Canada won't lift ban on LNG tankers in Head Harbour Passage, Dominic LeBlanc says
Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc makes clear tankers cannot use Head Harbour Passage
Fisheries and Oceans Minister Dominic LeBlanc has affirmed the federal government will stick to the former government's policy to deny LNG tankers permission to navigate through Head Harbour Passage.
The narrow Canadian waterway between New Brunswick's Deer and Campobello islands is the only access for large ships attempting to reach Passamaquoddy Bay, which is shared between the province and the state of Maine.
Passage through the waterway is critical if Downeast LNG, a New York-based energy company, is to move forward with a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal in Robbinston, Me.
LeBlanc was asked about his government's position at a press conference concluding the Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers held in St. Andrews.
"We don't plan to change any of those policies," said LeBlanc.
"It was certainly something in Opposition we had urged the previous government to do. We were lucky enough to form the government so we wouldn't change what we thought was a good decision."
Abandoned LNG projects
The phone number listed for Downeast LNG's Maine office is no longer connected.
George Petrides, the chair of the company's board of directors, declined comment when reached by CBC News on Wednesday.
Two other U.S.-based LNG projects planned for Passamaquoddy Bay have been abandoned over the past several years.
Last month, Petrides announced plans to put Downeast LNG up for sale on July 1.
Bob Godfrey, an activist with Save Passamaquoddy Bay in Eastport, Me., said the Canadian government's position is an "insurmountable problem" for any potential buyer.
"It's obvious that the government of Canada is holding it's ground," said Godfrey.
"It doesn't look like they have much prospect whatsoever and it's really puzzling how this project has kept alive so long."