09/11/2013 04:53 EDT | Updated 11/11/2013 05:12 EST

Mulcair says 'nothing but a great vibe' in Saskatchewan; hopes to win MP seats

SASKATOON - Federal NDP Leader Tom Mulcair says the party's brand is still strong in Saskatchewan, even though it hasn't won any seats in the last four elections.

Mulcair made the comments as New Democrats wrapped up their annual summer caucus retreat in Saskatoon.

He acknowledged that the NDP has had difficulty winning seats in Saskatchewan, even with 32 per cent of the vote in the last election.

But Mulcair's eye is clearly on 2015 and the hope that a major redrawing of electoral boundaries in Saskatchewan will change the outcome in that election.

The change creates urban-only ridings in Regina and Saskatoon, instead of the current urban-rural hybrids, which spread out like slices of a pie, pulling in a corner of the cities along with a bigger rural area.

The Conservatives hold 13 of the 14 seats in Saskatchewan; the Liberals have one.

"We're going to work very hard under the new map to make sure we get back to having the seats here because it's an important place, but it's also an important region," Mulcair said Wednesday.

"We really want to build here in Saskatchewan. I've been getting nothing but a great vibe from having been here and it shows our interest in rebuilding."

That rebuilding included mending fences with Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall.

The two men held their first face-to-face meeting Monday before Mulcair headed to the caucus retreat. They described it as a "positive" chat.

Mulcair said he and Wall are on the same page when it comes to abolishing the scandal-plagued Senate. Mulcair also said the premier appreciated that the NDP's preference for development of natural resources is building a pipeline to carry western oil to the East Coast.

The two disagreed on the Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry oilsands bitumen to Gulf Coast refineries.

Wall says the Keystone XL pipeline is an important project for Canada, while Mulcair says he doesn't want to ship 40,000 Canadian jobs to the U.S.