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Fred Chartrand/La Presse canadienne
VANCOUVER — NDP leader Tom Mulcair tried to smother a political fire on Sunday caused after a star candidate said much of the oil in Alberta's oil sands might have to remain in the ground. Toronto Centre candidate Linda McQuaig told a CBC panel last week that curbing oilsands production might be necessary for Canada to meet its environmental targets. The Conservatives and Liberals pounced on the remarks this weekend and Prime Minister Stephen Harper made a point of mentioning the issue while speaking to reporters on Sunday. Mulcair brushed off the flap repeating his party's position that the NDP support developing natural resources and creating markets for them as long as environmental safeguards are in place. The NDP leader, who was campaigning in Vancouver on Sunday, tried to turn the spotlight back on Harper by attacking the Conservatives' environmental policies. He said the governing Conservatives have jeopardized resource development by gutting environmental laws that the public and the environment need. "The problem we have in Canada with regards to the development of our natural resources and getting new markets for them is called "Stephen Harper," Mulcair said.