A critical component of a healthy and vibrant community is connection and for the first time in two years, Suncor was able to connect in person with community leaders in Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo, in northeastern Alberta, at its annual community reception held in June.
“We are committed to fostering relationships and being strong partners in building and maintaining a vibrant community,” says Peter Zebedee, Executive Vice President, Mining & Upgrading at Suncor. “Which is why it was important for us to gather and celebrate connections, including the ones we have to our regional operations, Indigenous Peoples and the community of Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo.”
Connection to our regional operations
Assuming operatorship of Syncrude last September meant Suncor added to its workforce the many employees and contractors who contribute to the strength of the Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo community.
As integration of the two companies continues, the focus is on building on collective strengths to create a culture that is safe, people-oriented and enables long-lasting success for the community, employees and the company.
Our relationships with Indigenous Peoples
Over the last few years, Suncor formed the Astisiy partnership with eight Indigneous communities, taking a 15 per cent stake in the Northern Courier Pipeline, and the Thebacha partnership, which saw two First Nations acquire an equity position with Suncor’s East Tank Farm.
Through equity partnerships like these, Indigenous communities benefit from long-term, steady revenue streams, which they have full control over to use for funding education, health care, housing, elder care and other community initiatives.
Earlier this month, Willow Lake Métis Nation announced its first ever land purchase as a direct result of the funds from Astisiy. “This achievement demonstrates the value and opportunities made possible through unique industry partnerships,” says Peter. “We’re proud to celebrate this historic announcement with them.”
Community support extends to local programs and initiatives that exemplify community connection. Suncor supports many social profits with programs that not only bring people together, but create connections for learning, conversations and lifelong memories and friendship. Two such initiatives are highlighted in this video about Suncor’s connections in Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo region.
Another way community connections are created is through our employees who donate their time, experience and money. Last year, Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo employees, together with Suncor, the Suncor Energy Foundation and Syncrude, donated close to $5 million in the Wood Buffalo region through Suncor’s SunCares, Syncrude’s United Way campaign and its Good Neigbours program—Syncrude’s volunteer and community contributions program for employees and retirees.
“We remain committed to this community and are so proud to celebrate the community connections we have today, and the ones we’ll have tomorrow,” says Peter.