Companies rooted in Canada contribute to flood relief efforts

July 11, 2013
After more than a day of extreme rainfall caused the Bow and Elbow rivers to surge from their banks, record-breaking floods have wreaked havoc on Calgary and surrounding neighborhoods.

After more than a day of extreme rainfall caused the Bow and Elbow rivers to surge from their banks, record-breaking floods have wreaked havoc on Calgary and surrounding neighborhoods. Three people were killed and over 100,000 residents were forced to evacuate parts of southern Alberta that authorities say could remain without power for weeks, or even months.

The floods are Calgary's worst in nearly a century, stripping the record from June 2005 when, according to the city's website, surging waters forced the evacuation of 1,500 people, damaged 40,000 homes, and ultimately caused C$400 million (US$383 million) in damages.

Alberta Premier Alison Redford told reporters at a June 21 press conference that water on the Elbow River was flowing more than three times faster late June 20 than during the 2005 flood, reported Bloomberg.

As the water recedes, cleanup begins, and already, oil and gas companies rooted in Calgary are pitching in to help.

Calgary-based Encana Corp. has donated $500,000 to assist with flood relief efforts. The number includes an initial donation of $250,000 to the Red Cross to assist in immediate relief work in impacted communities, as well as $250,000 to be allocated to a number of Encana's partners which are actively engaged in the effort in both the Calgary area and elsewhere in southern Alberta. In addition, employee donations to registered charities will be matched by Encana up to $25,000 per employee as part of the company's matching gifts program.

"The hard work being done by relief agencies and emergency services personnel, as well as the many volunteer citizens who have pitched in to help their neighbours, truly reflects the strong sense of community in Calgary and throughout southern Alberta," said Bill Oliver, Encana's executive vice president and chief corporate offer.

The company pledged its commitment to work with city officials and industry associations to coordinate a collective industry volunteer response to aid those communities impacted by flooding.

Active in Canada for over 100 years, ConocoPhillips contributed US$1 million to support relief efforts. One half of the donation will be presented to the Red Cross and the other half allocated to local non-profit organizations supporting the recovery efforts. The company will also match donations from ConocoPhillips Canada employees and US employees and retirees.

"So many people in southern Alberta have been impacted by this disaster, and we want to support the outstanding work that emergency responders and organizations like the Red Cross have been doing, and will be doing over the coming days and weeks," said Ken Lueers, president of ConocoPhillips Canada. "Our thoughts are with all of those who are dealing with the impact of this flood, and our sincere thanks to the volunteers who have been working to help their neighbours."

Another $1 million will come from Cenovus Energy Inc. An initial donation of $250,000 will go to the Red Cross for immediate relief efforts. The company will then work with its community partners to determine how best to allocate the remainder of the donation.

Husky Energy Inc. has also stepped up with $1 million. "We have witnessed the devastating impact of flooding, but also the resilience of those impacted and the dedication of first responders," CEO Asim Ghosh said in a press release. "Recovery will be a long process, with many lending a helping hand. We are pleased to join that effort."

Additionally, Canada-based Imperial Oil, through its main philanthropic arm, the Imperial Oil Foundation, has committed $100,000 to the Canadian Red Cross to support emergency assistance efforts.

"Our thoughts are with Albertans who need assistance at this time. We applaud the Red Cross and other emergency organizations for their immediate response and believe it is important to provide the practical assistance needed," said Rich Kruger, Imperial chairman, president, and CEO.

Anyone wishing to support the ongoing Red Cross response to this disaster may do so by donating to the Canadian Red Cross Alberta Floods Response.