2022–23 Annual Report of the Commission of the Canada Energy Regulator – Role of the Commission

Calm water next to a forest under a foggy mountain slope.

The Commission renders decisions pursuant to its mandate as set out in the CER Act and other legislation. In its adjudicative role, it adheres to the purpose and provisions of the CER Act, while recognizing and respecting the rights of Indigenous Peoples protected by section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.Footnote 2 The Commission adheres to the requirements found in Part III of the Official Languages Act,Footnote 3 as well as the rules of natural justice and relevant jurisprudence.

The Commission is responsible for adjudicative decisions and operates as a quasi-judicial body that is at arm’s length from other branches of the CER governance structure as well as from and the Government of Canada. The Commission is part of the CER and, although its adjudicative role is independent, it contributes to the overall effective delivery of the CER’s mandate, the CER’s Strategic Priorities, and corporate outcomes, where applicable.

Pursuant to the CER Act, neither the Board of Directors nor the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) may provide direction (nor advice, in the case of the Board) with respect to any decision, order, or recommendation that is made by the Commission or a Commissioner. Additionally, interactions with the Indigenous Advisory Committee are governed by the Protocol for Protection of Adjudicative Independence of the Commission.

The Commission has all the powers, rights and privileges vested in a superior court of record with respect to any matters within its jurisdiction. It can adjudicate (including on its own initiative) any matter where a person has done or failed to do anything required by the CER Act and can also inquire into any incident involving a pipeline or other CER-regulated facility.

The Commission has the power to make orders for the enforcement of its decisions. It may make rules for carrying out its work and managing its internal affairs, including rules respecting the powers, duties and functions of Commissioners; its procedures and practices; its sittings; and its decisions, orders, and recommendations.

In 2022–23, the Commission consisted of seven full-time Commissioners from April to August 2022, and then six full-time Commissioners from August 2022 to March 2023. Commissioners are appointed by the Governor in Council (GIC), including the Lead Commissioner and Deputy Lead Commissioner. For more details on the CER’s Commissioners, please refer to Appendix A : Commissioner Biographies.

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