Canada Energy Regulator – 2020–21 Departmental Plan

Core responsibilities: planned results and resources

Energy Adjudication

Description

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

Planning highlights

CER early engagement

A more robust early engagement and planning phase helps us work together to identify issues related to a project, facilitate dialogue and find resolution earlier in the process. This process also helps determine which issues need to be addressed during a hearing and which issues will be looked at during another phase of the project.

Identifying and, where possible, resolving issues ahead of the review process, will improve timeliness, efficiency and predictability of project assessments. It will also help us improve how we work by informing hearing process or related program design.

Our hearings and decisions must be fair, inclusive, transparent and efficient. We are committed to making decisions in a timely and predictable way, providing certainty in our processes for stakeholders and investors, so that sound projects can proceed. Our processes go further to support reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples and provide the opportunity to participate in a meaningful way.

The new CER Act allows for any member of the public to participate in public hearings. Our hearings provide for and describe the different participation paths available so everyone interested in a project can share their views without impacting the timeliness of decisions.

The new CER Act also enables us to establish processes to engage meaningfully with Canadians, and in particular Indigenous Peoples, in our public hearings. We are committed to reconciliation and are evolving our hearings to make it easier for Indigenous Peoples to participate in ways that work best for them. We are meeting with Indigenous Communities that could be impacted by an energy project earlier to better understand their concerns. We also consider the impact our work has on Indigenous rights and including Indigenous knowledge when we make our decisions, pursuant to the CER Act.

To support the Energy Adjudication core responsibility in 2020–21, we will:

  • Provide clear and timely processes that allow any members of the public to express their views during a hearing.
  • Consider gender-based analysis, climate change commitments and impacts to Indigenous rights in our impact assessments.
  • Act as the Agent of the Crown for all CER-led projects and post-approval for integrated reviews with the new Impact Assessment AgencyFootnote 9.
  • Set out clear filing requirements and expectations for assessment processes so applicants, Indigenous Peoples and stakeholders know what to expect.
  • Work with the new Impact Assessment Agency to effectively deliver the first integrated review for the Gazoduq projectFootnote 10.

Gender-based analysis plus

  • There are GBA+ requirements for assessment in the CER Act. Section 183.2 (c) of CER Act outlines what factors need to be considered in Commission recommendations to the Minister such as health, social and economic effects, including with respect to the intersection of sex and gender with other identity factors. Filing guidance has been issued on assessing GBA+ requirements in applications and staff have started assessing applications using this guidance. These actions support the Minister’s mandateFootnote 11 to apply GBA+ in decision-making.
  • The CER’s Socio-Economic Specialists focus on ensuring that public participation in the CER’s adjudicative processes respond to the needs of Canadians, including GBA+ matters.

Experimentation

  • The REGDOCSFootnote 12 system is a collection of publically accessible regulatory documents, and is the most visited location on the CER website. The system requires an upgrade to become a more user-friendly digital platform. We will continue our partnership with Code for CanadaFootnote 13, 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-centered site with advanced search capability and downloadable, open-information datasets. This will give interested Canadians easier and better access to the many reports, environmental assessments, transcripts and decisions kept in this database. 
  • The CER will create analytical metrics to identify potential gaps between Information Requests (IRs), conditions imposed and the regulatory guidance provided in the Filing ManualFootnote 14. This work will form the basis for potential use of artificial intelligence in predicting types of IRs and standardized conditions on future project submissions.

Planned results for Energy Adjudication

Planned results for Energy Adjudication
Departmental result Departmental result indicator Target Date to achieve target 2016–17
actual resultTable Note a
2017–18
actual resultTable Note a
2018–19
actual resultTable Note a
Energy adjudication processes are fair. Percentage of adjudication decisions overturned on judicial appeal related to procedural fairness. At most
0%
March 2021 0% 0% 0%
Energy adjudication processes are timely. Percentage of adjudication decisions and recommendations that are made within legislated time limits and service standards. At least
100%
March 2021 100% 100% 100%
Energy adjudication processes are transparent. Percentage of surveyed participants who indicate that adjudication processes are transparent. At least
75%
March 2021 79% 88% 73%
Energy adjudication processes are accessible. Percentage of surveyed participant funding recipients who agree that participant funding enabled their participation in an adjudication process. At least
90%
March 2021 92% 94% 100%

Planned budgetary financial resources for Energy Adjudication (dollars)

Planned budgetary financial resources for Energy Adjudication (dollars)
2020–21
budgetary spending
(as indicated in Main Estimates)
2020–21
planned spending
2021–22
planned spending
2022–23
planned spending
19,870,310 19,870,310 20,094,039 19,380,574

Planned human resources for Energy Adjudication (full-time equivalents)

Planned human resources for Energy Adjudication (full-time equivalents)
2020–21
planned full-time equivalents
2021–22
planned full-time equivalents
2022–23
planned full-time equivalents
108.2 108.5 106.8

Financial, human resources and performance information for the Canada Energy Regulator’s Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBaseFootnote 15.

