When it comes to economic recovery, we’re stronger together

Martha Hall Findlay, Chief Sustainability Officer, Suncor, Todd Winterhalt, Senior Vice-President, Communications and Corporate Strategy, EDC and Janet Drysdale, Vice-President Financial Planning, CN Rail, on the virtual Business Recovery Panel at the 2020 Canadian Chamber of Commerce AGM.

If there’s one thing that’s become increasingly clear this year, it’s that we are stronger together. That holds true when it comes to the relationships we have with our workers, communities and partners, and it’s absolutely essential when it comes to thinking about Canada’s economic resilience and recovery in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recently Suncor’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Martha Hall Findlay, had the opportunity to share her perspective on an economic recovery panel at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce Annual General Meeting (AGM) alongside leaders from CN Rail and Export Development Canada.

“Economic prosperity is critical to supporting our recovery, which will in turn support social programs and communities across the country. We need to continue to work together to get through this,” said Martha, who joined the Chamber’s Board of Directors this past fall.

Since the pandemic began, Suncor has worked with communities, governments and suppliers to: 

  • donate 40,000 N95 masks to the federal government, and deliver them to communities in need in northern Canada to help them prepare for COVID-19;
  • offer support and resources for the development of emergency ventilators in collaboration with Exergy Solutions and Alberta Health Services;
  • work with Indigenous communities and members of Suncor’s Indigenous Youth Advisory Council to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) including gloves, cloth masks and sanitizer where it was needed. This included Six Nations of the Grand River, the largest First Nations reserve in Canada, and Youth Opportunities Unlimited (YOU), a non-profit that helps youth reach their potential through education, skills training and employment supports;
  • and from the beginning of 2020 to September 30, Suncor, the Suncor Energy Foundation and Suncor workers have contributed more than $21 million to community organizations - including $3 million program through our Petro-Canada brand so that retail and wholesale associates could help support Canadians.

"Realizing that you can do much more than you thought and knowing how to deal with these immediate issues forces you to adapt and realize you are capable of so much more,” said Martha, “That’s what continues to get us through this pandemic. How can we build on our collaborations and be more effective in the future and build back better?”

Our work with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce is one of many essential business and community partnerships for Suncor. It enables us to be a critical part of conversations impacting Canadian businesses, the economy and communities. 

“Look at Canada’s comparative advantages – Canada is a resource-based country – agriculture, fish, wood, oil and gas, hydro, mines, metals and minerals. My hope is that all those come together and remind us this is how we became the prosperous country we are. How do we take full advantage of the incredible blessing we have as a country to ensure the prosperity of the future – in a sustainable way?” added Martha.

We look forward to continuing our work with public and private sectors and governments to progress our country’s economic recovery together.