The electricity industry has a tradition of coming together to face challenges in times of need through partnership and co-operation.
Through unity of effort and response from across industry, and with other stakeholders, we ensure that Canadians can continue to count on the electricity that underpins our lives and our economy. The pandemic has underscored the nature of the sector as an essential service.
When COVID-19 first emerged, nobody could have predicted that it would be as impactful or long-lasting as it has been. The past nine months have been a truly unprecedented time, and every person and organization has had to adapt rapidly to the new circumstances of life during a pandemic.
Countries around the world went into lockdown, and companies sent employees to work from home when possible. Many people were unemployed in an instant. Initially, many expected that this would be a temporary interruption, over in a month or so. As we now know, that was an overly optimistic view.
While other industries ground to a halt, Canada’s electrical utilities had to pivot overnight to finding ways to keep the lights on across Canada while balancing the safety of their teams. Safety has always been the first priority of Canada’s electrical utilities, and the pandemic has required employers to build out new dimensions of safety processes to existing strong foundations.
The pandemic has challenged all business units to adapt. From human resources, to operations, to finance, to security, all teams were essential in responding to the challenges of the pandemic. The pandemic has reinforced the importance of the people at the heart of this sector: those who work to keep the lights on 24 hours a day, seven days a week. These people include powerline technicians, cyber security specialists, customer service representatives and many others. Teams, including human resources, have not only had to deal with the pandemic at a professional level, but to also pivot entire organizations quickly to working from home while simultaneously ensuring the safety of those who remain working in the field.
As we adjust to what has been called “the new normal”, the Canadian electricity industry is cautiously moving toward a new “business as usual”, and continues to adapt and to innovate to find even better ways of doing things as the pandemic evolves.