The federal government’s commitment to modern energy regulation will continue to headquartered in Calgary as a major Discussion Paper for Ottawa recommended the brain trust for the National Energy Board remain in its current home.
The Environmental and Regulatory Reviews Discussion Paper was released this month and is intended to help “regain public trust, protect the environment, introduce modern safeguards, advance reconciliation with Indigenous People, ensure good projects go ahead and get resources to market.”
The Discussion Paper will inform changes the federal government intends to the make to environmental assessment and regulatory processes this fall. The wide-ranging paper fulfills numerous commitments from the Liberal's 2015 election campaign and is viewed as Ottawa’s roadmap to environmental and regulatory policy.
An earlier report, which was part of the overall process, had recommended the Board of Directors and other elements of the NEB’s operations be relocated to Ottawa.
The Discussion Paper said the government is considering 20 changes to the National Energy Board Act in areas such as mandate, governance, decision-making and operations. The section titled Modern Energy Regulation is on page 20 of the 23-page report.
Prominent among the changes being considered is: “Maintaining the National Energy Board in Calgary, while eliminating the residency requirement for the Board and Hearing Commissioners.” That was one of the recommendations that Calgary Economic Development made in a submission in response to the expert panel’s report.
“We’re pleased the government sees the value of having the brain trust of the NEB in Calgary and being part of the innovation ecosystem here, bringing all of the key players together to take on our challenges in energy and environment,” said Mary Moran, President & CEO at Calgary Economic Development. “We will continue to make the case Calgary is the centre of excellence for all things energy in Canada and things like the NEB’s energy information services should be here.”
There is an opportunity for the public to provide comment on the Discussion Paper until Aug. 28 at canada.ca/environmentalreviews.