Our Stories of Strength & Resilience During COVID-19

Corporate Responsibility

Our Stories of Strength & Resilience During COVID-19

In 2020, COVID-19 changed our lives when we least expected it. Our employees showed strength and resilience as we navigated the pandemic reinforcing that ‘We’re In This Together’. 

Thank you to our staff for doing it right, working together and staying connected during rapidly challenging times, in which we had to quickly react to protect employees across our workplaces. Our teams took proactive and effective steps to ensure safety and health, working with Federal and Provincial health authorities. This included increasing safety protocols, from screening, sanitation and physical distancing in the field, to making available platforms for remote access for those working from home. 


Safety Flag as a Reminder

The 2020 Jackfish Turnaround Flag flying proudly from the top platform on one of the steam generators during start-up. The Turnaround Flag tradition started in the thermal plants in 2017 and is now a part of every major turnaround at those facilities.
Near the start of the turnaround, personnel are encouraged to sign their names on the flag as a reminder of their commitment to working safely. Seeing the flag flying over the plant is a tangible daily reminder of our commitment to doing it right
Despite the regular challenges associated with a turnaround, and the addition of the COVID-19 pandemic developing right after the turnaround got underway, the team safely and effectively completed the job at hand.

Canadian Natural Teams Step Up Their Role

Medical and Emergency Services teams have played a critical role in our COVID-19 response and work every day to keep employees safe and healthy. Our staff of medical professionals support all operations, with teams based from Calgary, Horizon, Albian, Kirby, Primrose and Wolf Lake, Jackfish and Pelican Lake.
The work of our Emergency Services team at our oil sands mining operations has evolved significantly and strict procedures/protocols are in place to protect everyone, including our first responders.
“I have been through SARS, H1N1, floods, fires and other major events that threatened public safety,” said John Penzo, Superintendent, Emergency Services, Oil Sands Mining and Upgrading. “What is different about this pandemic is the overall scale of the event, the duration, and the constant pressure to react and respond to changes.”
We appreciate the efforts from all our employees – from our field employees working to maintain safe, reliable operations while adhering to COVID-19 protection protocols and procedures, to those who adapted to working remotely.

Employees’ Community Contributions: Making a Difference during COVID-19 

During the COVID-19 response, many employees took matters into their own hands to stand by their communities. Our employees show how working together can impact others and improve our communities. 
Edson employees started a video challenge to raise funds for local food banks. Edson’s Admin Supervisor challenged everyone in the district to fill up a box of food. From there, two field operators sent out a video challenging their area and each of the other foremen areas to not only donate, but also to raise $1,000. The fundraiser through Canadahelps.org was extended across Edson, Hinton, Grande Cache, Vegreville, Valleyview, Barrhead and Parkland food banks, totaling over $6,000!
In Fort St. John (FSJ), Canadian Natural’s employees organized a food drive, which was then topped up with additional funds raised over the years, and made a donation to the North Peace Senior Housing Society. After consulting with the housing society, the FSJ field team gathered enough supplies to help 15 seniors with food and other living necessities.