Community Engagement

At Enbridge, we work to ensure our relationships with communities and Indigenous groups are mutually beneficial—environmentally, socially, culturally and economically.

We work hard to earn and maintain the trust of the people and communities who live near our assets and operations.

Business Context and our Strategic Response

Who are our Stakeholders?

Our stakeholders include the individuals and groups who live and work near—or who can affect or are affected by—our pipelines, power lines, operations and facilities. They include landowners, communities, governments, businesses, industry, non-government organizations and regulators, as well as the individuals and organizations with whom we work to prepare for and respond to emergencies.

We also engage with Indigenous individuals and groups living near our projects and operations in Canada and the U.S. However, because in both countries Indigenous peoples have distinct rights, we recognize them as being separate from other stakeholders. We have distinct policies, management systems and accountabilities for addressing Indigenous rights and building community-based relationships. We provide more information on our relationships with Indigenous Peoples in our discussion paper, Indigenous Rights and Relationships in North American Energy Infrastructure.

We believe our long-term success depends on our ability to build effective, mutually beneficial relationships with the people and communities near our operations in Canada and the U.S. Coordinated, comprehensive management systems guide our approach, which is grounded in respect for our stakeholders and our commitment to foster open, transparent and meaningful dialogue with our neighbors.

Our Approach


We strive to ensure both the consistency and flexibility of our community outreach efforts. Initiatives we undertake must adhere steadfastly to our values and be customized to local needs and issues. Our CSR Policy and Indigenous Peoples Policy commit us to timely and meaningful engagement with all stakeholders through clear, honest and respectful interactions.

Integrated Management System

We have an integrated management system for engagement that supports our multi-disciplinary and strategic, relationship-based approach to managing engagement, inclusion and communication activities.

The system is coordinated, scalable, and incorporates standardized processes, procedures, tools and templates to enhance its effectiveness and provide consistency in our approach across all Enbridge projects and operations. It is based on leading industry practices and global benchmarking systems, and further advances accountability, documented reporting and continuous improvement.

As shown on the following page, the system involves four stages, each with its own requirements.

Engagement Plans

Every community is unique—and so is every Enbridge project. That’s why we execute specific engagement plans for all new projects requiring regulatory approvals. That being said, we do follow a systematic process to identify those unique stakeholders, circumstances and engagement plans for each project, and maintain guidelines or standards to ensure consistent and respectful engagement.

We also have engagement plans at the regional level for our liquids and natural gas pipelines operations to ensure stakeholder engagement and communication is consistent and ongoing over the lifecycle of our assets, as well as across our different operating regions.

Regional Engagement Plans
Through our Regional Engagement Plans (REPs), we work to develop and maintain constructive, meaningful and long-term stakeholder relationships.

Our REPs are based on a solid understanding of the regional environment and an effort to learn what matters most—the priorities, interests and concerns of our communities and stakeholders. These plans ensure that our engagement is ongoing and that we build meaningful relationships with stakeholders. The REPs also serve as a foundation of stakeholder information when new projects are initiated within a region. Plans are developed and measured using best practices.

Our REPs help us build and maintain stakeholder relationships in each region and ensure coordination between project planning, operations and community engagement. Multidisciplinary teams execute the operational engagement plans in an integrated manner, incorporating experience and learnings from community engagement.

Project engagement plans
As each of our new projects enters the planning stage, we create customized engagement plans for them. These engagement plans are designed to understand stakeholder issues; answer questions and obtain input on our project plans; improve awareness of community interests and perspectives; and adapt our plans based on what we learn.

Our project engagement plans involve identifying and prioritizing stakeholders, tailoring engagement methods according to stakeholder priorities, identifying and analyzing issues and risks, and developing mitigation plans and processes to respond to issues and risks that might occur.

To ensure that these plans are effective and appropriate, we reach out to stakeholders and their communities to get to know them, the local environment and the relevant issues. Outreach includes surveys, focus groups and meetings with community members, and we engage and communicate through newsletters, fact sheets, presentations, project update letters, telephone calls, emails, advertising, social media and community events and open houses.

Addressing Stakeholder Input

We recognize that some stakeholders may have concerns about our projects and operations, and we respect their desire to voice them. Enbridge welcomes and encourages respectful, two-way dialogue and problem solving, and we take all stakeholder concerns and requests seriously. We carefully track issues raised to ensure effective follow-up and capture within our REPs.

We have created processes to proactively manage stakeholder concerns and questions or complaints related to projects and operations in each region. We log issues as they emerge, identify and prioritize potential issues, and develop appropriate engagement or communication actions to resolve them.

We offer stakeholders a variety of methods by which they can reach us, including toll-free telephone lines, in-person meetings and dedicated e-mail addresses. Our REPs also include opportunities for stakeholders to connect with us, and for us to listen and respond to them.

Ways We Engage

Landowners and Tenants

Community Members

Emergency Responders

Government and Regulators

Face-to-face meetings
Newsletters, brochures and other collateral mailouts
Town halls and open houses    
Social media    
Landowner advocacy group workshops and presentations      
Community events (such as BBQs)  
Employee volunteer projects      
Partnerships with local and regional organizations      
Community investment programs    
Online emergency responder training      
Facility and rights-of-way tours
Emergency response tabletop exercises    
Regulatory compliance      

Public Awareness Programs

Open House display

Community open houses: Who we are, what we do

At community open houses, residents can learn more about Enbridge’s operations, community outreach and relentless focus on safety.

