Developing resources and getting them to market in an environmentally responsible way requires regulatory processes that carry the confidence of Canadians.
Middle-class Canadians have expressed concerns about the National Energy Board's process and the impact it has on the environment and the economy. That is why, in January 2016, the government introduced interim principles to guide its decisions on major projects, and in June 2016 announced comprehensive reviews of Canada's environmental assessment and regulatory processes.
Today, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Jim Carr, announced the creation of a five-member expert panel that will provide recommendations on modernizing Canada's federal energy regulator, the National Energy Board (NEB).
The members of the NEB Modernization Expert Panel are: David Besner, Wendy Grant-John, Brenda Kenny, Hélène Lauzon and Gary Merasty. Lauzon and Merasty will be co-chairs. The panel members' areas of expertise include policy, energy, business, environment, scientific, regional and Indigenous knowledge.
The expert panel will examine issues beyond environmental assessment, including the NEB's governance structure, role and mandate, with particular focus on enhancing the participation of the public and Indigenous peoples in regulatory reviews. The panel will hear views from Canadians in person and online. Its full mandate is outlined in the terms of reference, which reflect public comments received in June and July. The panel will also seek the specific views of Indigenous peoples as part of this process, and participant funding was made available.
Specific information on the panel's engagement plans, including in-person and online opportunities for input, will be provided. It is expected that the NEB Modernization Expert Panel will submit its report and recommendations to the Minister of Natural Resources by March 31, 2017. The report will be made public.
For major projects already under review, Government will continue to rely on the NEB to support key decisions, supported by the interim principles announced in January 2016.