On Wednesday, August 28, 2019, the National Energy Board (NEB) became the Canada Energy Regulator (CER). For further information please visit our Implementing the Canadian Energy Regulator Act information page

National Energy Board – 2019–20 Departmental Plan

Planned results: what we want to achieve this year and beyond

Core Responsibilities

Energy AdjudicationFootnote 1

Description

Making decisions or recommendations to the Governor in Council on applications, which include environmental assessments, using processes that are fair, transparent, timely and accessible. These applications pertain to pipelines and related facilities, international power lines, tolls and tariffs, energy exports and imports, and oil and gas exploration and drilling in certain northern and offshore areas of Canada.

Planning highlights

As the NEB prepares to implement legislative change, it is working comprehensively to address the challenges and expectations it faces.

Regulating in the twenty-first century is increasingly complex. The pace of technological and social change, reconciliation with Indigenous PeoplesFootnote 2, climate change, and market access for pipelines require a modern regulator – one that finds new ways of effectively dealing with complex matters in fluid and dynamic times.

The challenges that today’s NEB faces are bigger and broader than ever before; it is no longer just the narrow path of a pipeline that determines who is interested in a proposed project. More people are showing up at public hearings, the scope of the issues at play continue to grow, and new groups and interested parties want to participate in the NEB’s adjudicative processes.

The NEB is working to engage with Indigenous Peoples, landowners and other stakeholders prior to the adjudicative process. It is investing more in its capacity to support alternative dispute resolution to address issues that are identified with respect to regulated activities. The organization is also working to provide better service and accessible information to Canadians by improving its tools available for the public, such as its regulatory document website.

In support of the Energy Adjudication core responsibility in 2019–20, the NEB will:

  • Implement measures to improve process timeliness and clarity. This includes measures to improve the efficiency of adjudication processes by identifying and addressing issues through early engagement, streamlining certain low impact applications and providing clear filing guidance.
  • Improve the organization’s online information to make it more navigable and intuitive for the public. This will allow Canadians to more easily find the NEB related adjudication information they are seeking.
  • Examine innovative ways to enhance participation in NEB processes. Deliver more effective early engagement with Indigenous Peoples, landowners and potentially affected stakeholders. Efforts will focus on sharing information and supporting potential participants in the adjudicative process.
ExperimentationFootnote 3
  • The NEB’s REGDOCS system contains over 300,000 documents and received over 1.3  million page views in 2018. It is the most visited page on the NEB website and it is in need of an upgrade to become a more user-friendly digital platform. The NEB will partner with Code for Canada, a not-for-profit organization that connects government innovators with the technology and design community, to update REGDOCS. The upgrades will make it a user-centred site with advanced search capability and downloadable, open-information datasets. This will give Canadians interested in citizen science access to the many reports, environmental assessments, transcripts and decisions kept in this database.
GBA+Footnote 4
  • Currently, the National Energy Board’s Socio-Economic Specialists focus on ensuring that public participation in the NEB’s adjudicative processes respond to the needs of Canadians, including gender-based matters.
Planned results
Planned results
Departmental Results Departmental Result Indicators Target Date to achieve target 2015–16
Actual results
2016–17
Actual results
2017–18
Actual results
Energy adjudication processes are fair Percentage of adjudication decisions overturned on judicial appeal related to procedural fairness 0% March 2020 0% 0% 0%
Energy adjudication processes are timely Percentage of adjudication decisions and recommendations that are made within legislated time limits and service standards 100% March 2020 100% 100% 100%
Energy adjudication processes are transparent Percentage of surveyed participants who indicate that adjudication processes are transparent 75%
per project
March 2020 Not availableNote a 79% 88%
Energy adjudication processes are accessible Percentage of surveyed participant funding recipients who agree that participant funding enabled their participation in an adjudication process 90%
per project
March 2020 100% 92% 94%
Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2019–20
Main Estimates
2019–20
Planned spending
2020–21
Planned spending
2021–22
Planned spending
22,763,624 21,168,557 18,105,562 18,105,577
Human resources (full-time equivalents)
Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2019–20
Planned full-time equivalents
2020–21
Planned full-time equivalents
2021–22
Planned full-time equivalents
119.8 115.8 115.8

Financial, human resources and performance information for the National Energy Board’s Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.

