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Leap Manifesto Is Thoughtless, Naive And Tone Deaf: Rachel Notley

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EDMONTON — Alberta's NDP premier has come out swinging against the federal party's plans to consider dramatic policy changes that would have huge implications for her province.

Rachel Notley called the energy pieces of the Leap Manifesto thoughtless.

"The government of Alberta repudiates the sections of that document that address energy infrastructure,'' Notley said Monday. "These ideas will never form any part of policy. They are naive. They are ill-informed. They are tone deaf.''

Notley stopped short of saying she would seek to split the Alberta wing of the NDP from its federal counterpart. Instead, she said, Alberta New Democrats will make their points from within the party.

rachel notley
Rachel Notley speaks at the 2016 NDP Federal Convention in Edmonton. (Photo: Codie McLachlan/CP)

The manifesto calls for a radical, accelerated shift to Canada's economy to combat climate change.

It proposes a ban on new infrastructure projects, such as pipelines, tied to increased use of non-renewable energy. It also suggests Canada should get all of its electricity from renewable resources within two decades and be completely off non-renewables by 2050.

On the weekend, delegates to the federal NDP party convention in Edmonton voted to discuss the Leap Manifesto and its policy implications at the constituency level.

"These ideas will never form any part of policy."

Notley has been working to drum up support to get a pipeline built to get Alberta's oil to Canadian ports for a better price on the world market.

Low oil prices have decimated Alberta's once-rich economy. The province is to table a 2016-17 budget Thursday that will include a $10-billion deficit.

Notley's comments Monday followed a string of similar remarks by her cabinet ministers.

"The federal party is wrong."

Alberta Environment Minister Shannon Phillips said the manifesto is bad policy that was poorly handled.

"The federal party is wrong on this matter,'' Phillips said at the legislature. "People are feeling pretty disrespected by what just happened here.

"You didn't even have anybody ... reach out to Alberta before this came to the floor in our capital city.''

Deputy premier Sarah Hoffman said that although the manifesto will be debated at the constituency level, "I imagine most of those conversations will be rather short in oil-producing provinces, not just (in) Alberta.''

Also on the weekend, delegates repudiated the work of leader Thomas Mulcair and voted for a leadership review.

Notley ruled herself out Monday from seeking that job.

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