Sensitive Documents

Applying to limit public access to sensitive filings.

All information you file with the Canada Energy Regulator (CER) during a hearing can be accessed by the public. If you want to limit public access to specific pieces of your information, you must apply for a confidentiality order.  The Commission of the CER will only consider limiting access if you are able to show that your information is sensitive and that making it public could cause specific harm.

Before you apply

Before applying for a confidentiality order, to have information you are filing protected (see Section 60 of the CER Act), consider whether you could present it in a way that it does not include confidential details. This could mean filing a redacted copy of a document with certain portions, names, places, blacked out, or, for either written or oral evidence, that you provide general information rather than specific details that could be detrimental if released. The CER encourages full transparency in most instances.

Approval to protect information is not automatic. The Commission of the CER will only grant a confidentiality order if you are able to meet the requirements of Section 60 of the CER Act. Even when information is protected, other Parties in the hearing process may need to see it too. If required, the Commission of the CER will decide what arrangements are appropriate, such as signing a confidentiality agreement or holding an oral hearing session with limited access (“in-camera”).

Types of information considered

Typically, the type of information that might be considered for non-public release would be information of a proprietary nature, where you or others could suffer personal harm or commercial losses if the information was made public. This is a special exception to the rule that all evidence should be available to the public.

How to apply

To apply to have the information you are filing protected, you should:

  1. File electronically ONLY the letter requesting confidentiality (using the Participation Portal or efiling system), providing all the reasons why your information should be protected and how it fits under the provisions of section 60 of the CER Act. See the Filing Manual guidance(s.16.1 of NEB Act).
  2. Send the actual sensitive information or documents by fax or mail (paper copy). Mark them very clearly as “CONFIDENTIAL”.
  3. The Commission of the CER will assess the request and if it does not decide the information should be protected, it will return it to you. If the Commission of the CER decides to take measures to protect the information, it will send out a ruling with its decision and the next steps.
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