Hiring local businesses and sourcing local contract services, including Aboriginal businesses, is an important part of how we do business. We believe support of local and Aboriginal business is a key part of meeting our labour and service needs and strengthening local economies in our operating areas.
Since 2009, we’ve spent more than $2 billion doing business with local and Aboriginal companies in our operating areas. Overall, our company capital spend continued to be constrained in 2016, accounting for a reduced Aboriginal business spend total. However, our Aboriginal business spend as a percentage of capital spend increased in 2016 to more than 19 percent, a reflection of our increased effort to engage Aboriginal suppliers as well as the growing number of qualified businesses.
Taking action in our communities
Pimee Well Servicing is an oilfied service company in northeastern Alberta. It’s owned and operated by a partnership of six First Nation bands, including Saddle Lake, Kehwewin, Frog Lake, Beaver Lake, Heart Lake and Whitefish Lake. The training and employment for community members provided by Pimee has been a positive experience for the communities by showing the benefits of education, training and having industry as a neighbour.
Primco Dene is a wholly owned company of Cold Lake First Nations. It provides services to our Foster Creek and Christina Lake projects with a focus on camp management, catering and emergency management services. Primco Dene has been a contractor with Cenovus since our early developments at Foster Creek and has provided an industry-leading service to our many employees who work at both Foster Creek and Christina Lake. Primco Dene is focused on local Aboriginal employment and draws on the resources of many different communities in northeastern Alberta to meet the human resource demands of their rapid expansion. They have a distinct focus of sharing their success through community investment.
TAWS Security is an Aboriginal-owned Fort McMurray-based security company that has been working with Cenovus since 2010. TAWS owner Isabell Ringenoldus, a Fort McMurray First Nation member, has grown her business significantly and now provides services at Cenovus’s Telephone Lake exploration area. TAWS specializes in providing oil sands gates and mobile patrol security for energy and engineering companies. Isabell was recently named the 2017 National Youth Entrepreneur of the Year by the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, which in part recognized the work her company did during the devastating wildfire of May 2016. TAWS also recently received the Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce Aboriginal Business of the Year award for 2016.