Safety and Environment OversightFootnote 5

Description

Setting and enforcing regulatory expectations for National Energy Board-regulated companies over the full lifecycle – construction, operation and abandonment – of energy-related activities. These activities pertain to pipelines and related facilities, international power lines, tolls and tariffs, energy exports and imports, and oil and gas exploration and drilling in certain northern and offshore areas of Canada.

Planning highlights

Canadians are increasingly interested in how pipeline projects are regulated throughout their lifecycle – from the initial design and construction to the operation and eventual winding down of a resource project.

The NEB knows that its approach to achieving tangible results for Canadians has to include – but not be limited to – regulatory compliance and enforcement activities. To that end, the NEB continually works to extend its influence beyond solely rules and regulations. This work includes focusing on safety culture with industry and within the NEB, pipeline damage prevention, and activities with Indigenous Peoples and stakeholders.

Fostering and supporting a culture of safetyFootnote 6 within the industry it regulates will continue to be a focus for the NEB. At its core, safety culture is the attitudes, norms, values, and beliefs which a particular group of people share with respect to risk and safety. A strong safety culture scrutinizes – as a normal business function – every decision an organization makes to ensure that risks are managed appropriately.

The NEB’s work in support of the Indigenous Advisory Monitoring Committees for the Enbridge Line 3Footnote 7 and Trans MountainFootnote 8 pipelines is important for the NEB. Currently, Indigenous monitoring activities – where trained Indigenous Monitors accompany NEB Inspection Officers in the field – is a primary focus of the NEB’s modernized approach to Safety and Environment Oversight. Working collaboratively with Indigenous Monitors – and incorporating Indigenous perspectives into its work – contributes to the oversight work for project safety and environmental protection and to the government of Canada’s commitment to achieving reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.

In support of the Safety and Environment Oversight core responsibility in 2019–20, the NEB will:

  • Further increase the effectiveness of the NEB’s work with Indigenous Monitors through the IAMC’s for the Enbridge Line 3Footnote 9 and Trans MountainFootnote 10 projects.
  • Examine the NEB’s emergency management processes to better respond to concerns raised by Indigenous Peoples and communities about emergency response when significant pipeline accidents and incidents occur.
  • Analyze the NEB’s Pipeline Damage PreventionFootnote 11 data to determine possible new approaches to reduce ground disturbances or unauthorized third party construction activities near pipeline rights of way.
  • Enhance the NEB’s guidance to regulated companies to improve the clarity, transparency, and compliance regarding rules and regulations for non-compliance disclosure, inspection completion, safety culture signal collection, condition compliance and remediation status.
  • Continue working with industry to identify and implement actions that will reduce worker safety incidents. This includes more interactions when incidents occur, increasing engagement with the regulated companies and their contractors at the beginning and during construction, as well as increasing engagement with industry to share learnings of actions to take beyond compliance that will reduce injuries to workers.
Experimentation
  • Together with ensuring compliance and effective management systems, the NEB is working to support safety culture advancement across its regulated companies. The ‘Safety Culture Signals Pilot’ project is testing how the NEB can use data from compliance activity observations to better understand the safety culture of its regulated companies. The pilot project involves eight inspection officers who reflect on their field inspection activities to discern if any signals of safety culture were observable. Signals will be analyzed by safety culture Subject Matter Expert’s to identify patterns and trends. Presently, the pilot project is focused on data collection and is exploring how the data may be analyzed for use. In turn, this knowledge will enhance regulatory oversight and support protection of people and the environment.
GBA+
  • If the NEB places a specific condition on an applicant relating to GBA+ matters in the application assessment process, that condition will need to be enforced in subsequent safety oversight activity. When this occurs, the NEB will account for this factor in its oversight activities.
Planned results
Planned results
Departmental Results Departmental Result Indicators Target Date to achieve target 2015–16
Actual results
2016–17
Actual results
2017–18
Actual results
Harm to people or the environment, throughout the lifecycle of energy-related activities, is prevented Number of incidents related to National Energy Board-regulated infrastructure that harm people or the environment 0 March 2020 12 15 19
Percentage change of specific incident types on National Energy Board-regulated infrastructure 10% decrease March 2020 5.4% increase 11% increase 13% increase
Percentage change of near misses on National Energy Board-regulated infrastructure 5% decrease March 2020 33.3% increase 13% increase 15% increase
Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2019–20
Main Estimates
2019–20
Planned spending
2020–21
Planned spending
2021–22
Planned spending
22,231,657 29,865,211 20,822,924 20,822,938
Human resources (full-time equivalents)
Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2019–20
Planned full-time equivalents
2020–21
Planned full-time equivalents
2021–22
Planned full-time equivalents
159.2 116.2 116.2

