Mulcair accuses the West of creating Dutch Disease, Clark says the NDP are speaking gobbledygook

British Columbia Premier Christy Clark pushed back after the NDP’s new federal leader, Thomas Mulcair, said that the resource ramp up in Western Canada is coming at the expense of manufacturing jobs out east.

On Saturday Clark appeared on CBC’s The House and responded to Mulcair’s accusations.

“It’s by definition the Dutch Disease,” said Mulcair in an interview played on the show before Clark’s appearance.

“The Canadian dollar is being held artificially high, which is fine if you are going to Disney World, but it is not so good if you want to sell your manufactured goods . . . because the American client can no longer afford to buy it.

“We’ve hollowed out the manufacturing sector. At the present time, the way we are developing and exploiting the oil sands sector is causing an imbalance in our economy. That’s demonstrable.”

Clark said Mulcair’s accusations had been discredited. The NDP may not want all this economic growth, says Clark, but they also want to pour money into social programs.

“You can’t have it both ways, because it’s economic development that makes it possible for us to have one of the finest health care systems in the world,” said Clark.

Clark was asked if she was mis-interpreting Mulcair’s position. The NDP say they plan to better direct development of natural resources and fully price out the cost of development. Clark disagreed.

“What [Mulcair] is actually saying is that he wants less of it. He wants to make it much more expensive for it to happen; therefore, we will have less of it and therefore we will have less development. The NDP talk their gobbledygook, but that is what they really mean.

On another topic, Clark was asked about what the the Northern Gateway Pipeline would mean for the province. Aside from short-term jobs building it, the benefit would be equal to B.C. as any other province.

“The Northern Gateway Pipeline for British Columbia would be somewhat important. To put this in context, if it were found to be environmentally sound to go ahead—and we don’t know what the risks are recognizing that British Columbia is taking 100% of the risk . . . but if it was go ahead at the moment British Columbia gets the same benefit as Nova Scotia. It wouldn’t create any jobs but BC would benefit from the royalties like any other Canadian province.”

Image: Christy Clark, center, tours a science labortory at Simon Fraser University

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