2021–22 Annual Report of the Commission of the Canada Energy Regulator – What the Future Holds

Canada geese flying

What the Future Holds

The world is changing. There are many new and heightened pressures and forces in Canadian society today that will be instrumental in shaping the world of tomorrow. Amidst these pressures and forces, the work of the Commission continues, aimed at providing certainty, transparency, efficiency, and enhanced guidance.

As an expert tribunal, the Commission will continue to build expertise by staying on top of leading developments in the energy, regulatory, and adjudicative spaces and by ensuring involvement in annual continuing education on these subjects.

Over the next year, additional Filing Manual updates aimed at improving filing requirements, clarity and at enhancing guidance are expected. Adjudicative process improvements will also continue to be a primary focus for the Commission as will the Commission’s pursuit of greater regulatory process accessibility, efficiency, and transparency by improving its information and data systems.

Globally, an energy transformation is underway, and Canada is very much a part of it. In particular, the Government of Canada has laid out an extensive energy transition to net-zero in its 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan: Clear Air, Strong Economy and enacted the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act. For its part, the Commission will continue to monitor this evolving policy area (and others such as energy security, etc.) and adapt where required for purposes of decision-making in respect of the CER’s regulated energy infrastructure.

Canada’s journey towards Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples will continue. The Commission will again seek respectful and effective ways of hearing and considering Indigenous Knowledge in its proceedings. Work is underway to bring a consistent and clear approach as to how confidential Indigenous Knowledge can be considered in adjudicative processes and when or how the disclosure of this Indigenous Knowledge may occur.

As always, the Commission’s mandate will continue to be discharged in adherence with the evolution and guidance of relevant jurisprudence. One recent example is the British Columbia Supreme Court’s decision in Yahey v. British Columbia, 2021 BCSC 287. This decision will help inform the Commission in respect to procedural and substantial decision-making for some time to come.

During the upcoming year, the Commission expects to return to in-person hearings. The Commission is committed to communicate in advance and transparently, wishing to maximize predictability and certainty of its processes. Also, the Commission will strive to identify, reduce, and where feasible, remove barriers to accessibility in the hearing environment.

Ultimately, the mandate of the Commission remains the same: working to ensure safe and efficient delivery of energy to Canada and the world, protecting the environment, and recognizing and respecting the rights of the Indigenous peoples of Canada, both now and into the future.

Date modified: