NB premier still hope­ful for pipe­line

Lethbridge Herald - - ODDS & ENDS -

New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs re­mained op­ti­mistic Fri­day that, some­day, a pipe­line would be built to bring west­ern crude oil to ports in his re­gion for trans­port over­seas. But the Que­bec premier tried his best to kill that dream.

While the prime minister and Canada’s premiers found com­mon ground on is­sues such as trade dur­ing their meet­ing in Mon­treal, they were con­fronted with the harsh re­al­ity that Que­bec will not ac­cept a pipe­line.

“I un­der­stand that Al­berta and the other prov­inces that pro­duce oil want to find ways to get it (to tide­wa­ter), but I was very, very clear,” Fran­cois Le­gault told re­porters af­ter the closed-door meet­ing.

“There is no so­cial ac­cept­abil­ity for a pipe­line that would pass through Que­bec ter­ri­tory.”

Tran­sCanada Cor­po­ra­tion had pro­posed the $15.7-bil­lion En­ergy East pipe­line to bring west­ern crude through Que­bec and on­wards to New Brunswick be­fore be­ing shipped over­seas.

The com­pany aban­doned the pro­ject more than a year ago, and a spokesper­son re­cently said it has no plan to re­vive it.

But de­spite the hur­dles placed by Tran­sCanada and Que­bec, Higgs told re­porters Fri­day he isn’t giv­ing up.

While he re­mained hope­ful, Higgs also of­fered a warn­ing.

The coun­try is still very much de­pen­dent on oil rev­enues and if Al­berta con­tin­ues to suf­fer eco­nom­i­cally, it will hurt the en­tire coun­try — re­gard­less of how much hy­dro­elec­tric­ity Que­bec has.

“Al­berta has been feed­ing our kids for a long time with the roy­al­ties, with the money that has come from oil,” Higgs said.

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