Letter to the Community

To our valued community,

For over 50 years, Syncrude and Suncor have been steadfast community partners in the Wood Buffalo region. Generations of our employees have called this community home, raised our families here, helped our neighbours, and volunteered countless hours towards initiatives that have contributed to an outstanding quality of life for everyone.

Indeed, over the decades, our companies and the community have prospered from a spirit of cooperation that has generated countless and diverse benefits. Now, more than ever, we need this to continue. By working together we can effectively manage today’s crisis while forging a path to a strong future for Wood Buffalo.

The world is faced with a pandemic unlike any experienced in modern times and make no mistake, the well-being of every Wood Buffalo community member is of paramount importance to us. This is why Syncrude and Suncor have taken a number of decisive actions to help limit the spread of the virus. 

Specifically, we’ve had dedicated teams in place since the early beginnings of the crisis; they are actively managing our plans to help keep people and facilities safe, and responding daily to the ever-evolving situation. We’ve limited our on-site workforce to only those essential to maintaining the integrity of our operations – a reduction of well over 50 per cent and representing thousands less people than there were prior to the onset of these extraordinary circumstances. The remainder of our employees are working remotely from home. 

We’re following and expect our employees to follow recommended and mandated government measures such as keeping workers at physical distances in the workplace and on commuter buses, implemented health screening, and enhanced workplace hygiene and cleaning. In addition, we have extensive measures in place and are well prepared to respond if anyone begins to exhibit symptoms while at work, including immediate isolation and deep cleaning of their work space. 

Also, to further limit the number of people on our sites, only critical work is proceeding at this time. This has resulted in the deferral or cancellation of a number of projects that would have otherwise required skilled tradespeople to travel here from outside the region. While this does have implications to our business it was the right decision to make as we stay true to our core values of keeping people safe.  Both companies have also restricted corporate travel to only essential business and have encouraged our employees to follow directions from health authorities regarding personal travel. 

Sustaining our operations, which provide critical oil products and electricity, is vital for the economic and social well-being of Wood Buffalo, the province and Canada. While we have reduced our capital and operating expenditures as we effectively manage both the virus and the sudden drop in oil prices, our commitment to this community is unwavering. We value our local suppliers and are working hard with them to identify and sustain as much business as possible. As well, we have informed our local not-for-profit partners that we will continue to honour all commitments.

COVID-19 has changed the world and how we interact. But as a community we’re demonstrating that physical and social distancing doesn’t mean putting up barriers that prevent us from effectively working together. In fact, we couldn’t be more proud of our many employees, contractors and regional partners who’ve joined us in our efforts to protect people both at our work sites and at home.

Our region has a proud history of people supporting each other through difficult circumstances. Today is no different and we remain confident the Wood Buffalo community will continue to be united in meeting the challenges of this unprecedented time. 

Doreen Cole                                                                         
Managing Director                 
Syncrude Canada Ltd. 

Shelley Powell 
Senior Vice President, Oil Sands Base Plant
Suncor Energy Inc. 


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