The NEB is an independent federal regulatory agency. It regulates parts of the energy industry under federal jurisdiction, and informs the government and the public about energy matters.
Why was the National Energy Board created?
In the early post-war years, western Canadian oil and gas resources were discovered and developed for interprovincial and international use. Important policy issues arose about the conditions for the construction of new pipelines and the approval of long-term exports, particularly of natural gas.
The 1957 government of Prime Minister Diefenbaker set up a Royal Commission on Energy to examine whether a national energy board should be created, and what authority it should have. In 1959, the Commission recommended that a national energy board be established. Before the tabling of its report, the 1955 Royal Commission on Canada's Economic Prospects had also recommended that a national energy authority be created to regulate energy exports.
The government acted quickly on the Commission's recommendations, drafting a legislative proposal and introducing it to Parliament in May 1959. As a result, the National Energy Board Act was proclaimed in November of the same year. The Act transferred responsibility for pipelines to the new Board from the Board of Transport Commissioners, and responsibility for oil, gas and electricity exports from the Minister of Trade and Commerce. It also granted the NEB responsibility for regulating tolls and tariffs and defined its jurisdiction and status as an independent court of record - an important new factor.
Since then, the NEB has developed its expertise on energy matters and is recognized in Canada and worldwide as an expert regulatory authority. In 1991, the NEB relocated from Ottawa, Ontario to Calgary, Alberta. In 1994, legislative changes expanded the NEB’s jurisdiction to include decision making authority for specified areas that are not regulated under joint federal/provincial accords).
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