Notification for Regulated Companies and Interested Parties

Subject:  Notification for review of pipeline regulations

Date: December 14, 2021

The Canada Energy Regulator (CER) will be starting a review of the Onshore Pipeline Regulations (OPR), which are the main regulations we use to oversee pipelines in Canada. We want to hear from you on ways to improve these regulations.

We recognize the challenges posed at present due to situations affecting communities in various regions of Canada. If your community has been impacted, please let us know how the CER can be flexible in the review process. We welcome your suggestions.

The CER’s objective for this review is to deliver a regulation that supports the highest level of safety, security and environmental protection, advances Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, addresses transparency and inclusive participation, provides for predictable and timely oversight and encourages innovation.

The OPR Review will build on learnings from years of implementing the OPR, and feedback from Indigenous peoples, regulated companies, landowners, and other stakeholders.

The first step in our review is to ask for the input of Indigenous peoples, regulated companies and interested parties. Soon, we will share a Discussion Paper with some questions to help guide the conversation. Input can be provided over the course of the engagement period and an overview of the Discussion Paper is included below.

We are currently in the first phase of the OPR Review. The process will take approximately two years to complete. There will be different opportunities for engagement and input and we will share these on the CER Consultation and Engagement Activities webpage.

You can participate in the OPR Review in a number of ways, such as:

  • Receiving updates by mail or email on the project.
  • Participating in live sessions to share your feedback.
  • Being kept informed by your Regional Office contacts.
  • Another option that works best for you.

Please let us know if and how you would like to be involved, or if you have questions, through the email contact information below. To sign up to be notified when the Discussion Paper is available for review, please email with the subject line “Sign Up”. We will be sure to let you know when the Discussion Paper is available, along with information about how to provide input and by when.


Thank you, and we look forward to starting the review process together with you.

OPR Review – Overview of the Discussion Paper

A Discussion Paper will be provided to identify possible areas of change and to focus early engagement activity.  The Discussion Paper will include high level questions related to regulatory requirements, and also requests feedback on the approaches to be taken by the CER to review the regulations. Topics addressed in the Discussion Paper will include:

  1. Lessons learned (what we have learned over the past 20 years using the Onshore Pipeline Regulations, including areas where we know improvement is needed).
  2. Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples (working differently with Indigenous peoples over the lifecycle of a pipeline; respecting and protecting heritage resources and sites of significance for Indigenous peoples; involving Indigenous peoples in pipeline oversight).
  3. Engagement and inclusive participation (planning for how pipelines are operated and maintained; other company activities like emergency management; communicating and engaging people affected by pipeline activities once a project is approved; using a gender-based analysis plus lens, which looks at how policies affect women, men and non-binary people differently).
  4. Global competitiveness (helping companies and people affected by the OPR know what to expect; improving innovation and flexibility; changing how we can use CER data and digital platforms to find new, better ways of working; changing pipeline use to carry different products or ending the use of a pipeline).
  5. Safety and environmental protection (using management systems to plan for all aspects of pipeline operations; exploring human and organizational factors that impact how work is done; looking at programs and plans for safety and environmental protection; making sure contractors are properly managed; looking at how contaminated sites are cleaned up; making sure there is a strong emergency management program in place; checking quality of pipeline materials).
  6. Implementation (looking for ways to improve understanding of the rules in order to get the intended results; developing technical guidance to support the regulations).
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