New Brunswick

Saint John-Rothesay federal candidates clash over Energy East pipeline

Federal election candidates in the riding of Saint John-Rothesay clashed over support for the Energy East pipeline at an election forum Tuesday that focussed on economic, environmental and immigration issues.

Rodney Weston and Wayne Long support project, Angela Griffin on fence, Sharon Murphy against

Federal election candidates in the riding of Saint John-Rothesay clashed over support for the Energy East pipeline at an election forum Tuesday that focussed on economic, environmental and immigration issues.

Saint John-Rothesay candidates Rodney Weston (Conservatives), Sharon Murphy (Green Party), Wayne Long (Liberals) and Angela (A.J.) Griffin (NDP) faced off during a forum Tuesday afternoon. (CBC)
"It will create jobs. It will grow our economy and it will produce the results that we all desire," said Conservative candidate and incumbent MP Rodney Weston, one of two at the forum to support the project unreservedly along with the Liberal's Wayne Long.

"Wayne Long is pro-pipeline. Wayne Long will fight every day to bring the pipeline to Saint John," said Long who has been fighting a perception that Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is lukewarm to the idea.

In July, Trudeau said in Fredericton that because a national consensus in favour of the project does not yet exist, it would be wrong to say he is in favour of it. "Yes that would be incorrect because we are going through a process right now," he said.  

Still, Long told the forum the perception Trudeau does not back the pipeline is wrong.

"The Liberal Party is all about the development of the pipeline," said Long.

"I don't think it's fair the Conservatives, Stephen Harper, Rodney Weston have painted the Liberals as anti-pipeline."

The NDP's Angela (A.J.) Griffin criticized both Weston and Long for supporting the project before the National Energy Board has held hearings into whether the project meets safety and environmental conditions for approval.

"It is simply irresponsible and misleading to suggest that any party is in a position to say yes or no to the pipeline at this time," she said.

But Green Party candidate Sharon Murphy disagreed and said Saint John is fooling itself if it believes any prosperity will flow to the city from the project.

"In Saint John we are constantly speculating and gambling on these large industries," said Murphy. "This is a real loser coming down this way people. No jobs, just filth and destruction."

The forum was sponsored by Saint John's Human Development Council.

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