New Brunswick premier backs Energy East pipeline on Alberta visit

New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant told his Alberta counterpart Jim Prentice that he favours the Energy East pipeline reversal project to allow exports of Alberta crude oil to his province’s ports.

Gallant began a four-day trip to Alberta on Monday by meeting with Premier Prentice in Calgary. He will also meet with oil industry and other business leaders during his visit.

The TransCanada Pipelines Energy East project would use 3,000 kilometres of existing gas pipeline and would require the construction of 1,400 kilometres of new pipeline. It would change the direction of flow in the existing pipeline and would bring crude oil from northern Alberta to refineries in Quebec and then on to an export terminal in Saint John, New Brunswick.  

Despite having the support of Prentice and Gallant, the pipeline is far from a done deal. There remains a great deal of opposition to the project, particularly in Ontario and Quebec.

Prentice said his talks with premiers in central Canada have been constructive.

“I think at the end of the day, they will see this project as the kind of nation building project that’s in the interests of their provinces as well, and in the interests of all Canadians. Just in the same way that Premier Gallant and I see it that way,” he said. 

Gallant said communication will be key.

I think it’s important for us to show that we’re open for the dialogue, to explain why we think this is going to benefit both our provinces and the country, and how we plan on doing it the best way so we’re sure that we’re respecting the environment,” he said. 

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