New Brunswick

Brian Gallant criticizes Tom Mulcair's Energy East pipeline stance

Premier Brian Gallant has been weighing on the federal election by criticizing the position of NDP Leader Tom Mulcair on the Energy East pipeline, a position that is similar to that of Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.

However, Mulcair's position similar to that of federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau

Premier Brian Gallant is a strong supporter of the Energy East pipeline. (CBC)

Premier Brian Gallant has been weighing on the federal election by criticizing the position of NDP Leader Tom Mulcair on the Energy East pipeline, a position that is similar to that of Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.

Mulcair says the project could be a big boost for the province's economy, but First Nations consultation and a more rigorous environmental review process are needed.

Trudeau also won't back the $12 billion pipeline until there's social buy-in and the right environmental protections.

This is in clear contrast to Gallant's full support of the project.

However, Trudeau's position appears to be evolving. Back in 2013, Gallant told the legislature that Trudeau was in favour of the pipeline.

"We talked to Trudeau Mr. Speaker. I spoke to him last night, as well did other members of our caucus, Mr. Speaker. And Mr. Trudeau says he is for the west east pipeline," said Gallant.

Some critics say Gallant is playing politics by criticizing Mulcair's position today even though it appears to be very similar to that of the federal Liberal leader's.

David McLaughlin, the former chief of staff to former Conservative premier Bernard Lord, says it's about politics.

"So the liberal Premier in New Brunswick trying to go after Mulcair and the NDP is a way to create a wedge there that helps obfuscate or hide Mr. Trudeau's equally-ambigious position on energy east," he said.

When New Brunswickers go to the polls in October, the pipeline could be top of mind for them. Only then will it become clearer whether the premier's pipeline politics pay off.

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