Safety and Environment Oversight

Description

Setting and enforcing regulatory expectations for 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, offshore renewable energy, tolls and tariffs, energy exports and imports, and oil and gas exploration and drilling in certain northern and offshore areas of Canada.

Planning highlights

Modern Tools for a New Regulator

The CER Act provides a modern and comprehensive suite of powerful tools to keep people safe and the environment protected including:

  • compliance assessments
  • inspections
  • investigations
  • audits
  • administrative monetary penalties.

These tools allow us to prevent unsafe activities from occurring and take decisive action if they do occur.

Preventing harm is the foundation of how we keep people safe and protect the environment. We enforce some of the strictest safety and environmental standards in the world, but our oversight goes beyond simple compliance. We expect companies to adopt new technologies and innovative approaches to improve the effectiveness of their management systems. We also expect them to adapt to the evolving expectations people have for energy companies and work with Indigenous Peoples to protect the environment.

We expect the same evolution and innovation from ourselves. We are expanding the Indigenous Monitors program and integrating Indigenous perspectives into all of our work so that more CER-regulated infrastructure projects can benefit from Indigenous knowledge when they are being built and operated. This supports our focus on reconciliation and enhances our oversight so we can better protect people, the environment and property.

We are experimenting with our vast data library to understand trends and risks that might otherwise be missed. When we look at the data altogether, we can efficiently detect the areas where we could improve outcomes, like worker safety and preventing damage to pipeline infrastructure. Better use of our data allows us to drive change in our work and in the industry as a whole.

Finally, we are strengthening our influence in the area of Safety CultureFootnote 16. We are analyzing human and organizational factors in new ways to better understand where we should focus our oversight. We will share what we learn and best practices with industry, other regulators and other safety associations to improve industry-wide performance and prevent accidents from happening.

In support of the Safety and Environment Oversight core responsibility in 2020–21, the CER will:

  • Identify and implement the changes necessary to achieve the goal of zero worker safety incidents, especially during construction.
  • Deploy our full spectrum of tools to provide efficient oversight during the construction of the Trans Mountain Expansion ProjectFootnote 17. In addition to mandatory compliance with regulations, our oversight will focus on work safety and the use of Indigenous Monitors and perspectives.
  • Acquire more detailed data from companies on Unauthorized Activities, Remediation Activities and other critical safety requirements to support proactively addressing matters such as changing population densities near existing pipelines.
  • Create a new fund that sets aside funding and take action to safely stop operation of a pipeline if the owner cannot be located or is in receivership, insolvent, or bankrupt.
  • Improve web-based tools for the public, such as the Trans Mountain Interactive Condition Compliance web toolFootnote 18, by drawing on our expanded data systems.

Gender-based analysis plus

  • Safety and oversight activities are not expected to negatively impact Canadians from identifiable groups. Specific conditions placed on an applicant relating to GBA+ matters in the application assessment process will be enforced in subsequent safety oversight activity and the CER will assess the need to address data gaps related to gender disaggregated data.
  • The CER conducts a GBA+ analysis pursuant to the Cabinet Directive on RegulationFootnote 19 for its regulation development projects. The CER will strengthen its regulatory framework by assessing the impact that proposed regulations could have on Canadians from identifiable groups.
  • Communications with regulated industry will use gender-neutral terms and promote gender-neutral terminology.

Experimentation

  • The CER will develop methods to extract environmental and socio-economic data and images from various regulatory filing submissions (such as reclamation reports, construction progress reports, and environmental and socio-economic assessments) to help the regulator and communities – including Indigenous communities – better monitor and gain insights to prevent harm to people and the environment.

Planned results for Safety and Environment Oversight

Planned results for Safety and Environment Oversight
Departmental result Departmental result indicator Target Date to achieve target 2016–17
actual resultTable Note a
2017–18
actual resultTable Note a
2018–19
actual resultTable Note a
Harm to people or the environment, throughout the lifecycle of energy-related activities, is prevented. Number of serious injuries and fatalities related to regulated infrastructure. At most
0
March 2021 4 7 13
Number of incidents related to regulated infrastructure that harm the environment. At most
0
March 2021 12 12 13
Percentage of unauthorized activities on regulated infrastructure that involve repeat violators. At most
15%
March 2021 13% 12% 18%

Planned budgetary financial resources for Safety and Environment Oversight (dollars)

Planned budgetary financial resources for Safety and Environment Oversight (dollars)
2020–21
budgetary spending
(as indicated in Main Estimates)
2020–21
planned spending
2021–22
planned spending
2022–23
planned spending
17,875,000 17,875,000 18,449,404 16,228,045

Planned human resources for Safety and Environment Oversight (full-time equivalents)

Planned human resources for Safety and Environment Oversight (full-time equivalents)
2020–21
planned full-time equivalents
2021–22
planned full-time equivalents
2022–23
planned full-time equivalents
114.0 114.3 103.3

Financial, human resources and performance information for the Canada Energy Regulator’s Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBaseFootnote 20.

