12/19/2012 03:49 EST | Updated 02/18/2013 05:12 EST

Members of New Brunswick legislature pass motion in support of pipeline

FREDERICTON - Members of the New Brunswick legislature have unanimously passed a motion stating their support for the construction of a pipeline to ship western crude oil to Eastern Canada.

Support is growing for a proposal that could see a pipeline carry oil from Alberta to the Irving Oil Refinery in Saint John.

Last week federal Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver toured the refinery and stated his government's support for a pipeline project.

Oliver said as the United States increases its own oil and gas production, it's vital for Canada to diversify its oil export markets and the west-to-east pipeline would help satisfy that goal.

Speaking in the legislature, Premier David Alward says the government is working towards a future where New Brunswick helps drive the national economy as one of the country's energy powerhouses.

He says a key element of that is the construction of a pipeline.