Mulcair Says Canada Should Refine Own Resources

While outlining the energy policy of the New Democratic Party, NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair vowed to place environmental protection as the topmost priority in their new national strategy on Wednesday, while promising to encourage the processing of resources at home rather than the export of raw materials. During a luncheon speech in Ottawa, Mulcair distinguished his party from both the Stephen Harper’s Conservatives and Justin Trudeau’s Liberals, who have both supported the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. Whereas, Mr. Mulcair opposed TransCanada Corp.’s proposed project to ship oil sands bitumen to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries, highlighting that heavy crude should rather be upgraded and refined in Canada.

On the other hand, the NDP leader also reaffirmed his plans to impose a cap-and-trade system that would limit industrial greenhouse emissions, highlighting that the revenue collected will be used to finance the development of clean energy technology. While the Conservatives often criticize the NDP’s cap-and-trade plan as a “tax on everything,” Mr. Mulcair claims that the Conservatives have presented Canadians with a “false choice” between economic growth and environmental protection.

During the speech, Mr. Mulcair referred his party to be in a position of government in waiting, as he detailed a sweeping policy that would reverse the Harper government’s recent regulatory changes. He further added that the plan would “leverage[s] our natural resource wealth to invest in modern, clean energy technology that will keep Canada on the cutting edge of energy development and ensure affordable energy rates into the future.”

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