07/14/2015 16:13 EDT | Updated 07/14/2016 01:12 EDT

New Brunswick premier optimistic national energy strategy will be reached

FREDERICTON — The premier of New Brunswick says he's optimistic that agreement on a national energy strategy will be reached this week when the country's premiers and territorial leaders meet in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Brian Gallant says such a strategy would be a catalyst for projects like the proposed Energy East pipeline because it would set the guidelines for projects impacting various parts of the country.

Gallant is a strong proponent of the $12 billion Energy East pipeline, which would move western crude from the oilsands to refineries and export terminals in Eastern Canada.

He says it would create thousands of jobs and give a much-needed boost to the economy of his province and the rest of the country.

Erin Flanagan, oilsands analyst with the Pembina Institute, a national non-profit energy think tank based in Calgary says the energy strategy must be as much about climate change as it is about energy supply.

Gallant agrees, saying discussion on energy projects and climate change must go hand in hand.

The Canadian Press