Letter – CER – Indigenous Advisory Committee – Terms of Reference

To: Interested Indigenous Nations and communities, regulated industry, and other stakeholders

Re: CER – Indigenous Advisory Committee – Terms of Reference

18 February, 2021

In early August of 2020, the Canada Energy Regulator (CER) announced the formation of its inaugural Indigenous Advisory Committee (IAC). This Committee fulfils a key requirement of the Canadian Energy Regulator Act to establish an advisory committee to enhance the involvement of the Indigenous peoples of Canada and Indigenous organizations in the CER’s regulated infrastructure. The Committee also supports the CER’s work to advance reconciliation. The Committee’s nine members are leaders at the local, regional and national level, and respected voices in their communities, who bring deep experience in the energy and natural resources sector.

The Committee will play an integralrole within the CER’s new governance structure, providing broad and strategic advice directly to the Board of Directors. Similar to the Board, the IAC will not make adjudicative decisions, engage in CER operational matters, or provide advice on any specific decision, order or recommendation made by the Commission.

We are pleased to advise that the CER’s IAC and Board of Directors have co-developed and, at a joint meeting in early February, co-endorsed the Committee’s Terms of Reference. A copy of the Terms of Reference is attached. This represents a key milestone in the Committee’s development, as it begins its important and groundbreaking work with the CER.

As set out in the foundational document, the Committee’s work and advice will be grounded in advancing reconciliation by helping to transform the relationship between the CER and the Indigenous peoples of Canada.

Its advice will bring broader perspectives to the CER, reflecting the worldviews of First Nations, the Métis Nation and Inuit. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, and the Principles Respecting the Government of Canada’s Relationship with Indigenous peoples will form the foundation, and provide the roadmap, for the Committee’s work.

The work of the IAC will also build on, and support, other initiatives that the CER has undertaken to advance reconciliation, such as with the Indigenous Advisory and Monitoring Committees for the Trans Mountain Existing Pipeline and Expansion and the Line 3 Replacement Program.

While the IAC’s advice will be provided at a broad and strategic level, it will have tangible impacts on the day-to-day operations of the regulator. Through its initial meetings, the Committee has provided advice, and had discussions with the Board of Directors on the CER’s 2021-22 Strategic Plan, Reconciliation Strategic Priority, and approach to Crown consultation. Looking ahead, the CER will seek the Committee’s advice on approaches to Indigenous peoples’ involvement in CER compliance and oversight activities, and on the implementation of the UN Declaration within the CER’s mandate. This advice will bring meaningful changes to the way the CER works, including in its oversight, expectations and requirements of the CER’s regulated companies.

The CER is confident that the Committee’s strategic advice, will help to build trust and mutual capacity and will support more meaningful and effective consultations with Indigenous Nations and communities impacted by CER-regulated infrastructure.

The CER and the IAC are committed to maintaining transparency in the Committee’s work, and encourage you to learn more about the Committee, and how its work is transforming the CER through our website, at [Indigenous Advisory Committee – Terms of Reference].

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