Canada Believes Keystone Will Be Approved - Harper Spokesman

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By Nirmala Menon

OTTAWA--Canada believes the Keystone XL pipeline project will "ultimately" be approved, Prime Minister Stephen Harper's chief spokesman said Friday.

Mr. Harper's view hasn't "actually changed" in recent months, but Ottawa would like a decision "sooner rather than later," according Jason MacDonald, the prime minister's director of communications.

His comments came a day after Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird's remarks to a business audience in Washington D.C. underscored increasing Canadian impatience with the foot-dragging over the long-awaited decision. Mr. Baird said that " the time for a decision on Keystone is now, even if it's not the right one. We can't continue in this state of limbo."

Mr. MacDonald said Keystone is in the interest of both countries, and noted that the U.S. State Department had indicated it was a viable project.

"And we would like to see a decision, you know, obviously sooner rather than later," he said during a briefing on Mr. Harper's upcoming visit to the Middle East. "And I think the Prime Minister's view is still that, we believe ultimately it will be approved. Frankly it's in the interest of both the U.S. and Canada to see that project approved, given the jobs and the economic benefits to it."

Write to Nirmala Menon at nirmala.menon@wsj.com

Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires


  (END) Dow Jones Newswires
  01-17-141024ET
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