Policy and Regulation at the National Energy Board - Questions and Answers

The following is an overview of the Question and Answer session following a presentation by the Chair and CEO of the National Energy Board, Gaétan Caron. The full presentation is available here.

What is the National Energy Board (NEB or the Board) role in informing Canadians about pipelines?

The NEB has well-established engagement programs. We frequently hold both in-person and remote information sessions about the hearing process to ensure the public and Aboriginal groups have an opportunity to understand how to participate in NEB processes. We also attend conferences and trade shows to provide information about the NEB and its processes.

How long will it take for applications to be assessed?

The NEB has always strived for efficiency in our hearing and application processes. The National Energy Board Act calls for fixed beginning-to-end time limits of 18 months for most NEB applications. This is broken down into 15 months from the date the Board determines an application is complete until the Board completes its assessment with the issuance of a Decision or Recommendation to Governor in Council (GiC). For applications requiring a certificate, from this point, GiC would have three months to make a decision.

With the exception of the Mackenzie Gas Project and the Northern Gateway Project, which included a parallel Joint Review Panel, all NEB hearings over the last eight years have been completed within 15 months from the issuance of the hearing order to the release of the reasons for decision.

Explain the recent Memorandum of Understanding with Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Does the NEB have the internal capacity to meet the MOU’s requirements?

The NEB has always considered impacts to fish and fish habitat and aquatic species at risk when making its decisions. The initial assessment of impacts of federally regulated pipeline and power line projects to fish and fish habitat will now become the sole responsibility of the NEB.

For more information see, FAQs on NEB and Fisheries and Oceans Canada Memorandum of Understanding 2013.

How does the NEB attract and retain staff?

We attract our talented staff who are interested in challenging work in the public interest. We offer a competitive benefits package, a supportive workplace culture and work-life balance.

Can the NEB proactively set aside land for future infrastructure development?

No. This is not in the NEB’s mandate.

Can an NEB decision be appealed in a higher court?

Decisions made by the NEB may be appealed to Canada's Federal Court of Appeal on a point of law or jurisdiction if the Court grants permission (or leave) to appeal it. An appeal cannot be made simply because someone is unhappy with the outcome. An application asking for permission to appeal (known as a leave to appeal application) must be filed with the Federal Court of Appeal within 30 days following the NEB decision.

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