Financial, human resources and performance information for the National Energy Board’s Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.

Energy InformationFootnote 12

Description

Collecting, monitoring, analyzing and publishing information on energy markets and supply, sources of energy, and the safety and security of pipelines and international power lines

Planning highlights

The increasing pace of change in Canadian and global energy markets and climate policy suggest that the need for up-to-date analysis on energy trends is greater than ever.

It will be difficult for a modernized energy system to work well if policymakers, regulators and stakeholders do not have good energy information. For that reason, the NEB is committed to helping Canadians understand these complex interactions through its analysis, reports, and statistics.

The NEB is working with the other departments and agencies in the Government of Canada to provide Canadians with greater access to data and data sets. By giving the public access to the information that the NEB has Canadians will be able to dig into the data and come to their own conclusions, rather than just accepting the regulator’s word for it. Through this process and through our work with other partners on energy information, it is expected there will be an increase in the public’s trust of Canada’s energy regulatory framework

In support of the Energy Information core responsibility in 2019–20, the NEB will:

  • Focus on providing information to Canadians that is relevant and local to them, and to their communities. The NEB will work to provide information in a way that is relevant to various stakeholders, whether they are seeking information about a particular pipeline or Canada’s oil and natural gas exports. There will be an emphasis within the organization on increasing its use and understanding of web analytics and social media.
  • Increase its collaboration with other organizations – such as Statistics Canada and Natural Resources Canada – to enhance the energy information and data available for Canadians.
  • Integrate planning and communications across all three areas of Energy Information collection and dissemination within the organization, including energy systems information, pipeline information, and data visualization productsFootnote 13. The organization will also consolidate and refresh its considerable portfolio of pipeline information productsFootnote 14 to make it easier to access and more relevant to stakeholders. Work will begin on providing Canadians with easy to access pipeline data using a geographical and locational lens, in addition to a pipeline company lens.
  • Add information about Indigenous communities to the NEB’s existing interactive pipeline map. This additional layer of information will enable Canadians to more clearly see where pipelines cross Indigenous territories and lands.
Experimentation
  • Over the next three years, Energy Information will be integrating planning and communications to make products more accessible and relevant for Indigenous Peoples and stakeholders. Additionally, the increase in collaboration with other organizations to enhance energy information and data for Canadians will be a focus, along with relevant data analysis to meet their needs. Experimentation methods may be considered in how the NEB approaches this work as detailed work plans are developed. The NEB will continue to be an unbiased, reliable and accessible source of information for Canadians, helping to support inclusive discussions about energy, the environment, and infrastructure and market access in Canada.
GBA+
  • Energy Information products are designed not to discriminate. Where accessibility issues arise, the NEB will address them (i.e. The NEB complies with the Government of Canada’s Content Style Guide, which sets standards for website content to improve web accessibility for those with reading and visual impairments).
Planned results
Planned results
Departmental Results Departmental Result Indicators Target Date to achieve target 2015–16
Actual results
2016–17
Actual results
2017–18
Actual results
Canadians access and use energy information for knowledge, research or decision-making Number of times the energy information is accessed 750,000 minimum March 2020 623,278 729,506 986,347
Percentage of surveyed web users who agree that energy information is useful for knowledge, research or decision-making 75% minimum that are satisfied or mostly satisfied March 2020 Not availableNote a 84%
Canadians have access to community specific National Energy Board-regulated infrastructure information Increased information specific to National Energy Board-regulated infrastructure in communities 5 new data sets
minimum
March 2020 3 7 5
Canadians have opportunities to collaborate and provide feedback on National Energy Board information products Number of opportunities that Canadians have to collaborate and provide feedback on energy information products 42 minimum March 2020

