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A statement from Sheila O’Brien, Chair, AER Board of Directors

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For immediate release

Calgary, Alberta (Mar 05, 2019)…

Diversity of opinion and experience – it’s what allows us to continually grow and improve. And it’s something that the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) has embraced at all levels, from our employees, to our executives, to our board of directors.

Recently, the Government of Alberta appointed Ed Whittingham as an AER board director, and in doing so, has helped make our board more diverse. Ed brings valuable insight to our organization through his experience with the Academy for Sustainable Innovation and the Pembina Institute and as a member of the Government of Alberta’s climate plan consultation table for oil and gas.

The AER board of directors also welcomes the significant expertise of Linda Coady, who will join the board in June 2019. As a leader in the energy sector, Linda brings an important perspective to the board with respect to the complexities and challenges of the oil, gas and pipeline industry. Linda has served as the chief sustainability officer for Enbridge, one of Canada’s largest pipeline companies and has held senior positions with the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games, the World Wildlife fund (Canada) and Weyerhaeuser.

The strength of the AER board of directors lies in a diverse set of backgrounds and experiences:

  • I've worked for 35 years in the oil, gas, pipeline, and petrochemical sectors in Canada, the United States, and Europe.
  • Jack Royal is the founding president and general manager of Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park and is currently the chairperson of the Indian Business Corporation.
  • Brian Fleck has been a professor at the University of Alberta since 2000, where he has held many positions, including chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
  • Monica Norminton is the chief financial officer and general counsel for a private family trust and is involved in other boards and committees, including the Audit Committee for the Department of Natural Resources Canada.

Past board directors have included forest industry executives, engineers, entrepreneurs, and rural veterinarians, among others. Having directors from a wide range of disciplines challenges convention and enriches the AER.

When the AER was created in 2013, we developed a governance structure to provide both strong corporate oversight and independent adjudication. This structure separates our corporate, operational, and governance responsibilities from our adjudicative functions.

As chair, I lead a board of directors, who together set the general direction of our business affairs. Our chief executive officer is accountable for day-to-day operations; our executive leadership team oversees the AER’s various divisions and branches; and our hearing commissioners, who report to a chief hearing commissioner, are independent adjudicators who make decisions on energy applications.

I can’t emphasize this enough—the Responsible Energy Development Act prohibits the board from becoming involved in the day-to-day operations and decisions of the regulator. Instead, we contribute to the broader strategy that guides the AER, review the Conflict of Interest Policy and Procedures, and provide oversight on human resources, financial health, and risk management.

The AER works to ensure the safe, environmentally responsible development of our oil and gas resources for the economic benefit of all Albertans. This is something the 1200 employees across our province take very seriously. As the AER chair, I am proud of the work of the regulator and confident in our collective commitment to protecting what matters to Albertans.

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