Who will Help Canada? Peter Watson named as new National Energy Board chair and chief executive

Peter Watson named as new National Energy Board chair and chief executive by The Canadian Press, June 13, 2014, Calgary Herald
The National Energy Board is getting a new boss. Peter Watson has been appointed to a seven-year term as the federal energy watchdog’s chairman and CEO, federal Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford announced Friday.

Watson, whose new posting begins Aug. 18, has served as Alberta’s deputy minister of energy, the environment and most recently the executive council. He takes over from Gaetan Caron, whose term ended this week. Alberta Premier Dave Hancock called Watson a “trusted and valuable friend and colleague.”

Watson worked on climate change and water strategies, as well as on developing carbon capture and storage technology and improving market access. In his current role, he’s in charge of Alberta’s public service. “He has a calm, wise and steady approach to governance, and his passion and commitment to Alberta’s Public Service is unquestioned,” Hancock said in a release. Also Friday, Rickford announced NEB member Lyne Mercier will become vice-chair, effective immediately. “The comprehensive experience and knowledge of these individuals will be invaluable during this critical time for our federal energy regulator,” he said in a statement.

The NEB leadership change comes at a time when new pipelines, and the oilsands crude that would flow through them, are under intense scrutiny. The Alberta and federal governments have been pushing for new pipelines to connect Canadian resources with global markets, but contentious proposals such as the Northern Gateway pipeline to the West Coast and Keystone XL pipeline to the U.S. are facing fierce opposition.

“If the Harper government was hoping to temper the growing criticism of flawed National Energy Board processes it is heading in the wrong direction with this appointment,” Greenpeace campaigner Mike Hudema said in a statement. “Alberta is a very troubled regulatory jurisdiction, especially when it comes to pipelines, so choosing an insider from within its ranks doesn’t bode well for the environment or communities across the country. Canadians deserve an independent body that they can entrust with protecting the public interest. Unfortunately, this decision indicates they’re not getting it any time soon.” [Emphasis added]

[Reality Check:

January 27, 2005: Investigators say an accumulation of gases appears to have caused the explosion that destroyed the Rosebud water tower and sent a Wheatland County employee to hospital

On March 8, 2006, during Ernst presenting with two Americans on the People’s Unconventional Gas Tour, warning Albertans about fracing and CBM, Peter Watson left Ernst a threatening, bullying voice mail, saying his staff informed him of what Ernst was saying in public and that he was “very concerned” about her “remarks” regarding the Minister and his meeting with his staff [on March 6, 2006], Ernst and two other landowners with contaminated water. Ernst called Peter back, and left a message that she was just telling the truth, that the people need to know what they are up against.

In 2007, Peter Watson (then Deputy Minister Environment) finally promised citizens – in writing – after years of doing little but help the AER (then EUB/ERCB) cover up Encana fracing Rosebud’s drinking water aquifers, that Alberta Environment would conduct a comprehensive investigation into the community-wide drinking water contamination. Alberta Environment knew in early 2005 (it was revealed via Freedom of Information records released to Ernst that they knew), and likely earlier, that Encana had violated the Water Act, frac’d Rosebud’s drinking water aquifers and diverted fresh water from CBM, without a permit. Alberta Environment did not warn the community and Encana kept fracing wells above the Base of Groundwater Protection at Rosebud.

After the Alberta Research Council (now Alberta Innovates-Technology Futures) agreed to Alberta Environment’s Terms of Reference and Dr. Alec Blyth  submitted his proposal to Alberta Environment, Peter violated his written promise to the harmed citizens of Rosebud.

2007 08 22 Ernst water well complaint Review Proposal by Dr Alec Blyth for Alberta Environment

From the August 22, 2007 “Alberta Environment – Ernst Water Well Complain Review Proposal” by Dr. Alec Blyth, P.Geol., Ph.D., Alberta Research Council Inc.:

ARC will produce an independent conclusion based on factual, scientific, and technical data surrounding the investigation of the complaint.

Alberta Research Council will undertake the following:

1. Kick-off meeting (likely in Edmonton) with members of Alberta Environment to ensure Terms of Reference are understood and to transfer relevant file to ARC.

6. Make a conclusion independent of preliminary AENV conclusions identifying whether or not the investigation suggests groundwater has been impacted by the CBM extraction activities of Encana.

Dr. Alec Blyth signed his official contract with Alberta Environment on October 5, 2007 to do “independent” reviews (which ended up being controlled and edited by Alberta Environment, contrary to their Terms of Reference, dismissing the water contamination cases as natural).

From “Alberta Environment Agreement no. 08-0227, Memorandum of Agreement made this 5th day of October, 2007 Between Her Majesty the Queen in right of the Province of Alberta, as represented by the Minister of Environment (hereinafter referred to as the “Department”) and Alberta Research Council,” The Parties agree as follows:

2. ….the contractor shall be paid as follows:

Draft report $10,000

Final report $10,000

13. (2) All documents and information, all intellectual property…for the aforesaid:

(b) shall be treated by the Contractor with such care, security and strict confidence, and as a trade secret of the Department, so as to ensure the aforesaid are not disclosed or made known to any other person except with the written consent of the Department;


17. (2) Prior to the performance of the services in this agreement the Contractor shall provide to the Department a written safety plan. The safety plan shall address; the hazards of the services to be performed under this contract, the control measures that shall be implemented to eliminate or reduce the risks of the hazards to a reasonable level, the first aid/medical services and measures that shall be activated in event of an emergency. For other hazards identified during the performance of the contract the Department may also request that safety plans may be provided;

(3) All safety plans are to be reviewed by the Department before work proceeds. The Department reserves the right to review documents and monitor the Contractor’s compliance to the safety plan. Review of the safety plan and monitoring for compliance does not relieve the contractor of its responsibilities as defined in the Occupational Health and Safety Act and regulations of those assigned by the contract.

[Isn’t that peculiar? When Ernst requested that Alberta Environment provide its sampling and safety protocol for testing her extremely dangerous and explosive contaminated tap water, the regulator refused.]

2007 10 05 Signed contract between Dr. Alec Blyth and Alberta Environment, review on Ernst drinking water contamination case snap

Pink underline: “Time is of the essence.”

Nearly 7 years later, approximately 40-50,000 visitors and most members in the community still breath and ingest Rosebud’s dangerously contaminated water.]

[Refer also to:

Alberta releases first ‘Sunshine list’ of government salaries by CBC News, January 31, 2014

Peter Watson, the deputy minister of the executive council, earned $342,630 in 2013 — the seventh highest base salary in 2013. He also earned $107,455 in non-cash benefits.

June 14, 2014: Synergy and blanket approval to give industry free-for all fracking in Alberta! Watch out Fox Creek and the rest of Canada, Synergy is brainwashing controlled by industry, incredibly evil and works well Note especially the cross reference report by the National Energy Board in 2004, where they report industry begged for blanket approval for unconventional fracing of oil and gas. ]

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