When it comes to landing contracts in Alberta’s oil sands, First Nations groups are no longer the beneficiaries of easy deals.
Chief financial officer of Fort McKay Group of Companies, Marguerite MacDonald says, “Four years ago, we didn’t have to bid on a lot of the work that we now bid for. It is no longer a given. All the plants have tightened spending and reduced costs.”
That has meant, companies like MacDonald’s are touting their core strengths and becoming more competitive. The Fort McKay Group is working more closely with producers such as Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Inc. to adapt to their clients needs and regulations.
While the major companies have moved towards controlling their costs, they continue to be bound by law to consult with, and provide opportunities to, aboriginal communities impacted by the industry.
Suncor’s Mary Peg Campbell, says while there is a legal obligation, working with aboriginal businesses makes sense, “they know the area, know the customers and the environment and they work near the community,