OTTAWA - Thomas Mulcair says Prime Minister Stephen Harper has no plan to protect Canada from Europe's financial crisis even though the federal budget has been staring the NDP leader in the face for two months.
The NDP finally got around Wednesday to acknowledging the advancing threats facing the economy, but instead of offering solutions he tore a strip off Harper for not bailing out problem countries with Canadian tax dollars.
Canada and the United States say the Europeans have the resources to fix their mess, and handing over hundreds of millions only rewards bad behaviour.
"When will the Conservatives stop lecturing European countries and put forward a real plan to protect and create jobs here in Canada," Mulcair said.
His comments came a couple of hours after he updated his MPs on his trip to Alberta, which he took after blaming the oilsands for gutting Canada's manufacturing sector by artificially inflating the value of the dollar.
The budget the NDP opposes contains measures the government says will help prevent the kind of crisis that is battering Europe and spilling over to other major economies, including the U.S. and China.
From increasing the age of eligibility for Old Age Security and tightening regulations for employment insurance to speeding up environmental reviews of major projects, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty says the budget will prevent Canada from becoming a welfare state.
Mulcair didn't say what he would do to grow the economy.
But his party advocates higher taxes, increased spending, bigger government, robust social programs, reeling in resource sector development and lengthy environmental reviews.
Harper reacted Wednesday with utter astonishment at the lack of political will over four years to fix the worsening crisis in Europe.
In interviews, the prime minister said he didn't want to sound "too alarmist, but we are kind of running out of runway here."
Interim Liberal leader Bob Rae chastised Harper for "lecturing" the Europeans and said he should convene a first ministers' meeting - something the premiers are not scrambling for.