The Canadian nuclear industry has responded to the current COVID-19 crisis both directly and indirectly. Laboratories, utilities, and the nuclear supply chain are supporting local health authorities by providing gloves, masks, protective clothing, and equipment that is urgently needed on the front lines. Beyond the supply of these materials — the industry is also applying its expertise and ability to innovate to help Canada and the world meet this challenge. This profile is part of a series on how CNA members are giving back.
Despite facing unique challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, Cameco, one of the world’s largest uranium producers, has stepped up even more for the communities in which it operates.
To meet public health authority guidelines for social distancing and protect the health and safety of its employees, Cameco temporarily suspended production at its operations in Cigar Lake, Blind River, and at its UF6 plant in Port Hope for the past number of weeks.
Despite that, Cameco has been focused on the well-being of those who live and work in the communities where they operate, announcing two relief funds for a total of $1.25 million for charities and not for profits that have been impacted by COVID-19.
The first $1-million was for a COVID Relief Fund for Saskatoon and northern Saskatchewan, for which eligibility was also extended to town offices and First Nation band offices.
The response to this initiative was tremendous as the company received applications from hundreds of organizations. Cameco announced that 67 community projects from 40 Saskatchewan communities were awarded funding under the program.
Included in the support Cameco provided significant numbers of personal protective equipment (PPE) for northern Saskatchewan communities and First Nations – 10,000 masks, 7,000 pairs of gloves and 7,000 litres of hand sanitizer. Donations of supplies and money from nearly 100 Cameco employees augmented the company’s initial $1 million contribution.
“I’m proud of Cameco’s employees for stepping up yet again to support the communities where they live,” Cameco president and CEO Tim Gitzel said in a statement “It happens every time we put out a call for help, a call for volunteers, a call to assist with any of our giving campaigns, and I can’t say enough about their generosity.”
The second phase of the campaign was a similar $250,000 relief fund for Northumberland County and Blind River area in Ontario.
This is in addition to the already generous donations Cameco made to Ontario communities in April:
If you are a CNA member supporting the COVID-19 crisis response, please contact the CNA so we can spotlight your efforts.