Eagle Spirit Pipeline project wants to go ahead in spite of the federal government’s oil tanker ban. (Keith Thorpe photo)

In Our Opinion: Eagle Spirit, the North Coast pipeline

With all the fuss down south over Kinder Morgan, pipeline fever is spreading north as well

Pipelines are all the rage right now especially after the federal government’s $4.5-billion purchase of the 65-year-old Kinder Morgan pipeline and assets.

But other pipelines are receiving a revival in national media — most notably the Eagle Spirit Pipeline, a $16-billion project to bring Alberta oil and ship it from the North Coast through Grassy Point, oil tanker moratorium be damned.

Could this northern pipeline be the future of oil exports?

Little is known about the project other than it’s being led by Calvin Helin, president of Eagle Spirit Energy Holdings Ltd., and whose brother happens to be Lax Kw’alaams Mayor John Helin, who fully supports his brother’s venture. Mayor Helin’s support goes right into the court room where he’s filed a civil suit to oppose the oil tanker ban. If that fails, that would leave Plan B — go through Hyder, Alaska.

READ MORE: Op-Ed — Eagle Spirit pipeline the better option

The excitement is that, unlike Kinder Morgan, it’s an Indigenous-led project. Calvin Helin says that he has majority approval from First Nations communities along the pipeline route from Alberta to northwest B.C. It’s also backed by Aquilini Group, owners of the Vancouver Canucks.

Yet, don’t let all that get you too excited.

There are still a number of hoops to jump though. The project has yet to receive regulatory approvals, which could take years with Canada’s track record.


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