Canada Energy Regulator – 2021–22 Departmental Plan

Corporate information

Organizational profile

Appropriate minister(s): The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, P.C., M.P.

Institutional head: Gitane De Silva

Ministerial portfolio: Natural Resources

Enabling instrument[s]: Canadian Energy Regulator Act (CER Act)Footnote 21

Year of incorporation / commencement: 2019

Other: The CER Act came into force on 28 August 2019.

Raison d’être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do

Raison d’être

The Canada Energy Regulator is an independent federal regulator of several parts of Canada’s energy industry. It regulates pipelines, energy development and trade on behalf of Canadians in a way that protects the public and the environment while supporting efficient markets. The Minister of Natural Resources is responsible for this organization.

Mandate and Role

The CER’s mandate and role is detailed at Governance of the Canada Energy Regulator – Mandate, Roles and Responsibilities on the CER website.

In support of the Minister’s mandateFootnote 22, the CER is continuing to ensure efficient and effective implementation of the Canadian Energy Regulator (CER) Act.

Operating context

The CER’s mission is to regulate infrastructure to ensure safe and efficient delivery of energy to Canada and the world; protect the environment; recognize and respect the rights of the Indigenous peoples of Canada; and, provide timely and relevant energy information and analysis.

The CER’s vision is to be an energy regulator with an exemplary workforce that has the confidence of Canadians; is dedicated to ensuring safety and environmental sustainability; builds strong relationships with First Nations, the Métis, and the Inuit; and enhances Canada’s global competitiveness.

External and internal factors that could affect the achievement of the CER’s planned results include:

COVID-19 Pandemic Impacts

The CER continues to deliver its mandate without interruption, even as the COVID-19 pandemic impacts the daily lives of all Canadians. The way we interact and how we work – from conducting inspections to engaging with Canadians – requires us to identify new and innovate ways to respond to our current context. We continue to closely monitor the rapidly evolving pandemic situation and are committed to assessing the effectiveness of temporary measures, and communicating them, as we move forward into 2021-22.

Thanks to sound business continuity planning, the organization was able to maintain business operations as employees transitioned to working from their homes. CER employees have responded to this unprecedented situation with innovate, creative solutions to carry on their work. Ensuring adequate IT infrastructure to support our remote working environment, and providing the needed supports – from technical to mental health-related – for managers and staff, will help to see us through this challenging time.

The CER will continue to assess the impact of COVID-19 in delivering its mandate through our continued unwavering commitment to safety in all aspects of our work.

State of the Industry

Facilities under the CER’s jurisdiction navigate a complex environment of fundamental factors which include commercial, economic, financial, and policy considerations.

In response to pandemic-driven market volatility, the CER has authorized measures that provide flexibility to companies during the pandemic, without compromising safety or environmental oversight. Challenging energy market conditions increase the importance and profile of energy information and data, and the CER will continue to provide reliable data and information to meet this need.

The CER will also continue to improve regulatory certainty and transparency, and explore our role in contributing to Canada’s transition to a low-carbon economy.

Using technology to our advantage

Keeping pace with the industry we regulate in technology investment is a factor influencing our operating context. We will explore how to leverage technology to our advantage to facilitate collaboration and to help us collect, analyze, report, and share information in formats that work for Canadians. Social media, interactive platforms, and zero-contact technology solutions are just some of the tools the CER increasingly employs.

The CER continues to explore modern media platforms and increase the use of video, pictograms and infographics to communicate both internally and externally.

Continuation of CER Act implementation

In 2021-22, we will continue work to implement the CER Act, fostering the trust and confidence of Canadians, advancing reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, enhancing Canada’s global competitiveness and promoting data and digital innovation. We continue to develop and mature our governance model, including considering the diverse perspectives of the recently formed Indigenous Advisory Committee in their advice to the Board of Directors. We will continue to develop and refine processes related to our responsibilities such as Crown Consultation, and support for integrated impact assessments led by the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada. Additionally, new regulations and updates to existing regulations are being implemented through a phased approach, including for the Onshore Pipeline Regulations.

Reporting framework

The CER has updated Energy Information departmental results and indicators to better reflect the CER’s results orientation. These updates are designed to yield richer information about results and how they are being achieved.

The CER’s approved departmental results framework and program inventory for 2021–22 are as follows:

Departmental Results Framework and Program Inventory for 2021-22

Graphic description
Reporting framework
Departmental Results Framework Core Responsibility 1:
Energy Adjudication
Core Responsibility 2:
Safety and Environment Oversight
Core Responsibility 3:
Energy Information
Core Responsibility 4:
Internal Services
Departmental Result: Energy Adjudication processes are fair. Indicator: Percentage of adjudication decisions overturned on judicial appeal related to procedural fairness. Departmental Result: Harm to people or the environment, throughout the lifecycle of energy-related activities, is prevented. Indicator: Number of serious injuries and fatalities related to regulated infrastructure. Departmental Result: Canadians access and use energy information for knowledge, research or decision-making.

Indicator: Evidence that Canadians access and use CER energy Information products and specialized expertise, including community-specific information, for knowledge, research or decision-making.

Departmental Result: Input provided by Indigenous Peoples and stakeholders influences the Canada Energy Regulator’s decisions and work. Indicator: Evidence that input from Indigenous Peoples and stakeholders influences the Canada Energy Regulator’s decisions and work.
Departmental Result: Energy Adjudication processes are timely. Indicator: Percentage of adjudication decisions and recommendations that are made within legislated time limits and service standards. Indicator: Number of incidents related to regulated infrastructure that harm the environment. Departmental Result: Indigenous Peoples and stakeholders provide feedback that engagement with the Canada Energy Regulator is meaningful. Indicator: Percentage of participants in engagement activities who indicate that the engagement was meaningful.
Departmental Result: Energy Adjudication processes are transparent. Indicator: Percentage of surveyed participants who indicate that adjudication processes are transparent. Indicator: Percentage of unauthorized activities on regulated infrastructure that involve repeat violators. Departmental Result: Canadians have opportunities to collaborate and provide feedback on Canada Energy Regulator information products. Indicator: Number of opportunities that Canadians have to collaborate and provide feedback on energy information products.
Departmental Result: Energy Adjudication processes are accessible. Indicator: Percentage of surveyed participant funding recipients who agree that participant funding enabled their participation in an adjudication process.
Program Inventory Program: Infrastructure, Tolls, and Export Applications Program: Company Performance Program: Energy System Information Program: Stakeholder Engagement  
Program: Participant Funding Program: Management System and Industry Performance Program: Pipeline Information Program: Indigenous Engagement
Program: Emergency Management
Program: Regulatory Framework
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