Catalyzing Change During COVID-19 Pandemic

This article is the Young Pipeliner’s Association of Canada (YPAC) contribution to an article on Young Pipeliners International (YPI) that will be featured in World Pipelines’ 2021 annual North American issue that will be published in October 2021. Written by Kshama Roy and Ally Clark, Communication, Marketing, and Government Engagement Committee and Stella Cunha, Value to Young Pipeliners

Indigenous Inclusion Knowledge Building Session, November 2020

How does one react to change? To crisis? When the COVID-19 came, it disrupted our lives and the way we work. Out of the pandemic, the Young Pipeliners Association of Canada (YPAC) emerged stronger and more resilient.  We dedicated ourselves to our core mandate and took on new initiatives to become role models in the industry.  

YPAC is a professional group for early-career individuals in the pipeline industry. Pipelines are an integral part of Canada’s energy future, and YPAC is committed to building the next generation of leaders. We want to shape the future of the pipeline industry so that it can attract and retain top talent.

Building a sustainable, equitable, and inclusive community of young professionals supports our vision, mission, and values. This commitment requires a systematic approach and thereforewe have started three dedicated advisory councils during the pandemic:

  • Indigenous Inclusion
  • Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
  • Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability

Indigenous Inclusion:

The Indigenous Inclusion Committee was established in October 2020 in response to the call for inclusion and reconciliation. Through meaningful dialogue and formal programs within YPAC, tactical elements for inclusion will be woven into the fabric of our organization. In November 2020, the committee took its first steps by participating in an educational session led by three respected facilitators, Harold Horsefall, Wendy Landry, and Annie Korver, where YPAC leadership explored Indigenous world views, traditional knowledge, belief systems, culture, history, and traditions. In July 2021, the committee built and delivered YPAC’s Indigenous Inclusion strategy.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion:

The Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Committee was established in May 2021 to create a purposely integrated equity, diversity, and inclusion roadmap to drive further benefit to our membership. The committee will address unconscious and systemic bias, racism and anti-racism in the workplace and how all members can show up as allies in the broader spectrum of EDI.  A half-day virtual training session is currently being planned for YPAC team members to build awareness and understanding.

Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability:

The Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability Committee was established in June 2021 to develop YPAC’s climate change strategy through focused communication and advocacy on how young pipeliners can play a leading role in building the energy future. The committee will focus engaging young professionals in developing energy infrastructure innovations to reach Canada’s net-zero ambitions by 2050. The committee is currently developing its strategy and planning for 2021 and 2022.

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically altered the landscape of community work; however, initiatives like these provide the opportunity to our members to collaborate, share and network.  Beyond providing our members an opportunity to engage and learn, members develop self-respect and self-confidence beneficial for mental health, especially during this time of uncertainty.

Sustainability, equity, diversity, inclusivity, and Indigenous reconciliation are of vital importance to YPAC. We are enabling two-way dialogue between young pipeliners and key stakeholders in government, industry, and academia on these critical topics. Guided by our values of creativity, bold vision, and focus, we are catalyzing change despite the COVID-19 pandemic.