Federal government announces new Canada Energy Regulator appointments

Fort Hills operations. Image: Suncor

Cassie Doyle, a former deputy minister of Natural Resources Canada and a former Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) board member, will chair the board of directors of the new Canada Energy Regulator (CER).

The vice-chair is George Vegh, head of McCarthy Tétrault’s national energy regulatory practice and leader of its Toronto energy regulation practice.

The other directors are Ellen Barry, a consultant and former deputy minister in the New Brunswick government, Melanie Debassige, a certified corporate director with more than 20 years of experience in Indigenous economic development and Alain Jolicoeur, a temporary member of the NEB since 2016 and a veteran federal public service executive.

The appointments to the board, which will provide oversight and strategic direction to the CER, were the result of an extensive, competitive, merit-based process, said the government.

The Canadian Energy Regulator Act came into effect Wednesday, replacing the National Energy Board (NEB) with the CER.

Operating out of Calgary, the CER will “enable modern effective governance, more inclusive engagement, greater Indigenous participation, stronger safety and environmental protection and timelier project decisions,” said Natural Resources Canada.

The government has appointed Peter Watson as chief executive officer of the CER until September 2020. He had served as chair and chief executive officer of the NEB since 2014.

The new regulator also includes a group of independent commissioners who are responsible for timely, inclusive and transparent project reviews and decision-making. The commission has all the powers, rights and privileges vested in a superior court of record with respect to any matters within its jurisdiction.

The lead commissioner is Damien Côté, a temporary member of the NEB since 2016 who has considerable expertise related to Indigenous and regulatory law. In addition to holding a juris doctor degree and a licentiate of laws from the University of Ottawa, he has a master of arts degree in economics from the University of Toronto and bachelor’s degrees in engineering (environmental) and economics from Carleton University.

The deputy lead commissioner is Kathy Penney who has more than 25 years of regulatory, environmental and health and safety experience in the public and private sectors.

The other independent commissioners, all lawyers, are Wilma Jacknife, Stephanie Luciuk, Trena Grimoldby and Mark Watton.

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