​Conservatives say Energy East would prevent dependence on Saudi oil

Map for the proposed Energy East project, which TransCanada later shelved. Image: TransCanada

OTTAWA — The federal Conservatives are invoking the risk of dependence on oil from countries like Saudi Arabia as an argument to revive the Energy East pipeline, even though the pipeline was intended to carry oil almost entirely for export.

Pierre Paul-Hus, a Quebec MP, told reporters Monday that it is time to stop being “hypocritical” about energy supply. He said Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer's proposal to sit down with TransCanada is aimed at making Canada self-sufficient in oil.

Study of the project, which was opposed by many Quebec municipalities, revealed that it would have served almost exclusively to export Alberta oil to foreign markets.

TransCanada abandoned the pipeline one year ago after the National Energy Board modified the environmental assessment process.

In a speech Sunday aimed at beginning the countdown to the Oct. 21, 2019 federal election, Scheer said a Conservative government would seek to revive the project.

The pipeline, opposed by environmentalists and Indigenous groups among others, was a key issue in the last federal campaign, especially in Quebec.

© 2018 The Canadian Press