VANCOUVER — A memorandum of agreement (MOA) has been signed between Eagle Spirit Energy Holdings Ltd. and four Canadian pipeline craft unions to deliver the Eagle Spirit Energy Corridor Project, a pipeline extending from Fort McMurray, Alta. to tide water at Grassy Point, B.C.
The International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE), the Labourer’s International Union of North America, the United Association Canada (Canadian Piping Trades) and Teamsters Canada will all work in partnership with Indigenous communities to ensure “significant Indigenous ownership and participation and best-in-class skilled labour with an emphasis on the local workforce,” according to a statement from the unions.
Combined, the unions represent 33,000 workers across Canada in the pipeline trades.
The MOA also commits participants to a comprehensive safety and training strategy throughout the construction process, explains the release.
“Our project is a nation-building milestone for the natural resources industry and will be a precedent setting example of how to do good business with First Nations, and an important step towards reconciliation,” said Eagle Spirit Holdings president Calvin Helin, in a statement.
“It will also be the greenest, safest energy corridor ever built, and the first Indigenous-led major infrastructure energy project in Canadian history.
“We will provide Indigenous communities with own source revenues and training, producers with access to international markets, workers with valuable high-paying jobs, and governments with valuable tax revenues. It is a project that we hope unites the provinces of Western Canada and we are proud to be doing this with our hardworking union sisters and brothers.”
The project has undergone five years of preparatory work, led by 35 First Nations through their chief councils.
“We are very pleased to be working closely with Indigenous leaders towards the delivery of a best-in-class project with a deep commitment to safety, training, and opportunity for local residents, businesses and Indigenous communities,” said IUOE Local 115 business manager Brian Cochrane on behalf of the four unions.