Energy Information

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

Community Specific Information

Canadians have told the CER that they are interested in information about energy infrastructure that is near to their communities. Energy Information provides significant resources about infrastructure at an aggregate and company level.

Our existing interactive pipeline and incident map is just a starting point. We are committed to providing community-specific knowledge that goes even further in the year to come.

We produce neutral and fact-based energy analysis to inform the energy conversation in Canada. Providing access to relevant, accurate and timely energy data and information gives Canadians tools they need to do their own research, make decisions and understand the energy landscape around them. By increasing energy literacy and awareness, we are supporting Canada’s global competitiveness in energy markets.

We know that energy impacts people where they live and are focused on incorporating community-level information in our energy products to increase their value to the public. We will also solicit feedback on our products and how we share them, to improve accessibility and relevance for stakeholders and Indigenous Peoples.

The CER will build on strategic relationships with other energy information-related agencies, such as the International Energy Agency and the U.S. Energy Information Agency, and collaborate with federal and provincial bodies to enhance energy data and information in Canada.

Budget 2019 announced funding for the Canadian Centre for Energy Information (CCEI)Footnote 21. We will contribute to the creation of a virtual “one-stop-shop” for energy data and analysis. The CCEI will create a partnership to amalgamate energy data from various sources into one user-friendly website. The project will ultimately enable the agencies involved in this initiative to address current gaps in data and provide new energy information products.

In support of the Energy Information core responsibility in 2020–21, the CER will:

  • Shape and strengthen the CER’s contributions to the new Government of Canada energy information initiative, the CCEI.
  • Enhance the CER’s energy trade data holdings, collaborating with Statistics Canada and Canada Border Services Agency.
  • Innovate our energy modelling, data and analysis toolsets to better reflect the ongoing evolution of Canada’s energy production, transmission, and consumption.

Gender-based analysis plus

  • Energy Information products are designed not to discriminate. We will ensure our energy information products meet all Government of Canada accessibility guidelines.

Experimentation

  • Energy Information will integrate planning and communications to make products more accessible and relevant for Indigenous Peoples and stakeholders. Additionally, through initiatives like the CCEI, we will focus on deeper collaboration with other organizations to enhance energy information and data available to Canadians.
  • Energy Information will leverage our new investments in data, analytics and information management systems to improve the accessibility of information about energy systems in Canada and the energy infrastructure regulated by the CER.

Planned results for Energy Information

Planned results for Energy Information
Departmental result Departmental result indicator Target Date to achieve target 2016–17
actual resultTable Note a
2017–18
actual resultTable Note a
2018–19
actual resultTable Note a
Canadians access and use energy information for knowledge, research or decision-making. Number of times the energy information is accessed. At least
750,000
March 2021 729,506 986,347 1,216,873
Percentage of surveyed web users who agree that energy information is useful for knowledge, research or decision-making. At least
75%
March 2021 Not availableTable Note b 84% 90%
Canadians have access to community-specific regulated infrastructure information. Increased information specific to regulated infrastructure in communities. At least
5Table Note c
March 2021 7 5 15
Canadians have opportunities to collaborate and provide feedback on Canada Energy Regulator information products. Number of opportunities that Canadians have to collaborate and provide feedback on energy information products. At least
80
March 2021 Not availableTable Note b 76 105

Planned budgetary financial resources for Energy Information (dollars)

Planned budgetary financial resources for Energy Information (dollars)
2020–21
budgetary spending
(as indicated in Main Estimates)
2020–21
planned spending
2021–22
planned spending
2022–23
planned spending
4,459,939 4,459,939 4,554,897 4,466,668

Planned human resources for Energy Information (full-time equivalents)

Planned human resources for Energy Adjudication (full-time equivalents)
2020–21
planned full-time equivalents
2021–22
planned full-time equivalents
2022–23
planned full-time equivalents
29.0 29.1 29.2

Financial, human resources and performance information for the Canada Energy Regulator’s Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBaseFootnote 22.

Engagement

Description

Engaging nationally and regionally with Indigenous Peoples and stakeholders through open dialogue, asking questions, sharing perspectives, and collaboration. These activities pertain to all decisions and actions related to our legislated mandate.

