Dalhousie Law Journal


National Energy Board, regulation, transmission access, electricity systems, Canada, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, utilities


The author argues that the federal government should empower the National Energy Board to regulate transmission access on provincial electricity systems including the authority to order a provincial utility to construct new facilities, for the purpose of creating a truly national electricity system and facilitating interprovincial and international electricity sales. First, because Canada needs a national regulator who can address the creeping Americanization of the Canadian electricity sector arising from the U.S. legislation and decisions of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Second, because Canada needs a nationalbody to facilitate the movement ofnon-greenhouse gas sources of electricity to markets where it can displace fossil-fired electricity; and, third, because Canada needs a neutral regulator to decide transmission-access disputes between utilities in different provinces. In showing why the federal government can do this, the author analyzes the constitutional provisions andjurisprudence on federal and provincial jurisdiction over electricity He points out .that the recently discussed QuebecNew Brunswick deal provides a perfect rationale for conferring this jurisdiction on. the National Energy Board.