Section 67 of the Responsible Energy Development Act: Seeking a Balance Between Independence and Accountability
In 2012, the Alberta Government introduced Bill 2, the Responsible Energy Development Act, to replace the Energy Resource Conservation Board and to establish a single energy regulator. Among the most controversial aspects of this Act is section 67, which allows the Minister to give mandatory directions to the regulator. This article looks at the implications of that provision including its effect on board independence, board accountability, and the democratic process as a whole. After evaluating the case law, exploring issues of statutory interpretation, and comparing section 67 with similar provisions in Ontario and British Columbia, the author concludes that section 67 leaves open significant questions about the scope, legal status, and procedural requirements of directives issued under section 67.
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