Not availableNote a

76
Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2019–20
Main Estimates
2019–20
Planned spending
2020–21
Planned spending
2021–22
Planned spending
9,388,697 6,031,164 5,157,645 5,157,660
Human resources (full-time equivalents)
Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2019–20
Planned full-time equivalents
2020–21
Planned full-time equivalents
2021–22
Planned full-time equivalents
34.2 28.9 28.9

Financial, human resources and performance information for the National Energy Board’s Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.

EngagementFootnote 15

Description

Engaging with stakeholders and Indigenous Peoples on topics within the National Energy Board’s mandate and role, beyond engagement on specific projects.

Planning highlights

It is clear to the National Energy Board that regulatory excellence demands better engagement practices with both Indigenous Peoples and stakeholders. Today, nearly every aspect of the work carried out by the NEB has an engagement element.

Indigenous Advisory Monitoring Committees – where Indigenous Peoples work closely with the NEB, the government and other stakeholders on the Enbridge Line 3 and Trans Mountain pipelines – is a primary engagement focus of the National Energy Board. The work of these Committees is leading to stronger and more enduring relationships between the NEB and Indigenous Peoples, and better regulatory outcomes for all Canadians.

Building on the success of the two-way dialogue that has been a hallmark of northern Indigenous Engagement and the Indigenous Advisory Monitoring Committees, the NEB is committed to engaging much more effectively with Indigenous Peoples in order to build enduring relationships and improve the organization’s processes.

NEB employees have learned that feedback from comprehensive engagement can have an influence on the development of standards and policies that are then utilized in the organization’s regulatory oversight, adjudicative processes, and services to Canadians.

The efforts undertaken by the NEB to dramatically improve, grow and integrate its engagement work with Indigenous Peoples is essential to the organization’s efforts to support the government of Canada’s commitment to achieving reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples. The feedback and input received is invaluable and drives the continuous improvement in the organization’s work.

In support of the Engagement core responsibility in 2019–20, the NEB will:

  • Continue to reflect Indigenous rights and interests in our approaches, processes and systems. The NEB will also enhance policies, training, information, data and processes that support respectful Indigenous engagementFootnote 16.
  • Develop common tools and practices to identify and manage issues across the organization so the NEB can better address issues that stakeholdersFootnote 17 are concerned about.
  • Create mechanisms to identify and share data locally so employees have the right information when they meet with Indigenous communities and stakeholders about issues that are specific to them.
  • Modernize select regulatory practices by incorporating the NEB’s engagement expectations into guidance documents and other materials or by making changes based on feedback received from Indigenous Peoples or stakeholders. Including the NEB’s engagement expectations will help applicants to better understand the importance of engagement with Indigenous Peoples and stakeholders in energy regulatory processes.
  • Increase awareness of the NEB and its mandate in order to reduce public confusion regarding the National Energy Board’s jurisdiction relative to other regulators and levels of government. For the organization to engage most effectively, there is a need for Canadians to have a more clear understanding of the roles of other energy regulatory bodies, such as the Alberta Energy Regulator, the BC Oil and Gas Commission, Natural Resources Canada, as well as the NEB.
Experimentation
  • Engagement at the NEB is essential to better understanding the interests and perspectives of Indigenous Peoples and stakeholders. In the coming year, the NEB will continue to focus on driving meaningful engagement and incorporating feedback into the improvement of the organization’s regulatory work. In the past, the NEB has focused its performance measurement on the number of people who had participated in its engagement activities. The next step in this evolution will be to report on what the organization hears from Indigenous Peoples and stakeholders and how that feedback will inform the NEB’s regulatory work. To accomplish this, the NEB will develop common reporting tools and practices, and it will also measure the management of issues and interests.
GBA+
  • The NEB seeks to understand and build better and more enduring relationships with its stakeholders, this is why engagement is a focus of the organization. The NEB will build its capacity to collect and test feedback on its engagement efforts in order to support its GBA+ approach. This work will be carried out in a respectful manner, ensuring that the privacy of Canadians is protected.
Planned results
Planned results
Departmental Results Departmental Result Indicators Target Date to achieve target 2015–16
Actual results
2016–17
Actual results
2017–18
Actual results
Stakeholders and Indigenous Peoples share their perspectives and provide feedback regarding the National Energy Board mandate and role Number of participants in National Energy Board engagement programs 5,000 minimumNote a March 2020 Not availableNote b 723 4,270
National Energy Board engagement activities with stakeholders and Indigenous Peoples are meaningful Percentage of surveyed stakeholders who engaged with the National Energy Board who indicate that the engagement was meaningful 75% minimum March 2020 Not availableNote c 76%
Percentage of surveyed Indigenous Peoples who engaged with the National Energy Board who indicate that the engagement was meaningful 75% minimum March 2020 Not availableNote c 80%
Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2019–20
Main Estimates
2019–20
Planned spending
2020–21
Planned spending
2021–22
Planned spending
5,088,269 9,549,898 6,743,745 6,504,240
Human resources (full-time equivalents)
Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2019–20
Planned full-time equivalents
2020–21
Planned full-time equivalents
2021–22
Planned full-time equivalents
44.0 26.0 26.0

