11/26/2014 03:53 EST | Updated 01/26/2015 05:59 EST

Kinder Morgan protests could hurt economy: Michael Burt

Protests on Burnaby Mountain could have an impact on Canada's economy if they continue, according to an economist who has studied the potential impact the proposed Kinder Morgan TransMountain Pipeline expansion.

Around 80 people have been arrested for violating a court injunction.

Michael Burt, who is the director of industrial economic trends at the Conference Board of Canada, disagrees with the protests and says building the pipeline is in Canada's best interest.

"It's around addressing demands," Burt told The Early Edition's Rick Cluff.

"If the oil produced in the oil sands was produced somewhere else those emissions would still be produced somewhere else. We'd just be transferring emissions away from Canada from other jurisdictions of the world."

Burt's analysis found if the TransMountain Expansion Project is approved, it would bring $14.7-billion to federal and provincial governments over 20 years. 

"We are leaving money on the table, we are not getting the full benefit of our non-renewable resource."