I admire the people who can come up with new and different ways to describe 2020. Despite best efforts, I think I would be hard-pressed to get any more creative than “dumpster fire” when I think about the carnage this nonsensical year has dealt the world. It can be hard, even for those of us lucky enough to have support systems of friends, colleagues and family in place to get us through the rough spots. Some of us have also been on the planet a little longer and have been “seasoned” on the finer points of working through difficult circumstances and making it through to the other side in one, relatively unscathed, piece.
I was reminded recently though that many of the thousands of younger professionals working in our industry may not have that battle-tested fortitude some of us have built over time. Health restrictions are meant to keep us safe – that is abundantly clear and so critical to our collective success. That doesn’t take the sting out of not being able to see your family, have hallway conversations with your peers, and do everyday activities like grocery shopping, going to a meeting, or taking the bus and not be fearful of getting sick. If I’m really honest, it’s been a weary journey for even the most Type A, seasoned of us all.
Despite all of the tough news and challenges, I continue to be impressed with the herculean efforts companies, leaders, front line employees, communities, and virtually every aspect of the supply chain for our natural resource industry have responded. In my first few months in this role, I have heard amazing stories of the lengths our member companies have gone to in order to keep employees safe and informed, how leaders are making it job one to check in with their teams daily in creative ways to keep on top of mental as well as physical health considerations, how the industry remains committed to supporting non-profit and community organizations, and how teams are using technology and tools to keep the business of our business on track. It’s incredibly impressive and worthy of a moment or two of reflection and gratitude for the leadership shown by all of you and your organizations.
There is still much to overcome on the health and economic fronts. Additionally, the challenges we had as an industry prior to the pandemic have not disappeared. Regulatory reform, ESG complexity, jurisdictional competitiveness and investment, and the provincial impact of multiple pieces of federal legislation remain key focus areas for ACR. We have been active in several consultative processes with the provincial government in areas such as mines and mineral development, natural gas strategy, and regulatory improvement. These have been excellent opportunities to support member interests and showcase the importance of the multiple forms of energy and investment opportunities this province has to offer. We look forward to continuing this work in 2021 and expanding opportunities to share our perspectives.
As this tumultuous year finally winds down, I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of all of us at the ACR to wish you and yours a very safe and pleasant holiday season. While it will be like no other before, I hope there will be some positive and peaceful moments to enjoy.
Take care everyone. See you in 2021!