Higgs blames federal Liberals for demise of Energy East
The premier of New Brunswick has waded into the federal election, challenging at least one of Justin Trudeau's comments Wednesday about the Energy East pipeline.
Blaine Higgs and his caucus are meeting in St. Andrew's as they prepare to mark the first anniversary of the provincial election - which they eventually won -- in an area the federal Conservatives hope to win.
It's a location that was selected before last week's death of Greg Thompson, the MLA for the area.
"Mr. Thompson's health wasn't good and we thought, we'll do our meeting right there and save him the travel, and obviously we anticipated he'd be here with us," said Higgs.
The premier has six months to call byelections in the riding and in the seat being vacated by former premier Brian Gallant. Higgs says those byelections will likely be held on the same day.
But on Wednesday, federal election signs dotted the landscape around the seaside town, and the premier is accusing the federal Liberal party of being responsible for the cancellation of the Energy East pipeline.
"In my mind, there's no question the federal government played a key role in the demise of the energy project," Higgs said.
That's an accusation denied Wednesday by the prime minister.
"The Energy East project was withdrawn by the proponent for market reasons, for price reasons, for reasons of supply and demand," Trudeau said.
Higgs, though, is not convinced.
"Environmental rules that changed mid-stream? I mean, how many more roadblocks do you put up?" Higgs said.
Higgs and caucus are preparing the agenda for their second year in government, including a plan to deal with multi-million dollar losses at Cannabis NB, mandatory vaccinations for school students, and tense labour relations with some of the government's own employees.
The Higgs government goes into its second year facing the prospect of two byelections. The results could have a dramatic impact on the longevity of their minority government.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Mike Cameron.