Maritimers coming to terms with Energy East pipeline fallout
Published Friday, October 6, 2017 8:01PM ADT
There continues to be disappointment and anger from many in the Maritimes as they come to terms with the demise of the Energy East pipeline.
TransCanada pulled the plug on the $15-billion project, leaving workers mourning the loss of jobs.
Trades worker Dave Blinn says Thursday’s decision is just another missed opportunity for Saint John.
“It's pretty much the last nail in the coffin for us to try to make a living here,” Blinn says. “Out west we go."
There were never any promises that Energy East would come to fruition, but over the past four years it was often said Saint John was one of the communities that could have benefitted the most.
"We're owed, as far as I'm concerned,” says Saint John councillor Gerry Lowe. “As far as I'm concerned, we're owed big time federally. This province is owed federally."
Lowe points his finger at Ottawa for the demise of Energy East. He says the federal government turned against the project after a raucous meeting in Montreal.
At the time, National Energy Board hearings were disrupted by pipeline protesters. The hearings never did resume.
"Everything went downhill after that hearing in Quebec. They went in and turned the hearing upside down, and there wasn't a positive word after that. It's been downhill and downhill quickly," says Lowe.
Supporters of the energy industry are now wondering what other projects will be shelved because of uncertainty over the approval process.
"If the regulatory process takes four years, five years, seven years or an indeterminate amount of time, it really puts our projects at a competitive disadvantage," says Colleen Mitchell of the Atlantic CTR for Energy.
But for some, the day after the end of Energy East is not without optimism.
"I been pretty busy. I've seen a lot of other trades people keeping busy. This energy thing shutting down, yeah it's a loss. But I think we're all going to stay busy," says trades worker Mike Lavigne.
If there was a promise attached to Energy East, it was that it would reduce the amount of oil being shipped across country by rail. That will now continue to be a concern to communities all through the Maritimes that are situated near major rail lines.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Mike Cameron.