Sample welcome letter to new Board Members

Name of new Board Member
Street Address
City, Province
Postal Code

Dear [name of new Board Member]:

Welcome to the National Energy Board! It is my pleasure to congratulate you on your recent appointment as a Temporary Board Member.

You will find a number of documents attached to this letter which should help you begin your orientation with the Board. In days to come, we will communicate further details to you. Our goal is to make your orientation pleasant and effective. We have a full team ready to begin the process.

We again want to bring to your attention important clauses in the NEB Act (notably Sections 3-4) that you are now subject to as a Temporary Board Member. In summary they include:

  • "A person is not eligible to be appointed or to continue as a member of the Board if that person is (...) as owner, shareholder, director, officer, partner or otherwise, engaged in the business of producing, selling, buying, transmitting, exporting, importing or otherwise dealing in hydrocarbons or electricity or holds any bond, debenture or other security of a corporation engaged in any such business."- Section 3(4)
  • temporary members shall not, during their term of office, accept or hold any office or employment inconsistent with the member's duties under this Act. – Section 4(3).

The implication of Section 3(4) of the Act is that if you have not already done so, you must immediately, and certainly prior to starting work at the Board, divest yourself of any shares or bonds or other securities of companies engaged in the businesses described in Section 3(4). You may divest either through selling the shares, bonds or other securities, or by placing them into a blind trust. You must also immediately cease your association or engagement with or in such businesses or with such companies as contemplated by this section and certainly do so prior to starting work at the Board. You must also not hold or accept any office or employment inconsistent with your duties under the NEB Act. Be assured that you have access to resources here at the Board to answer any questions that you may have as you take all necessary steps to be in conformance with the NEB Act, and I would direct you to the Board’s Executive Vice President, Law and General Counsel, Rob Cohen, in that regard.

As you know, Board Members are also subject to the federal government’s Conflict of Interest Act.  You should read this Act (particularly Parts 1 and 3) as soon as possible and for your convenience, a copy of it is enclosed with this letter. As a Temporary Board Member not expected to be in receipt of an annual salary from the Board, you will be subject to the provisions of the Conflict of Interest Act for “public office holders”.  This applies during your term with the Board and there are also specific prohibitions post-employment with the Board. If you have any questions or concerns, you are encouraged to contact the Office of the Conflict of Interest Commissioner directly, at Information not available or ciec-ccie@parl.gc.ca.

Finally, in light of circumstances giving rise to Member, Chair and Vice-Chair recusal decisions of 9 September 2016 regarding the Energy East and Eastern Mainline Project Applications, I ask that you not initiate or participate in any discussions related to the Energy East and Eastern Mainline Project Applications (of either a procedural or substantive nature), with any existing Board Members including the Board Vice-Chair and myself.  Doing so will support the integrity of the required Energy East and Eastern Mainline hearing process, and your impartiality in respect of potential involvement with those applications.  If you have any questions on the Energy East and Eastern Mainline Project Applications at present, please direct them to Josée Touchette, Chief Operating Officer at josee.touchette@neb-one.gc.ca or Information not available; or Rob Cohen, Executive Vice President, Law and General Counsel at rob.cohen@neb-one.gc.ca or Information not available.  Once an Acting Chair for the purposes of the Energy East and Eastern Mainline Project Applications has been authorized by the Board, the acting Chair will be in a position to discuss potential assignment to the applications and any related matters.

Please contact me at Information not available or peter.watson@neb-one.gc.ca or, in my absence, our Secretary of the Board, Sheri Young at Information not available or sheri.young@neb-one.gc.ca and we will connect you with the right people to provide the assistance you require. I would ask that you provide me with written confirmation that you are in conformance with Sections 3(4) and 4(3) of the NEB Act as soon as possible.

I am sure you will find this appointment to be a rewarding and stimulating career experience. Thank you for accepting this important responsibility.

Yours sincerely,

Original signed by

C. Peter Watson, P. Eng. FCAE
Chair and CEO

Enclosures

c.c.: Sheri Young, Secretary of the Board

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