Canada's New Democratic Party leader Thomas Mulcair speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons.
Credits: REUTERS/Blair Gable
OTTAWA - NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair says there's no way Mark Carney was talking about him last week when the Bank of Canada governor shot down those who blamed oilsands development for a high dollar.
In fact, it appeared Mulcair was retreating Monday from his prognosis that "Dutch disease" is responsible for the country's slumping manufacturing sector.
He now says it's only "partially" responsible and that he and Carney have always sang from the same songbook.
"We argued that the Canadian dollar is partially artificially high because of the failure to internalize environmental costs. If we apply the basic principle of polluter-pay, we will reduce the pressure on the Canadian dollar," he said outside the Commons.
Carney used a speech last week in Calgary to dispel arguments Mulcair has used to paint oilpatch development in a negative light.
"While the tidiness of the argument is appealing and making commodities the scapegoat is tempting, the diagnosis is overly simplistic and, in the end, wrong," Carney said without specifically naming anyone.
"Canada's economy is much more diverse and much better integrated than the Dutch disease caricature," he said about the concept that the natural resource sector has artificially inflated the value of the dollar and has caused manufacturing to slump - especially in Ontario.
Mulcair said Carney was likely referring to someone else.
"Oh my goodness, can you imagine how inappropriate and unprecedented that would be if the head of the Bank of Canada were to get involved in partisan politics. I'm sure Mark Carney wasn't talking about the NDP."
Mulcair has been the target of attacks by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and others for blaming the booming resource sector for a soaring loonie.