NB premier still hopeful for pipeline
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.