Why is OSDG transitioning?

Rapid growth of Alberta’s oil sands has placed significant pressures on the Athabasca region. As an organization, the OSDG is evolving to better engage stakeholders from the private, public and social sectors to enhance the quality of life for the people who live and work in the region.

To meet these pressures effectively, the OSDG needed to adopt a more focused approach that enables our industry members to engage regional stakeholders on the most significant socio-economic issues in our communities. The organization is transferring advocacy or regulatory responsibilities to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP). This will allow the OSDG to assume a community based approach with an emphasis the socio-economic issues within the region.

The Oil Sands Community Alliance, OSDG’s successor, will provide a forum for planning on how to maximize the benefits of existing and proposed developments. Benefits can include: a better standard of living due to increased employment, business opportunities, training and education, as well as improved social infrastructure and cultural programs.

What are some of the benefits of the transition?

As the OSCA we have developed a new structure that:

  • Builds and strengthens relationships with our community partners;
  • Improves socio-economic benefits through better decision;
  • Increases innovation by tapping into collective knowledge; and
  • Enables new and effective ways for industry and community organizations to work together.

There is benefit in collaboration and alignment across a broad group of companies active in oil sands production. The transition will allow the re-focused OSDG to work with all stakeholders differently including offering opportunities for non-members to participate in projects through joint initiatives.

What is the OSDG transitioning into?

The re-focused OSDG is getting back to its roots. This transition will ensure the association has a more direct focus on the socio-economic impacts associated with oil sands development.

The OSCA will continue to operate as a regional industry association working collaboratively with key external non-industry stakeholders. The OSCA will have its own mandate, strategic plan, budget and employees devoted to socio-economic issues. CAPP will provide additional organizational capacity and administrative resources that the organization has not had previously.

The OSCA has established a structure that allows the organization to focus its resources in four key areas: aboriginal, community well-being, infrastructure and workforce. Additional staff have been hired to provide support to the committees and projects in these four areas.

What is the new vision statement?

The new vision statement created by the Oil Sands CEO Council is:
To pursue innovative solutions that helps to build thriving communities and shared value with our neighbours and enable the responsible growth of Canada oil sands. We facilitate engagement, build relationships and collaborate to create measurable socio-economic benefits.

What is the structure of the new organization?

Ultimately, the new OSCA is accountable to the CAPP Board of Governors and the Oil Sands CEO Council (OS CEO Council) who will review and approve the budget and strategic plan for the new OSCA.

However, the OSCA will functionally report to the Oil Sands Executive Policy Group (OS EPG) under CAPP. The OS EPG is comprised of senior industry representatives from various companies actively engaged in oil sands development and provides advice to CAPP on public policy matters specific to the industry.

The OS EPG will establish a steering group for the OSCA which advises the executive director and staff on day-to-day management of the organization.

Each focus area will have a committee that is guided by a chair who also sits on the OS EPG. These committees will be comprised of members representing the oil sands industry developers. Supporting the work of the committees will be various task groups that are established to address specific issues that fall within the overall OSCA socio-mandate.

Under the OSCA, the task groups will have a multi-stakeholder membership that is determined by the nature of the issue and the specific mandate that is established. The task groups will be responsible for properly defining the issues, developing recommendations for the potential solutions and identifying the appropriate resources to implement these solutions.

What is the Regional Advisory Group?

In order to provide a larger perspective and context for socio-economic issues in the region and the work of the OSCA, there will also be a multi-stakeholder regional advisory group established that will include local and provincial government, business, and institutions like education, health, social services, arts, culture and recreation.

External stakeholders/non-members will be invited to become members of this advisory group. The group will meet twice a year with the first meeting planned for late 2013. In addition to face to face meetings, regular communications and updates on OSCA activities will occur through quarterly newsletters.

What does that mean to oil producing members, non-oil producing members and non-oil producing stakeholders?
The new structure will streamline member companies’ efforts, reduce redundancies and increase efficiencies, and there will be a broader range of resources and expertise to utilize in addressing issues.

The transition will offer increased opportunity for non-members/external stakeholders to participate in addressing challenges through joint initiatives. Both internal and external stakeholders will have greater opportunity to collaborate on projects and discussions addressing socio-economic challenges.

What happens to existing OSDG committees and projects?

Existing OSDG committees and projects are being integrated into the appropriate focus areas of the new structure. Existing collaboration projects already underway will also be moved under the umbrella of the appropriate focus area and continue according to their respective project terms