The New Brunswick government re-affirmed its support for the Energy East pipeline on Tuesday after the Quebec government announced its intention to seek an injunction against the project.
Brian Gallant’s Liberals have maintained that the project would be a great provider for New Brunswick.
READ MORE: Quebec to seek injunction against Energy East in move Saskatchewan premier calls ‘divisive’
Quebec Environment Minister David Heurtel said the process was “about raising all the questions and having the time to analyze them.”
New Brunswick Energy Minister Donald Arsenault said due diligence is being done.
“Every time they’ve been asked to provide more information or meet with communities, First Nations, stakeholders, they’ve done that,” he said. “They want to be open and transparent with Quebecers.”
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Colleen Mitchell, the president of the Atlantica Centre for Energy in Saint John, said TransCanada, which is responsible for the project, must abide by federal jurisdictions, and that providing an environmental impact report to Quebec would be both premature and unnecessary.
“Technically, this project has not actually been accepted by the National Energy Board as being complete. That acknowledgement is expected by, say, June of this year,” she said. “At that point [the] regulatory process and hearing process begins and that will be about 24 months worth of hearings and intervening and information requests across the country.
“So there’s plenty of opportunity to weigh environmental impacts of this project right across the country, including in Quebec.”
She said the National Energy Board process is “very robust”.
READ MORE: Saskatchewan premier disappointed by Quebec response to Energy East
Along with the Quebec government’s opposition, some New Brunswick residents have also expressed concern about the pipeline.
Maggie Connell said she is worried about the project coming to her backyard.
“I’m scared of it. I’m afraid of it,” she said.
“I’m scared of it for me and for my kids who are now having kids, and we don’t even know what this is. We haven’t done our homework on this at all.”
TransCanada spokesperson Tim Duboyce said the company has held open houses across Canada with landowners and residents who would be affected by the project’s development.
“As you’ve seen over the last few weeks, it’s very clear that those efforts for some very important leaders in Quebec have not been sufficient,” he said.
TransCanada said the steps taken Tuesday equate to doing the due diligence ahead of the project and the company does not plan to grant Quebec’s request anytime soon.
“When it comes to strictly the approval process of the project itself, that falls under federal jurisdiction,” Duboyce said.