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Oct 8 2020

Moving ahead during COVID-19

Posted by TC Energy

Over the past few months, we’ve transitioned into a reality which includes living with COVID-19. Now we are learning how to carefully manage this risk and move forward – slowly reopening and recovering the economy while balancing safety and health precautions.

While we are living in unprecedented times, our people and our business have remained healthy and resilient. TC Energy has a very important role to play – delivering the essential energy people need, supporting communities, creating jobs and putting people back to work in a prudent and safe way.

We continue to focus on safe and reliable operations, maintaining the necessary health protocols. We are also now beginning a slow and cautious return of employees to some of our major offices. And, we are still progressing $37 billion in capital projects, which have been deemed essential to North America’s energy network today and for the future.

Our activities will focus on buying locally where possible, supporting many small businesses, in many communities that have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

I want to thank our employees and essential workers who have adapted to change, kept our operations running safely, supported our customers, and made a positive impact in our communities during this time. You inspire me in new ways every day.


Russ Girling
President and CEO

COVID-19 Topics

Our approach continues to be guided by our values – the health and safety of our workforce remain our top priority as we consider business needs and productivity. Based on current risk assessments by public health authorities and following the direction of regional governments, we are transitioning employees back to some of our offices in a phased approach.

  • Calgary, AB – all employees are now working 50 per cent of the time in the office on an alternating weekly schedule
  • Houston, TX – some employees returned on a voluntary basis on Sept. 1; all employees began a staged return starting Oct. 19
  • Charleston, WV – all employees are now working 50 per cent of the time in the office on an alternating weekly schedule
  • Regional and field offices – are re-opening on timelines appropriate to the local area

Remote working continues to be part of our everyday normal, as many of our office-based employees split their time between home and offices. We are proud of how we have built our digital capacity and business resiliency to make this seamlessly possible.

We’re continuing to listen, learn and use public health authorities and government assessments and guidance to inform our controlled, measured approach of returning people to the office, and we will adapt and adjust as things evolve.

We have implemented extensive health and safety protocols to keep employees healthy and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our offices. These protocols are based on comprehensive risk assessments and guidance from governments and public health authorities. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Limiting our major office buildings to approximately 50 per cent capacity
  • Maintaining physical distancing
  • Required use masks in all common areas and shared spaces
  • Promotion of good hygiene practices through hand washing and availability of hand sanitizer
  • Limited elevator capacity
  • Reduced meeting room capacity
  • Continual monitoring of employees’ health status using an internal app
  • Immediate isolation of employees who are symptomatic or test positive for COVID-19
  • Proactive contact tracing at the first indication of possible symptoms or a confirmed case
  • Continued visitor and business travel restrictions

To further protect the health of our people, we support employees to continue working from home if they, or a family member who lives with them, have an underlying medical condition that potentially increases their risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

We continue to execute our extensive programs to help protect our worksites and our essential personnel working there. We have implemented the following procedures:

  • Physical distancing practices where possible (staggering shifts to reduce group interactions);
  • When physical distancing is not possible and working closely together is critical to the safe and reliable operation of our assets, strict protocols are in place, including wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), hand washing, sanitization of surfaces;
  • Mandatory face mask coverings when required by the local public health authority or when physical distancing cannot be achieved;
  • Training and communications program to support awareness, personal hygiene and fit-for-work/sick policies;
  • Continued use of PPE as part of our ongoing health and safety job site program;
  • Enhanced cleaning of facilities and personal hygiene practices, and
  • Increasing medical staff to support immediate healthcare for workers. 

At TC Energy, giving is part of our DNA. Since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared in March, we’ve contributed more than $3.8 million in donations to organizations responding to the crisis – including more than $592,000 contributed by our workforce. Collectively, these donations have helped to reduce food insecurity, equip first responders and healthcare workers with supplies and address unique needs in the communities we call home. 

As we look forward to the remainder of 2020, we are continuing these efforts with a focus on community recovery.

 

Mental health is something we take seriously and something we want our workforce to feel comfortable talking about and reaching out for support if they need it. We have been through a lot these last few months and for many, dealing with the stress and anxiety of the current situation has been a challenge.

Listen to TC Connects podcast episode with Chief Operating Officer and President, Power & Storage and Mexico, François Poirier, as he shares why he is passionate about mental health and what we’re doing as a company to increase awareness on the topic. You can also check out our Wellness Wednesday tips to help cope in the time of COVID-19.

Following the direction of regional governments and based on current risk assessments by public health authorities, we are carefully moving forward with some in-person meetings with extensive health and safety protocols in place. We also continue to engage remotely with Indigenous groups, community partners, landowners and land users to meet our commitment of open and transparent engagement. Using mail, phone and email, we aim to provide the consistent dialogue that they have come to expect from TC Energy.

We continue to explore other methods to effectively engage with communities while respecting physical distancing guidelines. For example, helicopter fly-overs have been replaced by drone footage, and we have modified or rescheduled initiatives like field-based job opportunities for community members with our environmental consultants.

We are also adapting the way we engage by launching our first-ever virtual project open house. The virtual open house is accessible at any time via your tablet, computer or mobile device and provides a platform for people to learn all about the project and provide feedback and questions.  

After the pandemic was declared in March, TC Energy’s Indigenous Relations team proactively reached out to more than 200 Indigenous groups across our Canada, U.S. and Mexico footprint to see how we could best support them through the pandemic. Since then, we’ve provided approximately $1.4 million in financial support to Indigenous groups to help with access to basic needs. For example, we helped Stoney Nakoda Nation in Alberta lease a security trailer, allowing them to monitor access to Big Horn Reserve and support their community in combatting the spread of COVID-19. In addition, we provided 14 Indigenous communities with Personal Protective Equipment acquired through an Indigenous supplier from Red Rock Indian Band in Ontario. As the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue, we will offer our support as their needs and priorities evolve.

COVID-19: Taking action

At TC Energy, safety is our number one value, and our first concern is for all our employees, families and communities who may be affected by this situation. Learn how we are taking action.

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