New Brunswick

Proposed west-east pipeline route hinted at by meetings

A series of public meetings on a proposed west-east pipeline are shedding light on its possible route.

Location of public meetings by TransCanada suggest which communities may be affected

A series of public meetings on a proposed west-east pipeline indicate its possible route. 1:48

TransCanada Ltd. has scheduled a series of meetings that could provide some insight into the location of a proposed pipeline that would carry crude oil from Alberta to New Brunswick.

The meetings are scheduled in Edmundston, Grand Falls, Plaster Rock, Stanley, Chipman, Hampton and Saint John.

The sessions will take place from mid-August until September and are open to the public.

Chipman Mayor Ed Farris says he wants more information about the route of the proposed west-east pipeline. (CBC)

Chipman Mayor Ed Farris says he's unsure how he feels about the proposed west-east pipeline possibly being located near his village.

He said he needs more information, noting that likely won't happen until TransCanada holds a presentation for council at the local legion in September.

"I really don't know much about it. It's hard to make a decision about the best way to go," Farris said.

"All we know is that whatever they present to council we'll have to make a decision after that — whether we stand by it or not," he says.

Farris says he first found out about the potential for the proposed pipeline to affect his area when TransCanada officials informed him about the meeting on Wednesday morning.

He says the proposed pipeline might be built about 13 kilometres outside of Chipman, so it likely won't directly impact his village. 

"We'd like to hear more about what it's about," he said.

"Even if it isn't right in our village, we don't want them to come in and put a pipe in and we know nothing about it."

If the Energy East Pipeline project goes ahead, it likely won't be completed until 2017.

It is expected to transport up to 850,000 barrels of crude oil a day.

TransCanada would likely convert an existing natural gas pipeline to carry crude into Quebec, and build an extension that would lead to the Irving Oil refinery in Saint John.

Critics of the project say the environmental risks of a pipeline are too great.

Meanwhile, supporters say it would strengthen Canada's credibility as an exporter of oil and could mean more jobs.