Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver tours refinery, touts west-east pipeline

SAINT JOHN, N.B. – The federal natural resources minister visited Canada’s largest oil refinery today in a bid to drum up support for the development of a pipeline to ship Alberta crude to Eastern Canada.

Joe Oliver toured the Irving Oil refinery in Saint John, N.B., before promoting the proposal in a speech to members of the city’s board of trade.

Oliver says construction of the pipeline would be in the national interest, create jobs and stimulate investment in Atlantic Canada.

He says as the United States increases its own oil and gas production, Canada needs to diversify its oil export markets and the west-to-east pipeline would help that goal.

Irving Oil president Mike Ashar says the company wants to buy more oil from Alberta and would like to see the pipeline project become a reality.