Canada Energy Regulator – 2020–21 Departmental Results Report

Canada Energy Regulator – 2020–21 Departmental Results Report [PDF 912 KB]

Canada Energy Regulator

The original version was signed by

Gitane De Silva
Chief Executive Officer
Canada Energy Regulator

The original version was signed by

The Honorable Jonathan Wilkinson, P.C., M.P
Natural Resources

Copyright/Permission to Reproduce

ISSN 2563-3244

Table of contents

Message from the Chairperson

Cassie Doyle, ChairpersonThe Canada Energy Regulator (CER) has been tasked to build an energy regulatory system that inspires trust and public confidence on the part of Canadians. The CER does this through robust communications, transparency, collaboration and inclusive engagement.

Setting the strategic direction for the organization is central to the role of the Board of Directors and I am very pleased that in 2020–21, the Board delivered its first Strategic Plan for the CER. The Plan was developed through consultation with the CER’s Commission, Indigenous Advisory Committee, as well as a variety of other stakeholders.

The Plan establishes a clear path forward for the organization and is a road map of what Canadians can expect from the CER in the years ahead. It features bold Vision and Mission Statements as well as four Strategic Priorities that focus on improving how the CER delivers its mandate. These Priorities are Trust and Confidence, Reconciliation, Competitiveness, and Data and Digital Innovation.

The Board of Directors takes great pride in the CER’s new Strategic Plan as it positions the CER to fulfill our important role and secure the confidence of Canadians in the Regulator.

Advancing Reconciliation with Canada’s First Nations, the Métis and the Inuit is a key component of the Canadian Energy Regulator Act (CER Act)Footnote 1 and the CER continues to strive to meet that commitment. For the first time ever, Canada’s federal energy regulator established an Indigenous Advisory Committee (IAC) to enhance the involvement of Indigenous peoples in the CER’s regulated infrastructure.

Launched in August 2020, the IAC is an integral part of the CER’s governance structure. The Committee provides broad and strategic advice directly to the Board about how the CER can build a renewed relationship with the Indigenous peoples of Canada. Members of the IAC are leaders at the local, regional and national level, are respected voices of their communities, and bring significant experience in the natural resource sector.

I want to personally welcome and thank the Members of the IAC for their commitment to this important initiative. The journey has been a rewarding work in partnership for the Board of Directors.

It is hard to believe that CER staff, Commissioners, IAC and Board Members all worked from home for the entire 2020–21 fiscal year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the course of the year, we saw how the whole CER family rose to the challenge and responded with resilience and determination. The organization adapted, delivered on its mandate in a collaborative way and found new ways to connect with each other, Indigenous communities, and stakeholders.

We learned how to navigate virtual meetings, town halls and hearings. We continued to deliver on our oversight processes and never compromised on our commitment to public safety and environmental protection. While the pandemic has not been easy, it made us stronger as an organization.

2020–21 also brought a dynamic new leader to the organization, as Gitane De Silva became CEO of the CER. Her passion and deep understanding of energy issues had an instant impact on the entire organization and the Board looks forward to working with Gitane for many years to come.

The Board also extends its thanks to Sandy Lapointe, who capably filled the role as Acting CEO for the first several months of the fiscal year; expertly leading the organization through the early days of the pandemic. Her rich experience and commitment to the organization continue to make a lasting legacy on the Canada Energy Regulator.

The 2020–21 fiscal year was a time of significant achievement and rising to the challenge at the CER. There was much accomplished, and I would like to thank the staff of the CER for all of their work over the year. The CER’s greatest strength is its people. Their professionalism, values and passion make the CER an effective and responsive regulator.

The original version was signed by

Cassie J. Doyle
Board of Directors of the Canada Energy Regulator

Message from the Chief Executive Officer

Gitane De Silva, Chief Executive OfficerI had the great privilege of taking the reins as CEO of the Canada Energy Regulator in August 2020 when I was sworn in at a small ceremony in a park, near the CER’s head office in Calgary, Alberta. It was deeply meaningful for me, as Elder Eldon Weasel Child, the former leader from the Siksika Nation of the Blackfoot Confederacy, welcomed me to Treaty 7 land. The City of Calgary is also home to Métis Nation of Alberta, Region III.

The Canada Energy Regulator works to keep energy moving safely and efficiently through our country’s pipelines and powerlines. It sits at the nexus of a number of critical issues for our country, which include resource development, climate change and Reconciliation. We have the opportunity to demonstrate that the CER can balance a set of diverse interests and move our country forward, advancing the social and economic well-being of Canadians as well as protecting the environment.

While 2020–21 was an exciting time to be at the CER, it was also a year of uncertainty. We have all been personally impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and it has changed our way of being in the world. From the Regulator’s perspective, our responsibilities did not go away and we worked in real time to ensure the continued safe delivery of our regulatory oversight. I want to thank the entire CER family for their tremendous support and hard work over the past year. The CER’s greatest asset remains its people and our successes are thanks to them.

We demonstrated organizational agility in shifting from an office-based work site to working from home. We also adjusted many aspects of our regulatory monitoring, without compromising our commitment to safety.

The CER’s oversight of pipeline construction and operational activities continued, while always keeping safety and public health measures front of mind. For example, technological solutions were used for connection, engagement and oversight. Staff worked collaboratively with Indigenous Advisory Monitoring Committees and other regulators to create new ways of working safely in the field during the pandemic.

Over the past year, the CER made significant progress in how we oversee the Trans Mountain Expansion ProjectFootnote 2 (TMX/ TMEP) and the Line 3 Replacement programFootnote 3 in partnership with their respective Indigenous Advisory Monitoring Committees. This work shapes and guides our broader approach to incorporating Indigenous perspectives into our monitoring and oversight activities.

In November, it was exciting to see CER inspection officers and Indigenous monitors complete the 50th joint compliance verification activityFootnote 4 of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project and existing line. Through this innovative collaboration, CER Inspection Officers learn about Indigenous values and world views with respect to risk, while Indigenous Monitors learn about the CER’s inspection process.

Unfortunately, there were several serious incidents in 2020–21 on sites that the CER regulates, including a tragic fatality on a construction project near Edmonton. Any incident is one too many. Every day, on every work site, people have the right to feel and stay safe. The CER and all regulated companies are committed to redoubling their efforts to help ensure safe and healthy workplaces for Canadians working on CER regulated sites.

The CER publication of its Energy Futures 2020 ReportFootnote 5 had an immediate impact on the energy dialogue in Canada. The report’s outlook considered two scenarios with different rates of technological and government policy change, projected to the Year 2050, and modelled towards a Net Zero scenario. The report explored how new technologies and climate policy will impact Canadian energy consumption and production trends over the next thirty years.

Making the CER a place where everyone feels like they belong is my personal commitment to everyone who works in our organization. We have work to do to ensure that all Canadians see themselves reflected at all levels of the public service. In order to build further trust and confidence in the CER, we continued to take action to address systemic racism and barriers in 2020–21. An organization is stronger when there is a diversity of thought, experience and perspective. It makes us better.

The CER is an energy regulator with an exemplary workforce that earns the confidence of Canadians, is dedicated to ensuring safety and environmental sustainability, works as partners with Indigenous peoples, and enhances Canada’s global competitiveness. Once again, I would like to thank the members of the CER’s workforce for all their dedicated public service in 2020–21.

The original version was signed by

Gitane De Silva
Chief Executive Officer
Canada Energy Regulator

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