Saskatchewan sends letter on NEB update

REGINA — The Saskatchewan government has submitted its response to a report on the modernization of the National Energy Board.

Energy Minister Dustin Duncan has sent a letter to federal Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr about what Saskatchewan sees as the positives and negatives in the report.

Speaking at the legislature, Duncan said the government would welcome any changes that would result in the approval of sound energy projects.

But he added those projects would have to be built in a manner to benefit all Canadians, including people who live and work in Saskatchewan.

Duncan said the province shared its three main interests with the panel during its review into how to update the board.

Those interests are gaining greater access to ports for Canadian oil, moving toward energy self-sufficiency in the country and repairing the global image of Canadian crude.

Duncan is also suggesting the agency move its board of governors to Saskatchewan. The report has suggested the board move from Calgary to Ottawa.

“If it’s untenable for the federal government to keep the NEB or the successor to the NEB in Calgary, then we would offer a compromise: Keep it in Western Canada … but if it can’t be in Calgary, then Saskatchewan would be the next logical choice.

The report released last month proposes splitting the energy board into a regulatory body and an energy information agency. It also suggests extending the review time for projects and increasing consultations with First Nations and others.

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