REGINA - Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall is taking federal NDP Leader Tom Mulcair to task for what Wall says are wealth transfer policies "masquerading" as environmental policies.
Wall says Mulcair's talk of internalizing environmental costs for the resource sector sounds like code for cap-and-trade or a carbon tax.
The premier told 2,200 supporters at a dinner in Regina that such policies are a risk to Saskatchewan's prosperity.
"What we are doing in Saskatchewan, what you are building in Saskatchewan is creating opportunity for people from across this country from sea to sea to sea. What you are doing in Saskatchewan is not just good for Saskatchewan, it is good for Canada and don't let anyone ever tell you different," Wall said.
"We need to be ready to defend our interests."
The two starting trading barbs last month after Mulcair said the booming oil sector was hurting other parts of the economy by driving up the dollar _ a phenomenon known as Dutch disease.
Mulcair said his vision of environmentally sustainable development is one in which polluters pay the costs of cleaning up their messes. He has said his polluter-pay principle does not single out the West but would apply to the development of all natural resources right across the country.
Wall, Alberta Premier Alison Redford, and B.C.'s Christy Clark have called Mulcair's comments divisive.
"In trying to extricate themselves from this mistake, Mr. Mulcair and the national NDP are saying 'our problem is not with the premiers. Our problem is with the prime minister,' " Wall said Thursday.
"My message to them tonight is just this: if you are aspirants to 24 Sussex, to be the national government and you are espousing wealth transfer policies dressed up as environmental policies that would kill jobs in Saskatchewan, that would drive (up) energy rates in the province, that would threaten our opportunity and our ability to contribute to this country like we've never contributed before, then your problem is with this premier and it is with this government and it is with the province of Saskatchewan."
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