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N.B. Liberals keen to show Trudeau won't kibosh Energy East pipeline
As Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau visited New Brunswick Monday, provincial Liberals there were offering reassurances he won’t scuttle the proposed Energy East pipeline.
During a day of campaigning three months ahead of the federal election, Trudeau reiterated his position on the pipeline project — one that stops short of fully endorsing it.
The proposed link between Alberta and the Maritimes has achieved widespread political support in New Brunswick, and Saint John Liberal candidate Wayne Long was among those telling voters Trudeau won’t turn the project down.
"What Justin Trudeau is basically saying is that we need communities on board. We need to consult communities and that's how you build a pipeline,” Long said.
“And, to be perfectly honest, that's how you build a nation too.”
Meanwhile, Conservatives in the Saint John area jumped at the chance to question Liberal support for the project.
“We've known all along that he's in over his head and doesn't get these things,” said local MP Rob Moore.
"This west-east pipeline is extremely important and it's not helpful to have leaders of the other parties speaking negatively about the pipeline,” he said.
When he visited the Irving oil refinery, Prime Minister Stephen Harper gave the Energy East project a qualified endorsement.
Trudeau, for his part, hasn’t gone that far, but his position has remained consistent.
Trudeau told CTV News more than a year ago that major pipelines like Energy East must win community support.
"It's important to be able to get our resources to market. It's important to be able to look at projects like that, but in the 21st century, you need community buy-in,” Trudeau said at the time.
Provincial Liberals like Energy Minister Donald Arsenault support the project, and Arsenault denies there’s a split between the provincial and federal parties.
"His position is responsible, knowing that you want the process to happen. And it's no different from what Mr. Mulcair has said last week as well,” Arsenault said.
Arsenault said his government will work with any federal leader to make sure the project becomes reality.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Mike Cameron