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Former prime minister Paul Martin is not about blame Alberta's energy industry for "Dutch disease."
Martin is in Edmonton to receive an honorary doctor of laws from the University of Alberta. And he's also weighing in on NDP leader Tom Mulcair's view that oil and gas development is inflating the value of the loonie.
"If you look at every time the governor of the Bank of Canada says he may have to raise interest rates, our dollar goes up," says Martin. "When there are announcements of major mineral exports in eastern Canada, the dollar is affected. One of the reasons our dollar is so high was that in 1995 Canadians decided they were going to eliminate their deficit and start cutting debt."
Martin calls Mulcair's comments "nonsensical," and says it's a "far more complex issue than that."
But he was cautious about weighing on the debate over the Northern Gateway pipeline from Alberta to the B.C. Coast. He does say that he hopes First Nations and Enbridge can sit down to negotiate, and he adds that Enbridge is approaching it in a "very responsible way." (bd, lk)