The CER’s Adjudicative Processes during COVID-19

Update – June 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose challenges. As a federally regulated workplace, the CER will continue to follow the federal COVID-19 guidance. While restrictions have eased, federal guidance still recommends masking for in-person meetings to protect employees, Indigenous peoples, and the public. This could mean more measures than provincial or local guidance suggest.

Adjudicative Processes

With the recent easing of restrictions, it may now be possible for some adjudicative activities to be conducted in person, where circumstances allow. As before the pandemic, many applications adjudicated by the Commission did not involve in-person meetings and were evaluated and tested through written processes.  Determining whether adjudicative activities will be conducted in writing, virtually or in-person will happen on a case-by-case basis.

Details relating to specific adjudicative processes will be communicated transparently and in advance. Where appropriate, comments will be sought from the public and interested parties on written, in-person or virtual options ahead of setting out process details. By planning ahead, the Commission is able to establish predictable processes for all participants and can continue to meet legislative time limits and the CER’s  Service Standards.

For additional details and the most recent updates, please refer to the individual hearing records on the CER’s REGDocs and the Major Applications and Projects before the CER webpage.

Indigenous Communities

The CER is aware that Indigenous communities continue to take measures to protect their communities.

In recognition of this, the CER’s Notice of Application process will continue to provide additional time (30 days rather than 14) for Indigenous communities to respond and the CER will consider further extensions on a case-by-case basis. The CER sends a Notice of Application to Indigenous peoples to notify them that we have received an application that may impact their community. The Notice of Application provides details on how to submit comments to the CER.

If participants have concerns with CER processes, please contact a Process Advisor at 1-800-899-1265 to discuss your options.

Get the latest CER-related COVID-19 Information

Update – 31 January 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose an unprecedented challenge for all of those with whom we work closely. As a federally regulated workplace, the CER follows federal guidance which continues to limit in-person meetings and travel to protect employees, Indigenous peoples, and the public.

Adjudicative Processes

Adjudicative processes require significant planning months in advance and restrictions relating to the COVID-19 pandemic remain uncertain and vary regionally. For these reasons, the Commission will continue to convene its hearings using written and virtual processes until at least spring 2022. This practice is widely used in courts and tribunals across Canada and enables the Commission to continue to conduct processes in a fair, timely, transparent and accessible manner, while respecting physical distancing measures.

Details relating to specific adjudicative processes will be communicated transparently and in advance. By planning ahead, the Commission is able to establish predictable processes for all participants and can continue to meet legislative time limits and the CER’s Service Standards.

For additional details and the most recent updates, please refer to the individual hearing records on the CER’s REGDocs and the Major Applications and Projects before the CER webpage.

As before the pandemic, many applications adjudicated by the Commission did not involve in-person meetings and were evaluated and tested through written processes. This is an efficient way to conduct a comprehensive review of the proposed project’s engineering and safety specifications, economic, socio-economic and environmental effects, and impacts on the rights and interests of Indigenous peoples.

Indigenous Communities

The CER is aware that Indigenous communities in Canada face increased challenges and risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and have taken extra measures to protect their communities.

The CER will meet virtually with Indigenous communities at least until spring 2022. To meaningfully consult Indigenous communities during this time, the CER will use communication methods that work for Indigenous communities and will be flexible for the circumstances, where possible.

In addition, the CER’s Notice of Application process will continue to provide additional time (30 days rather than 14) for Indigenous communities to respond and the CER will consider further extensions on a case-by-case basis. The CER sends a Notice of Application to Indigenous peoples to notify them that we have received an application that may impact their community. The Notice of Application provides details on how to submit comments to the CER.

The CER understands that participating in written and virtual processes may be challenging for some participants at this time. If participants have concerns with meeting CER deadlines, please contact a Process Advisor at 1-800-899-1265 to discuss your options.

Get the latest CER-related COVID-19 Information

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