Who Should be Tweeting About #YMM and the #OilSands

Timberlea Community

courtesy of Gord McKenna

Thanks to those on Twitter for their suggestions as to “Who Should be Tweeting About #YMM and #OilSands“. 13 people or organizations have been identified, including Mayor Melissa Blake, Suncor CEO Rick George and the RCMP, though I’m sure there are a few more floating out there.

This post has been broken down into three areas: Regional, Industry & Could Be Better – find the full list after the jump.


  • Melissa BlakeMayor of the RMWB: Having Melissa Blake on Twitter would make for a pretty interesting feed. Having an inside look into the life of the mayor of the RMWB would, I’m sure, be an eye-opener for all.
  • Kelly Kloss – Interim CAO of RMWB: It would be nice if someone from the RMWB organization were “officially” on Twitter, and Kelly Kloss would definitely fit the bill. Or maybe a feed from the Communications department? Either way, more info from the RMWB would be beneficial.
  • The United WayThe United Way drives in the fall months are a pretty big deal in this town – and a lot of money gets raised for some pretty important charities. Twitter could help spread the message and inform the community on how the fundraising is going, as well as the impact the raised funds are having on local lives.
  • Centre of Hope: A lot of us pass the Centre of Hope while we make our way up and down Franklin. We’ve all seen the lineups that form before the doors open… yet I’m not sure how many of us know what the Centre really offers. An inside feed could help to showcase the work that goes on there.
  • Camp Staff: A suggestion came in for a local camp cook to be tweeting – why not open it up to all camp support staff? What’s it like to live and work in a camp? What are the challenges? What are some of the benefits?
  • McMcMurray.com: A local community portal that should have a feed (ahh, they recently saw the light and started Tweeting on May 10th – excellent! You should follow @MyMcMurray – good source of local news and information)
  • RCMP: An official feed from the RCMP would be  most welcome. Lots of talk has been circulating recently about ALERT coming north. More information from ALERT to the community could be a pretty effective way to help show their efforts and progress.
  • Glen SemenchukExecutive Director of CEMA: Seeing as how CEMA recently came under the spotlight last week due to their announced restructuring, having Glen on Twitter would be another welcome voice to the oil sands discussion.


  • Rick George: CEO of Suncor. Rick would make for an interesting voice on Twitter. Even if he’s a self-declared fence-sitter, it would be nice to see his thoughts online.
  • Scott Sullivan: Incoming President and CEO of Syncrude – he’s not even on site yet and already he’s being asked to be available online. Welcome to town.
  • Sanctioned Site Experts: If the Canadian Navy can allow personnel to speak freely about what it is they do on the job (without disclosing sensitive information), why couldn’t the oil sands companies do the same? How amazingly powerful would it be to allow employees to broadcast what they do on site? Allow them to answer questions as well. This would go a long way to opening up transparency. Yes, this would mean executives relinquish control…. a scary change. But scary powerful as well.

On Twitter, But Could Be Doing Better

Just a few feeds I believe could be improved and have a greater impact on the online discussions:

  • SyncrudeSyncrude’s feed , if it’s official, is an asynchronous, one-sided feed. It is still using a default Twitter avatar and no bio has been posted. Last post: April 23, 2010 – “Syncrude president defends employees and responds to media coverage http://www.syncrude.ca/users/folder.asp?FolderID=7789
  • Suncor: Suncor has locked twitter feed? Is it official? They’re also using a default Twitter avatar. Last post: don’t know – they haven’t let @myoilsands access to their feed… sigh.
  • Shellbian (Shell Canada / Albian Sands)Shell’s feed looks to have been started solely to engage @Greenpeace in the fall of last year. I wonder why…. Last post: Oct 3rd, 2009 – “We wish Greenpeace would talk to us face to face rather than use confrontational and unsafe tactics. For more info visit http://www.shell.ca”
And there we have it – anyone else you’d like to see online and tweeting?

3 responses to “Who Should be Tweeting About #YMM and the #OilSands

  1. Melissa Blake

    Thanks for the recommendation that the Mayor should twitter… You are likely right, but I have not yet jumped on the way others have. I enjoy my google alerts that cover your postings, but, I’m less committed to doing something similar myself for a few reasons 🙂 All the best!

    • Thank you for the comment Mayor Blake! While I can see the benefits to the community as a whole for increased access to public figures, I can also certainly see the other side of the coin, from the public figure’s point of view as well. Thanks again!

  2. Matt,

    You bring up a very good question that needs to be answered industry wide… Should the oil and gas industry be more active in social media?

    Considering that much of the twitter chatter does focus on #oilsands development, I think that the industry would be better served if the people most directly affected, those in and around #YMM got involved in the discussion. The only feedback I have heard about living and working conditions in #YMM come from antagonists who only visit… sometimes very infrequently.

    Mass media has portrayed the #oilsands as a hazy desolate place laborers are sentenced to work and make the the big bad oil companies billions of $$$. The discussion needs balance. I think the groups and individuals you mentioned above are a good start.

    Thanks for your blog!