Naïve, tone deaf: Premier’s reaction to Leap Manifesto
Published Monday, April 11, 2016 5:21PM MDT
Last Updated Monday, April 11, 2016 6:26PM MDT
A proposal for the NDP to steer left has the provincial NDP and their federal counterparts divided. The so-called Leap Manifesto calls for a more environmentally-friendly policy, and an end to fossil fuel use, but it’s one Alberta Premier Rachel Notley is opposed to.
On Saturday, Notley delivered a speech at the federal NDP Convention in Edmonton, appealing to party faithful to not adopt the manifesto, and they are feelings Notley reiterated Monday.
“To be clear, the Government of Alberta repudiates the section of the document that addresses energy infrastructure, those ideas will never form any part of our policy,” Notley said Monday. “They are ill-informed, naïve and they are tone deaf.”
If it was approved, the manifesto would stop pipelines, and keep oil in the ground – at a time when an increasing number of Albertans in the oil and gas industry are out of work.
“There is 500,000 people that depend on a paycheck from this industry and market access is critically important,” Mark Scholz with the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors said.
Gil McGowan with the Alberta Federation of Labour said he doesn’t think the policy will be adopted, calling it an “unrealistic fantasy”, but he’s concerned political infighting over it could hurt the party in the long term.
“It’s going to be like whack-a-mole, every time the opposition tries to run with this, we’re just going to have to smack it down again by reassuring people that this is not going to happen in Alberta,” McGowan said.
Now, each NDP riding will have the chance to weigh in on the manifesto, and results will be brought back to the national party convention in two years – that will take place ahead of the province’s next provincial election.
Despite the division over the manifesto, Notley said Monday that she plans to keep the provincial party affiliated with the federal NDP, saying disagreements between the two levels of the party are not uncommon.
Meanwhile, she said she is up to debate the issue with other members of the federal party.
“We will engage in that discussion and we will make sure the points I made at convention are heard from Nanaimo to Cape Breton, and everywhere in between,” Notley said.
With files from Shanelle Kaul