Redford slams Mulcair’s Keystone XL pipeline comments
Published Monday, March 18, 2013 11:58AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, March 18, 2013 6:35PM EDT
Alberta Premier Alison Redford slammed NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair for criticizing the Keystone XL pipeline project during a trip to the U.S., accusing him of trying to undermine a project critical to the Canadian economy.
During a trip to Washington and New York City last week, Mulcair spoke out against Canada’s environmental record and warned that the controversial pipeline could actually cost thousands of Canadian jobs.
Redford, who has been lobbying U.S. lawmakers to approve the project, said she has been asked whether she objects to what Mulcair said or where he said it.
“I actually object to both,” she told CTV’s Power Play on Monday.
“And I object to what he said when he’s in Canada too because he’s not talking about what matters to Canadians. He’s, again, perpetuating myths with respect to Alberta and the oilsands and I think that’s really unfortunate for someone who purports to be a national leader who cares about Canada’s economic interests.”
Redford also said Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall did not go too far when he suggested that Mulcair’s comments were un-Canadian and a betrayal of national interests.
Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver was not as harsh, but he too criticized Mulcair for taking an “anti-jobs, anti-development” position.
“I think he’s taken the wrong position,” Oliver told Power Play.
“It’s an anti-jobs position, it’s an anti-development and anti-growth position. And the fact that he went down to the United States, the nation’s capital, meant that he created a mixed message coming out of Canada and he gave comfort and encouragement to those Americans who are opposed.
“It was not helpful.”
Mulcair is not the only critic of TransCanada Corp.’s $7-billion pipeline that would carry bitumen from Alberta through six U.S. states to refineries on the Gulf Coast.
But a recently released environmental assessment, done by the U.S. State Department, concluded that Keystone XL will not lead to increases in Alberta’s oilsands development.
The pipeline also doesn’t pose any greater risk to the environment than other modes of transporting oil across North America, the department found.
Now, it’s up to U.S. President Barack Obama to approve or reject the project.
After Mulcair met with U.S. House minority leader Nancy Pelosi, she said that “Canadians don’t want the pipeline in their own country, but they want their own oil to be reaching export markets.”
Mulcair said Pelosi distorted the NDP delegation’s words. NDP Foreign Affairs critic Paul Dewar backed him up.
Mulcair, however, did say he criticized the Conservative government’s environmental record.