Newspaper article The Canadian Press

'Leap Manifesto' Not about Shutting Down Oilsands, Mulcair Insists

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

'Leap Manifesto' Not about Shutting Down Oilsands, Mulcair Insists

Article excerpt

Don't jump to conclusions about Leap: Mulcair

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EDMONTON - It is dangerous to suggest the controversial proposed policy road map known as the "Leap Manifesto" advocates the shutdown of Alberta's oilsands, Tom Mulcair said Friday as the party's convention got underway in Edmonton.

The embattled New Democrat leader said that's not his view of the document -- a linchpin in the ongoing tug-of-war over Mulcair's leadership, provincial NDP fortunes in Alberta and the future of the federal party.

Nearly two dozen NDP riding associations are pushing for the party to embrace and debate the non-partisan document, a call to return the party to its left-wing roots that urges -- among other things -- an end to Canada's dependence on fossil fuels.

On Sunday, a joint resolution from the ridings of Toronto-Danforth and Vancouver East calling for a future debate on the policies contained within in the manifesto will face a vote on the convention floor.

"I think it is ... dangerous to caricature the Leap document as being something about shutting things down," Mulcair said in an interview with The Canadian Press.

"We've got to stop fooling ourselves in Canada. It is not true that we are doing our share on climate change. We've never reduced our greenhouse gas emissions. That's why the Leap document is so important.

"What they're saying is, going forward, we have to take a whole new approach if we actually want to get to the point where we reduce greenhouse gas emissions and we can come to terms and deal with climate change. That's what it is saying."

Mulcair also stressed he has never suggested oil should stay in the ground -- an expression he noted is never used in the document, which calls for a swift transition away from fossil fuels, rejecting new pipeline projects and an upending of the capitalist system on which the Canadian economy is based.

The document, which has a wide range of supporters including actors, labour unions and environmentalists, was first unveiled in September during the federal election campaign. …

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