Financial, human resources and performance information for the National Energy Board’s Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.

Internal Services

Description

Internal Services are those groups of related activities and resources that the federal government considers to be services in support of Programs and/or required to meet corporate obligations of an organization. Internal Services refers to the activities and resources of the distinct services that support Program delivery in the organization, regardless of the Internal Services delivery model in a department. There are eight services which support Program delivery at the NEB:

  • Management and Oversight Services
  • Communications Services
  • Legal Services
  • People and Workforce Services
  • Financial and Acquisition Management Services
  • Data and Information Management Services
  • Information Technology Services
  • Real Property and Material Management Services

Planning highlights

As the NEB prepares for the proposed change to the Canadian Energy Regulator, if Bill C-69 passes, internal services will play an overarching and integral role in ensuring a smooth transition to the governance structure of the proposed new organization. This includes, but is not limited to: creating processes to support new business operations, preparing the organization to support a new Board of Directors and Commissioners, and updating the management system to reflect those changes.

The planning context for this work has been informed by a number of initiatives affecting the organization’s internal services programs, including:

  • Identifying strategic future workforce needs so the organization has the diverse and motivated employees it needs to respond to the changes underway;
  • Invest in, and enhance, the organization’s capacity to receive, manage and use data as a strategic asset to support all of the NEB's departmental programs;
  • Manage the implementation of SAP (Systems, Applications and Products in Data Processing) as our financial and material management system.
  • Participate in the bargaining process for a new PIPSC collective agreement.
Experimentation
  • The NEB is investing in its data and information management systems to ensure the organization’s energy information is more accessible to Canadians and its own employees, which will enable data-driven decisions. More broadly, the Data and Information Management program will support each of the NEB’s Core Responsibilities in their use of data and help drive a culture of experimentation. This will be done by trying and testing, on a small scale, new solutions to data challenges before full-scale implementation. Should the experiments fail, the organization will apply the lessons learned to the next solution as it works towards continuous innovation. This approach will be applied to projects and activities aimed at, for example: increasing capacity for data science; signature data projects (such as the ‘Code for Canada’ project to update REGDOCSFootnote 18); and improving the data ecosystem of the NEB.
GBA+
  • A diverse workforce that mirrors the community strengthens the NEB and plays a critical role in the attraction and retention of talented employees. The NEB’s Employment Equity and Diversity Program recognizes the need to proactively embrace diversity.

 

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2019–20
Main Estimates
2019–20
Planned spending
2020–21
Planned spending
2021–22
Planned spending
32,212,504 25,069,921 21,455,137 21,455,198
Human resources (full-time equivalents)
Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2019–20
Planned full-time equivalents
2020–21
Planned full-time equivalents
2021–22
Planned full-time equivalents
161.3 144.6 144.6
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