01/26/2016 15:05 EST | Updated 01/26/2017 00:12 EST

Economists say Energy East pipeline vital to New Brunswick economy

FREDERICTON — The growing national divide over the Energy East pipeline couldn't come at a worse time for New Brunswick, which is already beset by a series of economic blows and needs a major project to create much needed jobs and revenue to turn around a flagging economy.

University of New Brunswick economist David Murrell says the outlook for the economy looks bad with the closure of the PotashCorp mine near Sussex and now Quebec opposition to the proposed Energy East pipeline.

Marie-Christine Bernard of the Conference Board of Canada says New Brunswick is banking on the project.

She says with large deficits, an aging population, and young people leaving the province for work, New Brunswick needs a sizable project or there will be little growth in the economy.

New Brunswick Energy Minister Donald Arseneault says he's concerned the pipeline project could be further delayed but believes the project can go ahead in a sustainable way.

The New Brunswick government delivers its state-of-the-province address this week and a provincial budget next week.



The Canadian Press