Trades workers in the Saint John area remember the bitter disappointment when Energy East was cancelled. “The idea of it coming, and a lot of people got their hopes up and got kinda crushed at that point,” said Bayne Campbell.
It’s not surprising, that the idea of a pipeline from Alberta to the Maritimes still has support here.
“Definitely, it would help things around here and help everyone across Canada,” says pipefitter Steve Ryan. “This is a national issue.”
As he campaigns for an East-West energy corridor, New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs says the loss of Energy East will come back to haunt -- and hurt -- the Trudeau Liberals.
“Billions of dollars in investment that we've missed out on, and all the construction trades that have missed out on this huge project across the country,” said Higgs. “Yes, I would say it will hurt."
Higgs has been trying to get pipelines back on the public agenda, but it remains to be seen if pipelines, and specifically the loss of Energy East, will still resonate with voters come this fall's federal election.
University of New Brunswick at Saint John political scientist J.P. Lewis says, pipelines will be on the election agenda.
“Pipelines will be talked about, as a key campaign issue,” he said. “It's easy to see that being a major issue in a riding like Saint John with a refinery, and an issue that's been top of mind in New Brunswick for almost a decade.”
It’s an issue that for some, hasn't gone away.
“The loss of Energy East in Saint John, we know about the economic impacts, but it matters to families as well,” said Paige MacPherson of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. “It's about putting food on the table.”
Environmentalists, though, say oil is not worth risk.
“To tell a story of artificial truths about how oil money pays for Medicare is just not right and New Brunswickers won't buy it,” said Lois Corbett of the New Brunswick Conservation Council.
Though support for a cross country pipeline, remains strong among those who may benefit the most.
J.P Lewis was also saying that campaigning on the pipeline issue is not without risk for the Conservative Party of Canada, because the liberals will point out that major pipeline projects failed to get off the ground during the Harper government years as well.