What was the OSDG and why did it transition to OSCA?
Rapid growth of Alberta’s oil sands has placed significant pressures on the Athabasca region. Due to the broadening awareness and interest in Canada’s Oil Sands, both as a source of energy and potential concerns, the Oil Sands Developers Group (OSDG) was formed in 2008. As an organization, the OSDG evolved 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 transferred regulatory responsibilities to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP). This allowed OSDG to assume a community based approach with an emphasis the socio-economic issues within the region.
The Oil Sands Community Alliance (OSCA), OSDG’s successor, provides a forum for planning 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.
This transition ensured the association has a more direct focus on the socio-economic impacts associated with oil sands development.
Like OSDG, OSCA operates as a regional industry association working collaboratively with key external non-industry stakeholders. OSCA has established a structure that allows the organization to focus its resources in four key areas: Indigenous, community well-being, infrastructure and workforce.
What are some of the benefits of the transition?
As 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 allowed 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 OSCA’s structure?
Ultimately, OSCA is accountable to the CAPP Board of Governors and the Oil Sands CEO Council (OS CEO Council) who review and approve the budget and strategic plan for OSCA.
However, OSCA reports to the Oil Sands Policy Group (OS PG) under CAPP. The OS PG 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 PG established a steering committee for OSCA which advises the executive director and staff on day-to-day management of the organization.
Each focus area has task groups that are comprised of members representing the oil sands industry developers. These task groups address specific issues that fall within the OSCA’s mandate. The task group membership is determined by the nature of the issue and the specific mandate that is established. Working with the OSCA team, the task groups are responsible for properly defining the issues, developing recommendations for the potential solutions and identifying the appropriate resources to implement these solutions.