Request for Confidentiality
This webpage does not apply to Indigenous Knowledge. Please visit our Confidential Indigenous Knowledge webpage for more information.
Applying to limit public access to sensitive filings
All information you file with the Canada Energy Regulator (CER) during a hearing can be accessed by the public. If you want to limit public access to specific pieces of your information, you must apply for a confidentiality order under section 60 of the CER Act or subsection 22(3) or (4) of the Oil and Gas Operations Act (OGOA) for hearings under the OGOA. The Commission of the CER will only consider limiting access if you are able to show that your information is sensitive and that making it public could cause specific harm.
If you wish to maintain confidentiality over specific pieces of information required to be submitted under the OGOA or its regulations outside of a hearing process, you must apply for a confidentiality order under subsection 22(2) of the OGOA. Alternatively, you may demonstrate that the information meets one or more of the temporary publication exceptions under subsection 22(9).
Before you apply
Before applying for a confidentiality order to have information you are filing protected (see section 60 of the CER Act or section 22 of the OGOA), consider whether you could present it in a way that it does not include confidential details. This could mean filing a redacted copy of a document with certain portions, names, or places blacked out or, for either written or oral evidence, that you provide general information rather than specific details that could be detrimental if released. The CER encourages full transparency in most instances.
Approval to protect information is not automatic. The Commission of the CER will only grant a confidentiality order if you are able to meet the requirements of section 60 of the CER Act or section 22 of the OGOA.
Even when information is protected, other parties in the hearing process may need to see it too. If required, the Commission of the CER will decide what arrangements are appropriate, such as signing a confidentiality agreement or holding an oral hearing session with limited access (“in-camera”).
Types of information considered
Typically, the type of information that might be considered confidential would be information of a proprietary nature, where you or others could suffer personal harm or commercial losses if the information was made public. This is a special exception to the rule that all evidence should be available to the public.
How to apply
To apply to have the information you are filing protected, you should:
File electronically ONLY the letter requesting confidentiality (using the Participation Portal or efiling system), providing all the reasons why your information should be protected and how it fits under the provisions of section 60 of the CER Act or section 22 of the OGOA. See the Filing Manual for guidance for filing under section 60 or 61 of the CER Act.
Send a paper copy of each of the redacted version and the unredacted version of the sensitive information or documents by fax, mail, or email to Secretary@cer-rec.gc.ca. Mark them clearly as “CONFIDENTIAL”.
The Commission of the CER will assess the request and if it decides that the information should not be protected, it will return all copies to you or you may ask that the CER destroy them. If the Commission of the CER decides to take measures to protect the information, it will send out a ruling with its decision and the next steps.
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