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This article was published 22/8/2015 (1611 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
OTTAWA — Winnipeg South Centre NDP candidate Matt Henderson believes Canada has a responsibility to the planet to seriously question whether more of the oilsands should be developed.
Henderson is the second NDP candidate since the election began to sound off against the oilsands, and his comments are likely to raise eyebrows.
On Aug. 7, noted author Linda McQuaig suggested Canada might have to stop developing the oilsands in Alberta.
Henderson, a teacher at St. John's-Ravenscourt, said in an interview with University of Winnipeg radio station CKUW on Aug. 10, with so many oil spills and pipeline accidents, it's time society questioned whether it's worth it.
"At what point do we as a society say, 'OK, that's enough, let's leave stuff in the ground, and we won't be bullied by people who say, 'Well, we're gonna lose jobs,' ' because I think we can be really, really innovative and creative in terms of how we create energy," Henderson said, according to a transcript.
He told the Free Press on Friday he doesn't understand why it's controversial to question "our existence within the biosphere."
"If we just go blindly and see economic growth as the only activity on this planet, that's controversial," Henderson said. "If you question it, you're labelled a radical but I think it's radical not to."
One of Henderson's opponents, Liberal Jim Carr, said he is not a fan of politics that pit one thing against the other.
Carr said he believes you can work on responsible and sustainable resource development and work towards renewable energy at the same time.
Henderson's comments have potential to cause grief for the NDP, which is hoping for possible gains in Alberta and Saskatchewan where resource development is a big concern and even in other parts of the country where pipeline development is a factor.
Comments made by McQuaig Aug. 7, on CBC Power and Politics, were explosive in the campaign, jumped on by both the Conservatives and Liberals as a sign the NDP is against further resource development in Canada.
McQuaig said a lot of the oilsands oil may have to stay in the ground if Canada is to meet its climate change targets.
She said Canada needs a climate change accountability system and a proper environmental review process for pipelines.
McQuaig, a journalist and author, is seeking to unseat incumbent Liberal Chrystia Freeland in one of the most Liberal seats in Canada.
Conservative Leader Stephen Harper addressed McQuaig's comments head-on two days after she made them, taking time during a national security announcement to blast the NDP on its pipeline agenda.
"That is the NDP's not-so-hidden agenda on development," Harper said.
"This is a party that has opposed every single one of these projects. This is a party where the leader actually went out of the country to lobby against Canadian projects."
He was referring to a trip to Washington, D.C. NDP Leader Tom Mulcair made in 2013, where he met with senior Democrats and then asserted Canadians didn't want the Keystone Pipeline.
The NDP attempted to distance itself from McQuaig's assertion, saying she was citing a report in the journal Nature. Natural Resources critic Malcolm Allen said Aug. 9 keeping the oilsands in the ground wasn't his party's position.