Suncor Donation Helps Northern Communities Prepare for COVID-19

Suncor staff loading masks onto plane

When Sam Ksienski, our chief pilot, was asked to deliver 40,000 N95 masks to communities in need, his first thought was: will they all fit in the plane?

It’s not every day that Suncor is delivering medical supplies to the most northern parts of Canada, but when it became clear that we could fast track procurement and distribution of these much-needed supplies, it just made sense to do this.

Although the masks were never in Suncor’s inventory, through conversations with the Federal Government the company learned that there was some difficulty in sourcing and distributing these masks. Suncor’s supply chain management group purchased the 40,000 N95 masks and then donated these to the Canadian Federal Government.

Over the weekend, we distributed 40,000 masks to Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and the Yukon. It is our honour to be able to play our part alongside all Canadians in caring for each other through these challenging times.

Health Canada identified the communities that critically needed these supplies and Suncor delivered them to the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon over the past weekend.

Sam and Bryan McEvoy, flight captain, have been pilots with Suncor for 12 years and were honoured to live our purpose and represent Suncor in the delivery.

“I felt a great sense of pride and excitement,” said Sam after hearing the news about the donation. “It was extremely meaningful and was truly an honour to ‘fly the flag’ – a career highlight I will never forget.”

The journey was a long one, but the mood and conversation was one of excitement and purpose. On March 27 at 6 a.m., Sam and Bryan departed Calgary for Kitchener, Ont. to pick up all the masks and load up the plane. The two pilots then flew to Iqaluit and Rankin Inlet for the first two deliveries, returning to Calgary 13 hours later. The next day, they departed Calgary at 8 a.m. for the last four deliveries to Whitehorse, Inuvik, Yellowknife and Hay River arriving back in Calgary at 6 p.m.

“The recipients were all extremely grateful and thankful for the masks. Unfortunately, because of all the COVID-19 protocols in place, there wasn’t much time for socializing and interacting with the recipients. Both Bryan and I felt a great sense of pride and purpose as we handed out each box,” said Sam.

Caring for each other is key during this unprecedented time. We are committed to living our purpose by supporting the communities that need it the most.