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Title: Bill C-38 and the Evolution of the National Energy Board: The Changing Role of the National Energy Board from 1959 to 2015
Authors: Savage, Sonya
Keywords: National Energy Board;Bill C-38;Northern Gateway Pipeline;Line 9B Reversal;TransMountain Expansion and Energy East applications
Issue Date: Feb-2016
Publisher: Canadian Institute of Resources Law
Citation: Sonya Savage, "Bill C-38 and the Evolution of the National Energy Board: The Changing Role of the National Energy Board from 1959 to 2015", Occasional Paper 52 (Calgary: Canadian Institute of Resources Law, 2016)
Series/Report no.: CIRL Occasional Paper;52
Abstract: This paper will explore how the legislative changes and the torqued political debate surrounding the development and transportation of crude oil is changing the role of the National Energy Board (NEB). It will examine how environmental activists strategically targeted the hearing processes of the NEB and how the Federal government responded with Bill C-38, a “legislative fix” to this activity. It will consider how Bill C-38, in turn, led to more demands for public consultation in the process, parallel provincial processes, more litigation and judicial review and a growing lack of public confidence in the integrity of the process and of the NEB itself. Finally, it will explore how all of this may have led to an evolving activist regulator, sensitive to public opinion far and beyond its role as originally conceived. This paper will examine the historical roots of the NEB, its role over the past 56 years and how that has evolved as a result of Bill C-38 amendments and the current political storm. It will examine Bill C-38 and conclude that those changes, in and of themselves, did not fundamentally change how the NEB conducts its business or its independence. Instead, the evolving role of the NEB is more connected to building public trust in its role as a regulator and repairing a public perception of a gutted process than to anything that Bill C-38 itself changed. All of this will be examined through four case studies of oil pipeline projects before the Board before and after the 2012 amendments.
Appears in Collections:Occasional Papers

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