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TransCanada stands down on Energy East work in Quebec

Federal wildlife committee concluded the project could hurt a beluga whale habitat.


QUEBEC — TransCanada Corp. is halting all work on an oil terminal in eastern Quebec in response to concerns the project could hurt a beluga habitat.

The company said it is “standing down” on all work in Cacouna after a report by a federal government wildlife committee concluded that the whale’s habitat is endangered.

TransCanada wants to build a 4,600-kilometre pipeline to carry 1.1 million barrels per day of oil sands crude from Alberta to refineries in Quebec and New Brunswick.

The announcement came just a few hours after federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver warned of serious consequences for Canada’s economy if the Energy East pipeline is blocked.

In Quebec City for pre-budgetary meetings, he said he understands Quebec’s concerns about the $12-billion pipeline.

He says the federal energy regulator has the means to determine if the project is environmentally friendly and that the pipeline should go ahead if approved by the National Energy Board.

© 2014 The Canadian Press

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