Rae calls for federal help twinning 63 & sustainable oilsands development
Jul 9, 2012 at 7:33 pm in News by tyler.king
Hear Tyler King’s full interview in the Rock 97.9 studios with Bob Rae here:
Outgoing Liberal Party leader Bob Rae is in Fort McMurray for the first time since he was first elected to Parliament in the early 1980s.
Rae was quick to draw a distinction between his visit and the brief stop made by federal NDP leader Thomas Mulcair a few weeks ago.
“I think it’s really important for national leaders to be here, and to not just be here for a couple of hours, but to be here for time,” Rae said. “Nobody’s coming here to lecture; we’re here to listen, we’re here to learn, and I hope we can make a difference.”
One key area where Rae says the federal government could make a bigger difference is in the twinning of Highway 63. He says there should be more federal involvement in that project.
“In other parts of the country, the federal government has played a role in building a national highway system, and in making sure that system is accessible to people,” he said. “I think the province would probably welcome a strong partnership with the federal government in saying; look, we need to twin this highway; it’s very heavily traveled.”
Rae also emphasized his party’s commitment to sustainable development of the oilsands; but he says environmental sensitivity doesn’t necessarily have to come at the cost of industry.
“I have oil company executives saying ‘tell us what the rules are with certainty over the next five years and ten years, and that gives us the certainty that allows us to make investments,’” he said. “So, in some senses, having governments get their act together federally and provincially, and municipally, and say ‘here’s the rules of the game, here’s how we’re going to proceed,’ that gives companies the certainty they need to make the investments that they want to make.”
He also took aim at Mulcair’s view that the industry was harming other sectors of the economy.
“You don’t govern in the name of a theory,” he said. “There’s an awful lot of work and jobs, and the development of wealth across the country that stems from the resource industries, and it’s a very, very shallow and narrow view that says ‘well, if it’s good for Alberta and British Columbia, then it must be bad for Ontario and Quebec.’”
“The fact of the matter is, we’ve lived and grown as a country through a series of changes,” he added. “And where things have gone well in some parts of the country, or not so well, we’ve tried to help each other.”
“And that’s the spirit of the country that we need to build; that’s what the Liberal Party has been all about.”
Published July 9, 2012