Federal Conservative leadership candidate Peter MacKay made a stop in High River Tuesday, March 3, to talk to board members in the riding.

MacKay says the town's a good representation of what's happening in Alberta where people are feeling the effects of the downturn in the economy.

He says the party has to make itself more relevant across the country.

"It starts with, in my view, talking to Canadians putting thoughtful costed ideas in the window, policies that will work, acknowledging that climate change is real and we have to do something about it but that a carbon tax isn't a plan it's just a tax, it's not going to actually reduce greenhouse carbon emissions," he says. "We know we have the cleanest, most ethically and highly regulated oil and gas sector in the world and so it starts with facts, truth and presenting to Canadians an alternative that works for them."

MacKay says the only way to reverse what he calls the environmental activism preventing big projects like Teck and pipelines from moving forward is to change the government.

He says, after travelling to Saskatchewan and Manitoba, there's enormous frustration in the country and a feeling that Ottawa isn't listening and in fact has a philsophical opposition to natural resources, most notably the building of pipelines.

"The withdrawl of the Teck project was eerily familiar, we saw the same thing with the Energy East project where approvals had been acheived, they had played by the rules and the Government decided to move the goal posts at the eleventh hour, costing the company and quite frankly the population a tremendous amount of money and it's a setback for our entire economy and we all pay for that." MacKay says.

He says the way to end the rail blockades is to send an unequivocal signal to the police to enforce the law.

He also chastised the Prime Minister for taking two weeks to do it.