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.