Learn more

As the owner and operator of 43,000 miles (69,000 kilometers) of pipelines transporting oil and natural gas, our highest priority is operating our assets safely and reliably to protect the people, communities and environments located nearby.

In Canada and the U.S., we adhere to regulatory requirements to maintain and deliver a Public Awareness Program. This safety communication program is dedicated to informing and educating our neighbors—landowners, tenants, business owners, communities, elected officials, excavators and emergency responders—about the presence of pipelines and associated facilities in their communities, and how to continue living and working safely around them. While specific outreach requirements for this program vary across Canada and the U.S., it's governed by an enterprise-wide Public Awareness plan which helps ensure quality, consistency and the integration of best practices, while ensuring compliance with regulations specific to each jurisdiction.

Our Public Awareness Program meets, and in many cases exceeds, regulatory requirements. We strive to demonstrate our commitment to safety by:

  • Providing a standard for safety engagement and communication, including face-to-face meetings, information mailings and online content.
  • Educating on damage prevention best practices to safeguard underground infrastructure assets.
  • Contributing to local emergency response readiness.
  • Aligning communication around emergency management and community investment.
  • Leveraging best practices to continuously improve our Public Awareness Program.
Welder working on metal

The career ‘arc’ may start right here

Trade winds are blowing in Winnipeg. And for Manitoba’s First Nations and Métis, they’re bringing opportunity. First Peoples Development Inc., based in Winnipeg, MB, has launched a pilot project to tackle the lack of qualified on-reserve and rural trades. A series of welding camps, held in September 2018 and supported with an Enbridge grant, was part of this initiative aimed at producing a steady stream of well-trained apprentices.

Learn more

Our Performance

The following examples illustrate how we demonstrated accountability and responsiveness to stakeholders through the initiatives in our major project engagements and REPs.

Emergency Responder Education and Engagement

Since 2013, Enbridge has hosted and operated a free Emergency Responder Education Program, as a way to continue educating emergency responders of their role in the event of a pipeline emergency. This Enbridge-owned training program was the first of its kind among U.S. and Canadian pipeline companies.

In late 2018, we moved away from a self-hosted program and now participate in industry-aligned training offered by the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the Association of Oil Pipe Lines (AOPL). This training is a free online portal that continues to assist in educating first responders on the techniques and skills necessary to address liquids or natural gas pipeline emergencies. Featuring content from the National Association of State Fire Marshals, this program is considered best-in-class and has been promoted to all first responders along Enbridge's system.

SPOTLIGHT: "You lose that water access...that is devestation."

Project funding for community needs

In May 2018, Enbridge announced approximately $1.35 million in Community Investment funding for more than 55 communities in Saskatchewan and Manitoba located near our Line 3 Replacement Program. The donations were made in support of locally driven projects and initiatives that support safe, healthy and sustainable communities—everything from swimming pools to parks and playgrounds, community hall and recreation centre upgrades, emergency response equipment and more.

Learn more

Connecting Pipeline and Communities

At an estimated cost of $8.2 billion, the Line 3 Replacement Program (L3RP) is the largest capital project in Enbridge’s history and represents our largest community and Indigenous engagement effort to date. This project involves replacement of approximately 1,031 miles (1,660 km) of pipe running from Hardisty, AB to Superior, WI.

Construction of the Canadian portion of the L3RP is complete; we anticipate bringing the pipeline into service in the latter half of 2019. Meanwhile, we continue to await final permitting before construction can begin on the majority of the American portion of the project.

Community and Indigenous engagement have been a major focus of the L3RP on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border.

In Canada, by the end of 2018, we had recorded approximately 26,700 engagements—from community meetings to phone calls, emails and open houses—with landowners, municipalities, Indigenous communities or groups, and other interested parties. More than 150 Indigenous communities were engaged from as far away as 186 miles (300 km) from the replacement pipeline right-of-way. As of May 2019, we had 58 agreements with 95 Indigenous communities which included $30 million of capacity funding to address barriers to engagement and to support community priorities to allow Indigenous communities and individuals to participate in the project. Over $400 million of contracts went to Indigenous businesses or partners, and more than 1,100 Indigenous workers were employed on the project.

For the U.S. portion of L3RP, in 2018 alone we conducted nearly 794 meetings with local governments, landowners, business and civic organizations, and first responders—bringing total outreach efforts in four years to more than 2,632 meetings and events. We hosted meetings with landowners and stakeholders along our existing right-of-way to discuss the decommissioning of the existing Line 3 and engaged separately along our preferred route to answer questions and gain feedback on L3RP. These engagement efforts had tangible impacts on the project, resulting in more than 50 responsive route changes. Watch more about Line 3 community engagement.

Enbridge has committed to spending $100 million in Minnesota with Indigenous and tribally owned businesses on L3RP in support of local initiatives that support safe, healthy and sustainable communities.

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