October 29, 2015 11:15 am
Updated: October 29, 2015 8:07 pm

Notley meets with New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant to talk Energy East pipeline

WATCH ABOVE: The Energy East Pipeline was the focus of a meeting between Premier Rachel Notley and her New Brunswick counterpart Thursday morning. Provincial affairs reporter Tom Vernon has the details.

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EDMONTON —Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant met in Edmonton Thursday, where they reaffirmed their mutual support for the Energy East pipeline project.

Notley and her east coast counterpart said they’re hoping for a renewed push to get Energy East built under incoming prime minister Justin Trudeau. But both agreed specific steps to reduce climate change must work alongside the proposed $12-billion TransCanada line.

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Gallant said the record of outgoing Prime Minister Stephen Harper is testament to why fixing climate change is not only good policy, but also good business.

“Under the Harper government, no pipelines for oil were built,” Gallant, standing beside Notley, told reporters Thursday at a legislature news conference.

“I believe that one of the reasons for that is because the international community and even Canadians did not feel like the Harper government was doing enough when it came to protecting the environment and combating climate change.

 

“I’m very hopeful that with the Trudeau government that we’re going to be able to build that brand internationally and gain the trust of Canadians that we can develop our natural resources and energy projects in a responsible and a sustainable way.”

Energy company TransCanada is planning to build the pipeline to bring Alberta crude to refineries in Quebec and to a refinery and marine terminal in Saint John, N.B.

For two-thirds of the way, it plans to convert a natural gas pipeline for oil and then build all new pipe thought Quebec and New Brunswick.

While the premiers at either end approve of the project, they face opposition from provinces in the middle.

“You can see Alberta as the push and New Brunswick as the pull in terms of getting that pipeline approved,” Notley said.

In August, the Ontario Energy Board said the environmental risks of the $12 billion project outweigh the potential benefits, and warned it would drive up natural gas prices. In Montreal earlier this month, students held a rally demanding a complete stop to fossil fuel transport in Quebec.

Notley acknowledged the opposition faced in central Canada.

“One of the ways to ensure that our conversation are received respectfully is to do our homework on climate change,” she said on Thursday.

Back in the summer Notley said she believes Quebec is more likely to get behind the Energy East oil pipeline if Alberta shows it’s protecting the environment.

READ MORE: Notley hopes Quebec warms to Energy East pipeline if environment prioritized

During Thursday’s news conference Gallant also pointed out his province’s already-strong relationship with Alberta.

“Trade between Alberta and New Brunswick amounts to approximately two billion dollars. It’s incredibly important for our two provinces to continue to build on what I think is a very strong relationship.”

With files from Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press

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