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Canada gov't: pipeline report is comprehensive, science-based

OTTAWA, Dec 19 (Reuters) - A panel report recommending Enbridge Inc be permitted to construct a pipeline from the Alberta oil sands to the Pacific coast "represents a rigorous, open and comprehensive science-based assessment," Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver said on Thursday.

The Conservative government - which backs the construction of new pipelines - now has 180 days to review the report and come to a final decision.

"No project will be approved unless it is safe for Canadians and safe for the environment," Oliver said in a statement.