The Council of Canadians held a public meeting Wednesday evening in Saint John to rally opposition to the planned Energy East pipeline.

"I have absolutely no question that we're going to build a wall of opposition just like Northern Gateway and Keystone XL in the United States," said Maude Barlow, the national chairperson of the Council of Canadians.

Irving Oil and TransCanada Corp. have announced plans for a $300 million export terminal on the Bay of Fundy coast.

A spokesperson for TransCanada said that over its lifetime, Energy East will create $700 million in tax revenue for New Brunswick.

Proponents also argue the project will grow the provincial economy and create spinoff businesses.


The pipeline proposal, which still needs regulatory approval, would send 1.1 million barrels of oil per day from Western Canada to refineries and export terminals in Eastern Canada. (Courtesy of TransCanada)

The Council of Canadians argues regular people will shoulder the risk of a spill, with most of the benefits being swallowed up by the wealthy.

Maria Recchia works with local fishermen and wants to intervene with the National Energy Board.

"What we've seen so far with projects in Saint John Harbour is that the environmental impact assessments have been very poor, and we believe that if we're not involved as much as possible, the impacts of this project on fishermen will not be considered," said the executive director of the Fundy North Fishermen's Association.

TransCanada says it plans to file its application for the proposed Energy East pipeline project with the National Energy Board of Canada on Thursday.

The application is "considered to be one of the most comprehensive regulatory documents in the company's history," it said in a statement.

TransCanada will hold a simultaneous news conference in Toronto and Quebec on Thursday to discuss the application, which describes the environmental assessment process and provides preliminary information about the scope of activities.

The Calgary-based company will also provide an update on the $12-billion project, the statement said.

TransCanada wants to convert 3,000 kilometres of existing natural gas pipeline and build about 1,600 kilometres of new pipeline in Quebec and New Brunswick.

It is expected the west-east pipeline would transport 1.1 million barrels a day of crude oil from Alberta to the Irving Oil refinery in Saint John.

Also planned are new pumping stations, oil storage terminals and a joint venture with Irving for a new $300-million
deep-water marine terminal, according to the project description filed with the National Energy Board in March.