands to the Pacific coast, passes through British Columbia.

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