He made the comments in Quebec City Tuesday after protesters disrupted the start of environmental hearings into the project Monday night.
People unfurled a banner and chanted loudly to silence a vice-president from TransCanada Corp. (TSX:TRP) who attempted to give a presentation on the pipeline to members of Quebec’s environmental review agency.
Couillard said citizens need to have a rational debate on the project, which would bring 1.1 million barrels of oil per day from Western Canada, through Quebec, onto New Brunswick.
He said it is not helpful when protesters try to stop people on either side of the debate from speaking.
The Energy East pipeline is controversial in Quebec and many activists and local politicians along the proposed route have come out against the project.
© 2016 The Canadian Press