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SASKATCHEWAN RESPONDS TO NATIONAL ENERGY BOARD MODERNIZATION PANEL REPORT

June 13, 2017

The Government of Saskatchewan has submitted its response to a report on the modernization of the National Energy Board (NEB).  In November 2016, Jim Carr, Minister of Natural Resources established an expert panel to review the structure, role and mandate of the NEB.

During this review, the Government of Saskatchewan shared its three main interests with the panel:

  • to gain greater access to tidewater for Canadian-produced crude oil;
  • to prioritize moving toward pan-Canadian crude oil self-sufficiency; and
  • to repair the global image of Canadian crude oil through promotion of the facts at home and abroad.

“Our government welcomes changes that will result in the approval of sound energy projects,” Energy and Resources Minister Dustin Duncan said.  “But those projects must be built in a timely manner for the benefit of all Canadians, including those who live and work in Saskatchewan.”

Following widespread consultations, the panel submitted its final report, Forward, Together: Enabling Canada’s Clean, Safe, and Secure Energy Future, to Minister Carr in May 2017.

The Government of Saskatchewan has submitted multiple comments, including concerns, regarding the panel’s key recommendations.  Primary concerns focus on the ability of the NEB, or its successor, to approve energy projects using a non-partisan, science-based approach.

The provincial government also maintains that the NEB needs to separate broad policy concerns from the technical review process, while avoiding lengthy approval timelines for project proponents.  One of the panel’s specific recommendations is to abolish the NEB and establish two separate bodies: the Canadian Energy Transmission Commission (CETC), to perform the technical review of pipeline projects within the federal jurisdiction; and the Canadian Energy Information Agency (CEIA), to provide data, information and analysis to both decision makers and the public.

The panel also recommends that the CETC be comprised of an independent Board of Governors located in Ottawa and Hearing Commissioners located anywhere in Canada.

“Our government supports the creation of two separate bodies, but we strongly disagree with the panel’s recommendation to situate a potential Board of Governors in Ottawa,” Duncan said.  “Saskatoon is the ideal location.  Most major oil and gas pipelines pass through Saskatchewan and many companies have a major presence in our province, although none have headquarters in Saskatoon.  Saskatoon is a vibrant city with plenty of office space, professional services and convenient flight options.  Plus, the board will be in close proximity to the energy expertise in Alberta and Saskatchewan, and locating the board in Saskatoon guards against concerns of partisanship and influence from lobby groups.”

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For more information, contact:

Chelsea Coupal
Economy
Regina
Phone: 306-787-4765
Email: chelsea.coupal@gov.sk.ca

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