Participating in a CER Hearing
Public Hearings – have your say
Before a company can build a federally regulated pipeline, power line, or offshore renewable energy project, it must first apply to the CER. We review and assess the proposed project, including potential impacts to people, property, and the environment. We also examine the company’s engagement activities.
Many projects are reviewed through the CER’s hearing process.
- Hearing process: Each hearing is unique and comes with detailed instructions in the hearing order, including how to apply to participate. Learn more about a specific project by visiting the view applications and projects and REGDOCS pages on our website.
- Participate in a hearing: Participating is a personal choice and there are different ways to do so. You can participate as a commenter and write a letter of comment or participate as an intervenor to present evidence and question others on theirs. The best fit for you will depend on your interests, your goals and your availability.
If you participate in a hearing, the CER provides support. You may be eligible for participant funding and you will have access to the Participant Toolbox and process advisor support.
The Canada Energy Regulator (CER) oversees federally regulated pipelines, power lines, and offshore renewable energy projects.
The CER’s Commission holds public hearings for projects that require a certificate, and other projects when appropriate. A hearing is a proceeding before the CER’s Commission.
Participation of Indigenous peoples
The CER strives to listen to Indigenous peoples, including First Nations, Inuit and Métis, and respect their values and traditions.
- Crown consultation: We will consult with Indigenous peoples early and throughout our review process. The scope and nature of the Crown consultation activities will be tailored to the complexity of the proposed project and its potential effects, and the needs of Indigenous peoples. If you have questions, email IndigenousMatters@cer-rec.gc.ca.
- Oral Indigenous Knowledge: We recognize that Indigenous peoples have an oral tradition for sharing knowledge from generation to generation. This information cannot always be shared meaningfully in writing. Indigenous knowledge can provide relevant information to the Commission. Indigenous Knowledge can be shared confidentially.
CER processes in place to help you
- Land Matters Advisory Service: If you have questions about land matters with respect to CER-regulated energy projects and processes, email LMAS@cer-rec.gc.ca.
- Alternative dispute resolution: Any time during the life of a project, if you are unable to resolve concerns directly with the company, you can email ADR-RED@cer-rec.gc.ca to ask a specialist to work with you and the company to find solutions.
- Complaint: If you are unable to resolve an issue with a CER-regulated company, facility, or activity on lands you use or own, you can send us a completed Complaint Form.
The CER’s hearing process is like a court so you may hear some formal terms like:
Adjudication: the CER has court-like powers to make decisions and recommendations that are fair, inclusive, transparent and efficient.
Commenter: a hearing participant who shares their views on a proposed project by writing a letter.
Commission: refers to one or more Commissioners appointed to make independent decisions on an energy project before the CER. At least one of the full-time Commissioners must be an Indigenous person.
Hearing order: a key document published at the beginning of each hearing that gives details on the timing, deadlines, and overall process. It is your map for participating in the hearing.
Intervenor: is the most involved way of participating in a hearing. You may provide evidence, including Indigenous knowledge, and ask questions or respond to questions from other participants, including the company.
Participant Toolbox: an online resource featuring detailed instructions on how to participate in a hearing.
Process advisor: a CER staff member who supports participants throughout the hearing process.
REGDOCS: the CER’s online repository for all hearing information, often referred to as “the record.” Any documents you submit will appear here for anyone to see.
Find out more
Find out more about the Canada Energy Regulator
by visiting us online.
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For copies of any CER publication or for more information, contact us:
TOLL FREE: 1-800-899-1265
Write us or visit our library at:
Canada Energy Regulator
Suite 210, 517 Tenth Avenue SW
Calgary, Alberta T2R 0A8
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