Canada Energy Regulator’s precautionary measures and business continuity plans related to COVID-19
March 16, 2020
I am writing to let you know what the Canada Energy Regulator (CER) is doing to protect its staff and all those we work closely with, and how we plan to continue our regulatory oversight of Canada’s energy infrastructure. The situation related to the COVID-19 pandemic is changing rapidly. We are closely monitoring public health authority websites to ensure we are following the guidance issued by federal agencies.
The CER has protocols in place for a variety of situations that could impact day-to-day operations. At this time, CER regulatory processes and execution of Commission decisions are continuing with specific operational changes being implemented to protect staff and public health.
Effective immediately, the CER is implementing the following operational changes. These changes are in place until further notice.
- Oral portions of hearings will not be held as planned. All current adjudication processes are being looked at for ways to optimize hearing participant involvement to ensure these processes continue in a manner that is fair and transparent, while protecting the health of those involved.
- Planned meetings, between CER staff and company representatives, regardless of location, will be conducted by webinar or conference call.
- Compliance verification activities will continue to take place but will be modified to reduce in-person interactions.
- Information sessions, technical conferences, working groups, committee and sub-committee meetings will be conducted by webinar or conference call where possible, or postponed.
- We have suspended all international business travel and domestic travel is now limited to business critical activities.
- The CER is adhering to the advice from Canada's Chief Public Health Officer to practice social distancing and staff attendance in a CER capacity at any public events has been suspended.
All parties affected by these changes will be provided further direction and details as required.
The majority of the CER workforce will work remotely to preserve the CER’s ability to operate. We are also working with our federal partners to ensure continued oversight for the reliable, safe and secure operation of CER regulated energy infrastructure.
The CER expects regulated companies to commit the necessary resources to plan for and respond to the impacts and potential impacts caused by this event. The CER also expects regulated companies to consider the potential challenges that this pandemic may present in the event of an incident or emergency situation and that the appropriate resources are being dedicated to planning and preparing for this potential scenario. The CER may be in contact with specific companies regarding their contingency plans.
We continue to monitor this evolving situation and may need to adjust our plans and activities accordingly. Please check the CER website for updates or changes. We are committed to carrying out our duties while doing our part to promote public safety and health.
Original signed by,
Acting Chief Executive Officer
Canada Energy Regulator
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