“We have got to have an independent, arms-length board, panel and process that makes science and fact-based decisions on the merits of a given project.”
So why is there not a single NEB board member who is independent, at arms length from government, the conventional energy industry and consulting businesses that serve both. With the exception of two of thirteen members who are female, the agency is largely populated by balding old English speaking white guys from the business they regulate, each of them with high levels of comfort with the Conservative Party of Canada. Collectively, their idea of alternative energy is petroleum produced in Canada’s coastal waters.
This is the current board:
Chair Peter Watson
Appointed Chair and CEO by the Harper Government in June 2014. His previous position was Deputy Minister of the Alberta Executive Council, senior civil servant responsible for the province’s administration.
Vice-Chair Lyne Mercier
Before joining in the NEB in 2007, Ms. Mercier worked over 29 years for Gaz Métro, serving in executive positions for one of Canada’s largest natural gas distributors.
Member Roland George
Appointed to NEB in 2006, he worked primarily in the private energy sector for over three decades, recently as principal of an energy-consulting firm based in Calgary. He also held senior positions with the industry sponsored Canadian Energy Research Institute and Gaz Métro.
Member Philip Davies
An NEB board member since January 2013, he spent more than 30 years working in North American energy industries. He was an executive with large gas operator Encana and the associated Niska Gas Storage.
Member Shane Parrish
Appointed in 2013, he has worked for many years as a consultant in the petroleum and mining industries.
Member Ron Wallace
On the NEB board since 2013, he had been a manager and consultant involved in major oil and gas operations throughout the former Soviet Union and Russia and held senior management positions with Petro-Canada and CanStar Oil Sands Ltd.
Temporary Member Kenneth Bateman
Appointed to the NEB board in 2006, he is a Calgary based lawyer who had been Vice President of Enmax, a large Calgary based energy supply, distribution and service firm.
Temporary Member David Hamilton
An NEB board member since 2004, he was a career government bureaucrat, much of his time spent in senior position of government in the Northwest Territories.
Temporary Member Bob Vergette
Appointed 2008, he is an Alberta pipeline engineer who has been active in many industry association initiatives.
Temporary Member Alison Scott
She is a lawyer and former Nova Scotia civil servant and Director of Offshore Energy Research, which promotes petroleum exploration and development in east coast waters. She was appointed to the NEB board in May 2012.
Temporary Member James Ballem
He was a Conservative Party politician until defeated in 2007. He failed in a 2010 bid to become Nova Scotia Conservative leader and owns an energy industry consulting business.
Temporary Member Mike Richmond
A Toronto energy industry lawyer, he was once a Director of the Ontario Energy Association where his colleagues included executives of Enbridge, TransCanada Pipelines and other major industry players. He joined the board in late 2012.
Temporary Member Jacques Gauthier
Appointed December 2012, he headed up an engineering consulting firm with roots in Quebec. It had been involved in many large scale public projects. Gauthier contributed to the creation and development of major energy projects.