Redford challenges Mulcair’s stand on oilsands

Alberta Premier Alison Redford is speaking out about federal NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair’s comments about the oilsands.

CALGARY — Alberta Premier Alison Redford is speaking out about federal NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair’s comments about the oilsands.

The NDP leader told a CBC radio program last weekend that the oilsands are artificially inflating the Canadian dollar and hollowing out the country’s manufacturing sector.

He called it the definition of Dutch disease — a reference to the Netherlands and how a natural gas find in that country led to declines in manufacturing in the 1960s.

Mulcair also told the radio program he wants to see the oilsands developed in a responsible way that sees more refining done in Canada and less raw product sent abroad.

Redford said Thursday she’s not sure whether Mulcair’s comments were informed or just his opinion.

But she added 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.

Earlier this week, Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall also took issue with Mulcair’s comments.

Wall said if Mulcair thinks the oilsands are a disease, Wall wants to know what the NDP thinks the cure is.

Redford was also to speak Thursday night at Progressive Conservative party fundraising dinner in Calgary.

All 1,750 tickets to the $500-a-plate event have been sold.

Redford has a Progressive Conservative fundraiser dinner in Edmonton next Thursday.

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