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Police stop anti-pipeline protest in Montreal

MONTREAL - Police have moved in to block a few dozen protesters from marching in Montreal near the site of hearings for a pipeline project.

The protesters oppose the proposal by Enbridge Inc. (TSX:ENB) to reverse the flow of a pipeline to send oilsands crude eastward. The plan is being examined at hearings this week in Montreal by the National Energy Board.

Montreal police, who have become increasingly aggressive in limiting protests since the rowdy student demonstrations of 2012, aren't letting this one last long.

They swiftly declared the protest illegal.

After tolerating the march for several blocks, they stepped in to stop it. Now protesters are being detained, shoved aside or penned up in a kettle.

The energy board hearings are occurring at a time when Canada is struggling to find ways to ship Alberta bitumen to foreign markets amid stiff opposition fuelled by safety and environmental concerns.

Calgary-based Enbridge hopes to reverse the flow and increase the capacity of its existing Line 9, an initiative that would pump oilsands crude across southern Ontario and Quebec.

The project would uncork an important outlet for Alberta oil producers as they search for ways to get their product to market.

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