More than 100 trucks, light vehicles, buses, ambulances, fire trucks, shovels, and heavy haulers honking their horns and flashing their lights – this is how Suncor employees and contractors at Base Plant, north of Fort McMurray, honoured their fellow essential workers across all industries who are caring for their communities by continuing to provide essential services through these unprecedented times.

It’s loud, proud – and also music to our ears.

“We wanted to salute all the essential workers,” said Norm Gallant, a leader in Mine Operations at Base Plant. “We feel like the team needs this right now; they need a pick-me-up and we wanted to show that we’re here, we carry a lot of pride and we’re resilient.”
Along with his co-worker and buddy Shane Rose, also a Mine Operations supervisor, they came up with the idea after being inspired by the 502 team salute from the crew at Syncrude’s Mildred Lake facility. It didn’t take long before videos came pouring in from crews across Mine Operations lighting up their vehicles and honking their horns. 

“The crew was so happy. You should have heard the chatter on the radio before we did the countdown,” said Norm. 
Their manager Jennifer Burke said she felt pride, not only in their initiative, but in how they’ve adopted Suncor’s purpose and values, a message that comes through loud and clear in the video, “it’s really powerful how much our purpose has resonated with our employees and comes through so naturally in our words and actions.”

Norm said he feels like the crew has always represented the Suncor value of ‘stronger together’. “We take that value very seriously. I can’t say enough how proud I am of all the teams for how resilient we are, how we pull together, and always do. We did in 2016 with the fires and we’re doing it now.”

Thanks to editing help from their former teammate Marina Campbell, who switched to the night shift to work on the project with them, they finished the video in just three nights. 

Norm and Shane shared an emotional moment watching the final cut of the video together. “We were pretty close to tears,” said Norm. “If we weren’t social distancing, we would have hugged each other for sure.”

While many of us are doing our part to flatten the curve by staying home, essential workers are doing their part to ensure that we all have access to vital goods and services.

Our teams continue to work hard to make sure the critical products that heat our homes, fuel the transportation of food and medical supplies, support small business deliveries and keep our society moving are being provided safely and reliably.

We are grateful to our essential workers, and to essential workers across all industries. Thank you to healthcare workers, grocery store clerks, cleaners, first responders, truck drivers, railway providers and to everyone whose duties have become all the more crucial to our communities during these challenging times.