Reform Party of Canada founder Preston Manning says opposition to energy development is balanced by the huge demand for oil and energy.

Manning, who also founded the Canadian Reform Conservative Alliance, spoke to Rick Cluff on CBC Radio One’s The Early Edition Thursday morning.

He says spills like the one in northern Alberta earlier this month, which saw 9.5 million litres of toxic water used in oil and gas operations leak out of a pipeline, need to be put into perspective.

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Preston Manning says despite opposition to oil and gas development, millions still buy gas every day. (CBC)

"It doesn't help but also you want to put it in balance," Manning said. "Also on the same day, hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil were transferred without that problem, so you’ve got to get to the balance."

Manning says while critics say they don’t want oil and gas development, millions of people at the gas pumps send the signal that they do want it.

To hear the full interview, click the "Listen" button in the upper left corner.