5. Irving Family
Saint John, N.B., Irving Oil ltd., J. D. Irving Ltd.
The Irvings’ business interests play an increasingly crucial role in the Canadian crude industry, as last summer’s Lac-Megantic rail disaster highlighted. (The train was filled with oil bound for an Irving refinery.) With new pipelines west to the B.C. coast and south through the U.S. still stymied, New Brunswick has emerged as the latest, best hope for getting Alberta oil to market. The Irvings are more than ready to take advantage, plotting a new $300-million deep-water export port at Mispec Point that could see them become the most significant Canadian energy players outside the oilpatch. Still, they lost 3% of their wealth this year.