RICHMOND, B.C. - Justin Trudeau has told reporters in Richmond, B.C., that he doesn't support the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline, but he says he's sensitive to provincial jurisdictions in such matters.

Trudeau initially steered clear of discussing one of the biggest issues dividing western Canadians.

"Enbridge will have to be better at justifying it," he said. "My default position is pipelines, sure, but not there."

Instead of talking about oil giant Enbridge Inc.'s controversial project, the newly declared candidate for the Liberal leadership discussed ideas that unite the country, including building the middle class.

It was only during a post-speech scrum with media that he said he didn't support the proposed pipeline.

The pipeline would carry bitumen from Alberta's oilsands to Kitimat, B.C., where it would be loaded on tankers headed for Asian markets.

In addition to meeting certain environmental safety standards, B-C Premier Christy Clark has said the pipeline must provide a fair share of economic benefits to her province -- something Alberta is against.

Hours earlier in Calgary Trudeau said he would never use the country's natural wealth to divide Canadians, adding such a strategy was wrong in the past, wrong in the present and wrong in the future.

Trudeau heads to Mississauga, Ontario next, where he will speak tomorrow evening.