The wildfires in Northern Alberta in May affected more than 90,000 people as they caused the evacuations of communities in and around the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB).
When the fires escalated to emergency levels, Suncor quickly assembled an emergency response team with people from across the company to provide support, from safely evacuating more than 10,000 residents and their pets, to activating matching programs for employee donations to Red Cross and United Way.
Guided by two principles – ensuring the safety of employees and the community and protecting the environment and our assets – the company’s actions resulted in zero serious injuries or environmental violations throughout the response.
The crisis has passed, but the hard work continues as residents begin the journey to rebuild. Suncor continues to support the efforts through the Suncor Recovery Steering Committee, which is made up of Suncor employees. Its members work closely with an Industry Recovery Working Group that includes industry representatives to support residents, businesses and organizations as they begin re-establishing their communities.
“Fort McMurray and the surrounding communities are the lifeblood of our operations, and home to thousands of our employees, businesses and organizations,” says Dean Wilcox, chair of Suncor’s Recovery Steering Committee. “The steering committee enables us to assess the needs of those impacted and work to resolve these challenges and influence government.”
The recovery process will take time but Suncor’s management is committed to a vibrant community where employees will live and work in the region. The Industry Recovery Working Group is working closely with various levels of government to have a say in the policies and programs that will positively influence the region.
“We are committed for the long term,” says Dean. “The recovery won’t happen overnight. It will be a long road for many employees and community members, and we are advocating for them in hopes to make their journey a bit easier.”