Fact Sheet – CER Regulatory Framework

Fact Sheet – CER Regulatory Framework [PDF 449 KB]

The Regulatory Framework, depicted in the graphic below, provides the structure around which all our regulatory activities take place. The Regulations, Regulatory Documents and Guidance are the regulatory tools we use to execute our mandate, through our Core Responsibilities. The execution of our mandate is shaped by Government policy, our governance, strategic priorities, and our regulatory approaches.

The new CER Regulatory Framework graphic is a circle shape with dynamic arrows around a center button that reads ‘ACTS’. On the right-side are blocks in orange, yellow and red for our regulatory tools: Guidance, Regulatory Documents and Regulations with a half-circle block for ‘Core Responsibilities’ running through. On the left-side is a series of connected color dots with symbols: a green maple leaf, a navy-blue shield, a sky-blue compass, and a black triangle.

Our Legal Foundations

At the center of the Regulatory Framework is the Canadian Energy Regulator Act (CER Act), the statute that created the CER, and other acts that give us our powers and set-out our responsibilities (e.g., the Canada Oil and Gas Operations Act). We are responsible for regulating the full lifecycle of international and interprovincial pipelines, international and designated interprovincial power lines and offshore renewable energy projects; import and export of certain energy products; oil and gas exploration and production in the offshore and frontier lands; and monitoring aspects of energy markets. See our acts and regulations page for more information.

Our Policy Context

We align with priorities established by the Government of Canada, under the portfolio responsibility of the Minister of Natural Resources. We adhere to directives set by central agencies, such as the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat. We are governed through a structure with defined accountabilities for our Board of Directors, Chief Executive Officer, Commission and Indigenous Advisory Committee.

Strategic Priorities

Guided by the Board of Directors, we produce a Strategic Plan that provides our areas of focus and improvement. It is a road map of what Canadians can expect from us in the years ahead.

Regulatory Approaches

Landscape collage with square gridlines. Prominent center image is a river under blue sky, banked by green forest. Small top left image is a golden grain field. Small top right image is a rocky outcrop on backdrop of lavender sky with a sandy worksite visible at bottom.We make deliberate choices about how we work as a regulator based on sound philosophies, such as: serving as a fair and impartial decision-maker on energy infrastructure projects within our mandate through our Commission; involving Indigenous peoples in the exercise of our mandate; applying a lens of harm prevention; opting for performance-based rules where possible; focusing on data-driven, risk-informed methods to do our work; and applying our technical expertise to influence the sector.

Regulatory Instruments

We use a variety of tools to watch-over energy infrastructure, development, and trade. Our tools include a mix of regulations, technical standards, regulatory documents – such as authorizations and orders, and guidance products.


We conduct compliance verification activities like field inspections, emergency management drills and company audits to make sure the requirements laid-out in our Regulatory Framework are being followed.

Important things for you to know:

  • Our aim is to achieve a Regulatory Framework that is robust, clear, transparent, coherent and consistent with our regulatory approaches and philosophies.
  • Our Regulatory Framework is adjusted over time.
  • Every year, we publish a Regulatory Framework Plan describing which regulations, guidance materials and other regulatory documents we intend to amend or develop over a three year period.
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