The National Energy Board has cancelled the first day of Energy East hearings in Montreal after protesters broke into the downtown venue and started screaming and chanting.

Spectra Energy is moving ahead with 36-kilometre pipeline expansion to its Fort St. John mainline after the National Energy Board granted approval of the project this earlier this month.

Two trains are travelling in opposite directions, one headed eastbound at 48 kilometres per hour and another westbound at 80 kilometres per hour, before sideswiping each other at a railway crossover in midtown Toronto.

While the debate over the expansion continues to play out in presidential and congressional campaigns, heavy Alberta crude is moving across the border to North and South Dakota through the existing Keystone pipeline.

Calgary-based TransCanada Corp. may make changes to the Energy East pipeline route in the months to come, according to the company's vice president of eastern oil pipeline projects.

The provincial government has been successful in calling for an approach to the Energy East pipeline approval process that will avoid a significant delay.

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