Planning highlights

Cultural Competence

Cultural competence brings together cultural knowledge, awareness and sensitivity – and adds operational effectiveness. Cultural competence is a dynamic and ongoing process.

The CER strives to be a culturally competent organization working effectively in cross-cultural settings. This will produce better outcomes for staff as well as everyone the CER engages with while carrying out its work.

We are committed to listening to what people have to say and sharing the unique information we have as a regulator. We engage to improve our regulatory outcomes and to better understand what is important to Canadians as individuals and their communities.

What we learn helps us make better decisions and recommendations that support safety and environmental protection, regulatory efficiency, energy literacy and transparency across every aspect of our work. We strive to earn the confidence of Canadians by engaging effectively, involving people meaningfully in decisions that affect them, and acting on the advice and feedback we receive.

Our country is large and diverse. Each region has unique interests and challenges and our work impacts people in different ways. We are exploring how we can make sure that we understand regional perspectives and are equipped to engage effectively and empathically.

We understand our decisions may impact Indigenous rights and interests. The Indigenous Cultural Competency Framework was developed to reflect the importance of improving Indigenous knowledge and skills across our workforce. Increasing our awareness of Indigenous history and practices as well as overall cultural competence is included as required learning for everyone at the CER.

Indigenous Advisory Committee

The CER Act specifies the establishment of an Indigenous Advisory Committee to provide expert advice to the Regulator, via the CER Board of Directors. We will make it a priority to work with national Indigenous organizations to design this committee to enhance the involvement of Indigenous Peoples and Indigenous organizations in the full lifecycle of energy projects (pipelines, power lines, and offshore renewable energy).

As set out in the CER Act, the Advisory Committee will include First Nations, Inuit, and Métis members to help ensure unique interests and rights of Indigenous Peoples are represented.

We are tracking issues from both a regional and national perspective, so we can be more responsive to the things that are important to Canadians. Improving the management of our engagement information will help us to meaningfully respond to concerns quicker.

In support of the Engagement core responsibility in 2020–21, the CER will:

  • Build cultural competence throughout the CER and deliver advanced targeted training based on function and job family.
  • Enhance our understanding of regional issues and further expand the CER’s regional expertise across the country.
  • Invest in systems, tools and practices that help us identify and address issues, so we can spot trends, and identify emerging issues, across all CER programs.

Gender-based analysis plus

  • The CER will assess how groups of women, men and gender-diverse people may experience engagement policies, programs and projects differently. The CER seeks to understand and build better and more enduring relationships with Indigenous Peoples and stakeholders, and will continue to build its capacity to collect and test feedback from engagement efforts to support its GBA+ approach. This work will be carried out in a respectful manner, ensuring that the privacy of Canadians is protected.

Experimentation

  • The CER will explore and expand use of mobile technology and data-mining techniques to help us better identify and share information at the community level, so that we have the right information when meeting with Indigenous communities and stakeholders about community-specific issues.
  • Design and pilot engagement intelligence data reports using the functionality of the Customer Relationship Management system to better identify emerging issues.

Planned results for Engagement

Planned results for Engagement
Departmental result Departmental result indicator Target Date to achieve target 2016–17
actual result
2017–18
actual resultTable Note b
2018–19
actual resultTable Note b
Input provided by Indigenous Peoples and stakeholders influences our decisions and our work. Evidence that input from Indigenous Peoples and stakeholders influences our decisions and our work. N/ATable Note a March 2021 Not available. Not available. Not available.
Indigenous Peoples and stakeholders provide feedback that engagement with the Canada Energy Regulator is meaningful. Percentage of participants in engagement activities who indicate that the engagement was meaningful. At least
75%
March 2021 Not available. Percentage of surveyed stakeholders who engaged with the National Energy Board who indicate that the engagement was meaningful:
76%
Percentage of surveyed stakeholders who engaged with the National Energy Board who indicate that the engagement was meaningful:
84%
Percentage of surveyed Indigenous Peoples who engaged with the National Energy Board who indicate that the engagement was meaningful:
80%
Percentage of surveyed Indigenous Peoples who engaged with the National Energy Board who indicate that the engagement was meaningful:
80%

Planned budgetary financial resources for Engagement (dollars)

Planned budgetary financial resources for Engagement (dollars)
2020–21
budgetary spending
(as indicated in Main Estimates)
2020–21
planned spending
2021–22
planned spending
2022–23
planned spending
7,898,891 7,898,891 7,843,943 7,006,488

Planned human resources for Engagement (full-time equivalents)

Planned human resources for Engagement (full-time equivalents)
2020–21
planned full-time equivalents
2021–22
planned full-time equivalents
2022–23
planned full-time equivalents
39.3 39.4 35.0

Financial, human resources and performance information for the Canada Energy Regulator’s Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBaseFootnote 23.

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