• Cenovus Energy Inc (TSX:CVE) has pledged $50 million to help tackle the critical housing shortage faced by Indigenous people in Northern Alberta.
  • Cenovus will donate $10 million per year for the next five years to build new homes in six First Nations and Métis communities.
  • The initiative is the largest community investment in the company’s history.
  • If the initiative is successful, the company might extend the program to ten years, and increase their investment to $100 million.
  • Cenovus’ share price is up 0.085 per cent, with shares trading at $11.82 apiece.

Oil and gas company Cenovus Energy Inc (CVE) has announced the single largest community investment initiative in their ten year history.

The $50 million project will address the housing crisis currently affecting Indigenous people in Northern Alberta.

Cenovus described the initiative as “an important way to contribute to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples”.

There is a serious lack of adequate housing in Canada, especially for Indigenous people on reservations. It has resulted in entire communities living in overcrowded and unsafe conditions.

Vern Janvier, Chief of the Chipewyan Prairie Dene First Nation, described the crisis.

“We’re getting to the point where we have two families living in one house, and in some cases three. On top of the houses that are in disrepair, we have demand for another 50 houses. […] And that’s just our reserve.”

In order to tackle the challenge ahead, Cenovus has pledged $10 million per year for the next five years to the initiative.

The money will be spent on building new homes in six First Nations and Métis communities. The communities are located near the company’s oil sands operations, Christina Lake and Foster Creek.

Cenovus will be working with the communities’ leaders to implement the housing program. They will also work together to create education and employment opportunities, and raise awareness about the Indigenous housing crisis.

Leaders from Beaver Lake Cree Nation, Chard Métis, Chipewyan Prairie Dene First Nation, Cold Lake First Nations, Conklin Métis, and Heart Lake First Nation spoke about the project’s benefit to their people.

Justin Herman, CEO of Chard Métis said “It’s absolutely amazing and groundbreaking. […] I hope it sets a precedent for the rest of the industry to follow the lead of Cenovus.”

If the initiative proves successful, Cenovus may extend the project from five years to ten. They may also increase their investment from $50 million to $100 million.

Cenovus’ share price is up 0.085 per cent, with shares trading at $11.82 apiece.

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