Transforming the NEB – Lexpert

Shawn Denstedt Q.C.

Oct. 27, 2017

A wholesale change to the National Energy Board (NEB) may not be necessary, Osler partner Shawn Denstedt tells Lexpert. In his article, author John Greenwood outlines how an expert review panel produced a report in May 2017 on a vision for an overhaul of the NEB. The article explains how the report produced several recommendations, including the creation of three different pipeline approval processes, among other things. Shawn, a partner in Osler’s Regulatory, Environmental, Aboriginal & Land Group, says a more prudent approach would be injecting more resources into the NEB.

The NEB was “skilled technically, but they weren’t good at selling that story to the public,” Shawn tells Lexpert. “I think if we had injected more money into the board and provided them with more authority, and said, ‘We’re going to give you the resources you need to do a better job,’ that’s better than tinkering around the edges with legal and legislative changes.”

Shawn says his “take on this comes from what sustainable development really is about … when you develop a project, you make sure you pay attention to the social, economic and environmental impacts,” he tells Lexpert. “You balance all those things to arrive at a decision that is in the public interest. The problem with the regulatory system in Canada is we have moved way far away from that. We are not balancing the benefits of the impact.”

For more information, read John Greenwood’s article “Transforming the NEB” in the 2017 Lexpert Special Edition.