The early reviews are in: People in Calgary despise the idea of the National Energy Board being shuffled out of Calgary.

That’s not exactly blockbuster news. Ultimately, however, the views of the mayor, premier or local chamber of commerce president won’t turn the tide on this issue.

What really matters in the coming months is what the federal Liberal government thinks of its new expert panel report that recommends uprooting parts of the national energy regulator from the city as part of a broader plan to reform the agency.

Now, the only Calgarian in the federal cabinet has weighed in, in what looks like a signal on where the Trudeau government will go next.

“I’ve been around this business getting to be a long time. Reports get written … recommendations get made, things are looked at and sometimes they are absolutely ignored,” Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr said in an interview Friday.

“In my view, the National Energy Board should stay right in Calgary. We have a long line of expertise and talent and the like, so you know where I will be putting my full support, behind it staying in Calgary.”

That’s good to hear.

The potential loss of more well-paying jobs from Calgary’s energy sector in the midst of a recession would not only be painful, but seem downright mean-spirited.

“It’s just more kicking us when we’re down,” said Calgary Chamber of Commerce CEO Adam Legge.

The report was commissioned by Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr to examine modernizing the National Energy Board and updating its mandate.

It held hearings across the country, although oddly not in Calgary, where it’s been based since 1991.

The overhaul comes as the NEB has faced intense scrutiny and criticism from many quarters over decisions such as the botched Energy East hearings last year and approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

The study …read more

Source:: Calgary Herald

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