Edmonton

Alberta energy minister says 'standing up and yelling' against pipelines isn't constructive

After two consecutive days of cancelled hearings into the proposed Energy East pipeline project, Alberta’s energy minister says she finds the protests “disconcerting.”

But McCuaig-Boyd admits Alberta has to work hard to allay concerns

The protests were on Mansfield Street in downtown Montreal, outside the Centre Mont-Royal. ( Charles Contant/Radio-Canada)

After two consecutive days of cancelled hearings into the proposed Energy East pipeline project, Alberta's energy minister finds the the protests "disconcerting."

"Standing up and yelling isn't constructive in any situation," said Marg McCuaig-Boyd. "We need to get people back, and some good dialogue happening."

National Energy Board public hearings were called off Monday in Montreal, after angry protesters stormed the meeting as it was set to begin. The NEB cancelled again Tuesday, then announced the hearings have been adjourned for the entire week.

The protests, said McCuaig Boyd, are an indication that  Alberta needs to work harder to "allay the concerns."

"If you have concerns about your drinking water, that's reasonable concern," she said. "So we just have to work at getting the companies to work with those people and explain how things work."

While there is vocal opposition to the proposed pipeline, McCuaig-Boyd thinks many Canadians will support the plan in the end.

"There's probably a small percentage on either end of the spectrum, but I have trust there's a bunch of people in the middle who have legitimate questions and want answers and will support pipelines when those questions are answered."

Energy East is a proposed 4,600-kilometre pipeline planned by TransCanada to carry oil from Alberta to an export terminal in New Brunswick.

The plan calls for the pipeline to carry up to 1.1 million barrels of oil per day.

The federal government plans to reach a decision on the project sometime in the fall of 2018, Federal Energy Minister Jim Carr said Monday during a trip to Edmonton.


 

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