British Columbia

Lax Kw'alaams First Nation opposes Eagle Spirit Energy pipeline

A First Nation in B.C. is contradicting recent claims from Eagle Spirit Energy about its support for a pipeline that would transport crude oil through its territory en route from Alberta to B.C.'s northwest coast.

Company claims its pipeline has support from 200 representatives of 30 First Nations

The Eagle Spirit Energy company meet with representatives of 30 First Nations over the weekend. (Eagle Spirit Energy)

A First Nation in B.C. is contradicting recent claims from Eagle Spirit Energy about its support for a pipeline that would transport crude oil through its territory from Alberta to B.C.'s northwest coast.

Eagle Spirit Energy met with dozens of First Nations communities last weekend. On Tuesday, it announced that 200 representatives from 30 First Nations, including the Lax Kw'alaams, spoke out in support of the company's proposed pipeline project. 

But Lax Kw'alaams Mayor Garry Reece says that's not entirely correct.

"That's not the case," said Reece. "There's some that support it, yeah, but that's a handful of them."

Eagle Spirit Energy calls the coastal Lax Kw'alaams community a key to its proposed pipeline — as it's the region to which oil from Alberta would be shipped.

Reece says the proposal needs approval from the entire community, not just a few representatives.

"Until we hear from our people to see if they're going to support oil, no matter what kind of oil it is, it has to come from our people."

Lax Kw'alaams will start its own research into the pipeline proposal. Reece says only then he can really educate his people on what it might mean for the community.

The Lax Kw'alaams First Nation recently voted against a $1 billion LNG proposal from energy company Petronas and the province. 

With files from Audrey McKinnon

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