B.C. modernizes oil, gas, energy regulator board
VICTORIA – The Province is improving transparency in oversight and governance of the energy resource sector through a more modern, inclusive and larger board for its energy regulator.
“As the energy sector evolves, it’s vital that we ensure its regulation reflects the values and expectations of a modern industry and of British Columbians. I want to thank existing and new board members for guiding the regulator into the future,” said Josie Osborne, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation. “Emerging energy sectors, such as hydrogen, geothermal and carbon capture, will generate economic opportunities and help B.C. reduce emissions and transition to clean energy. Increasing the size and diversity of the board of directors improves inclusion and better reflects the expanded energy resource mandate.”
Other key changes include an official name change from the BC Oil and Gas Commission to the British Columbia Energy Regulator to better align with its expanded role of regulating the life cycle of oil, gas and hydrogen industries within B.C.
In addition, the board will now consist of five to seven directors and be required to include Indigenous representation. Previously, there were three directors and a number of independent board consultants who assisted the board in its oversight responsibilities.
“I look forward to working with all of the new and existing board members and to support all British Columbians within the role,” said Chris Hayman, board chair, British Columbia Energy Regulator board. “I am excited to build upon the important work the life-cycle energy regulator does and I believe these new changes will create more clarity for industry while moving toward a lower-emissions future for British Columbians.”
The new board members are Natascha Kiernan and Ken Cameron, who will be on two-year terms, as well as Sharon Singh and Kevin Brewster, who are appointed for one-year terms. Hayman, who will be on a two-year term, has been appointed chair.
Existing board members are Shannon Baskerville, who will be on a two-year term, and Patrick Kelly, who will continue his current term.
To underscore the board’s independence from the management team, the chief executive officer will no longer serve as a member.
- In fall 2022, B.C. passed the Energy Statutes Amendment Act, which added responsibility for hydrogen, methanol, ammonia, carbon capture and underground storage, and geothermal to the previously named BC Oil and Gas Commission’s responsibilities.
- The legislation created a regulatory framework for hydrogen development in British Columbia.
- It also ensured a more comprehensive consultation and engagement approach with First Nations.
- The regulator will officially take on responsibility for hydrogen oversight this year.
A backgrounder follows.
Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation
Board member biographies
Chris Hayman has more than 30 years experience in the oil and gas, mining services and regulatory environment. Hayman is a chartered accountant, has served as the president of multinational mining services, and has been providing ongoing consulting services to the board.
A former Chief of Saulteau First Nations, Ken Cameron leads important initiatives in business, clean energy, wildlife preservation, reclamation, and community health and well-being. Cameron is a fluent Cree speaker, an accomplished artist and musician, a successful business owner, and a respected community leader.
Sharon is a partner and co-head of Aboriginal Law of Bennett Jones LLP. She advises on environmental, Aboriginal law, regulatory and governance matters. Singh guides organizations through impact/environmental assessments, agreements and partnerships with Indigenous communities, ESG-related disclosures, opportunities and risks, and a variety of regulatory and environmental matters. She is actively involved with the community, including as a member of the Wet’suwet’en Community Advisory Council, as senior policy adviser to the Mining Association of British Columbia and the Association of Mineral Exploration, and as a member of several community boards.
Natascha Kiernan is a lawyer and has provided ongoing consulting services to the BC Oil and Gas Commission. She serves as a regional ambassador for Women Get on Board, an organization whose purpose is to promote women in leadership positions.
Kevin Brewster has had a 30-year career in the B.C. public sector for the provincial and regional governments. He was the assistant deputy minister and executive financial officer for the B.C. ministry of advanced education, skills and training. Brewster holds a diploma in building technology from the British Columbia Institute of Technology, a bachelor of architecture from the University of Oregon, and an MBA from the Manchester Business School in the United Kingdom.
T’esóts’en (Patrick Kelly) is a member of the Leq’á:mel First Nation (Stó:lō Nation.) He was Coastal First Nation board chair (2000 to 2018) and chief executive officer (2017 and 2018.) He was adviser and director of the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry, and a member of the Judicial Council of the Provincial Court of B.C. He is a director on the board of Golf Canada, the Government House Foundation and the International Advisory Board of the Gustavson School of Business. He has operated a private business for 16 years, focused on Indigenous relations, governance development, economic development, issues resolution and other services.
Shannon Baskerville was appointed deputy minister, Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation in December 2022, including responsibility for the BC Hydro Crown corporation. Baskerville has served the Province of British Columbia for 30 years. Prior to her current appointment, Baskerville held the positions of deputy minister of advanced education and skills training; deputy minister of jobs, tourism and skills training, and deputy minister of international trade. Prior to that, she held the position of assistant deputy minister at three other ministries.
Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation