Biographical Highlights — Appointments to Canada Energy Regulator 


Chief Executive Officer

Peter Watson

Peter Watson has extensive senior executive leadership experience in energy, natural resources and environmental issues. As the Chairperson and CEO of the National Energy Board since August 2014, he has provided strategic leadership to the Board and participated in Board decision-making processes as one of nine permanent members of this quasi-judicial tribunal. Prior to this, Mr. Watson worked for the Government of Alberta as Deputy Minister of Environment, Deputy Minister of Energy and Deputy Minister of the Executive Council and Head of the Alberta Public Service. Mr. Watson holds a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering from the University of Alberta, is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, and holds an ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors.

Board of Directors

Cassie Doyle, Chairperson

Cassie Doyle has had a distinguished career in the public service, where she served at the executive level in all three levels of the Government in Canada, including as Deputy Minister of  Natural Resources Canada. She has gained a deep understanding of natural resource and environmental governance and management and has a strong track record of effective partnerships with non-governmental organizations, industry, First Nations, governments and academia. Ms. Doyle was recently the Chair of the Expert Panel on Integrated Natural Resource Management conducted by the Council of Canadian Academies and a Board Member of the Alberta Energy Regulator.

George Vegh, Director

George Vegh is the Head of McCarthy Tétrault’s Toronto energy regulation practice and co-leader of the firm’s national energy regulatory practice. Mr. Vegh is an Adjunct Professor of energy law and regulation at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, as well as the University of Toronto Law School. Mr. Vegh was previously General Counsel at the Ontario Energy Board.

Alain Jolicoeur, Director

Alain Jolicoeur has served as a temporary member on the National Energy Board since 2016. He has more than 30 years of experience as an executive in the federal public service, including as the former President of the Canada Border Services Agency. Mr. Jolicoeur holds a Master of International Law and Customs from the University of Canberra, as well as degrees in Physics Engineering and Meteorology. He also holds an Institute of Corporate Directors Certificate from the Rotman School of Management.

Ellen Barry, Director

Ellen Barry is a former Deputy Minister with the Province of New Brunswick. As a career public servant, she served as Deputy Minister with the Departments of Tourism and Parks, Wellness, Culture and Sport and the Department of Human Resources. Previous to these assignments, she served as Assistant Deputy Minister in the Department of Natural Resources and Finance. Her public service experience has provided her the opportunity to work extensively with multi-stakeholder groups. Since her retirement, MS. Barry has worked on consulting assignments in New Brunswick, as well as with the Institute of Public Administration. She is a graduate of the University of New Brunswick.

Melanie Debassige, Director

Melanie Debassige has over twenty years of experience in Indigenous Economic Development and is a certified corporate director. She is employed as the Executive Director of the Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation and serves on the Board of Directors of the Ontario Clean Water Agency. She previously served as Chief of Staff for the British Columbia Assembly of First Nations and was an elected official with the M’Chigeeng First Nation. Ms. Debassige holds a Master of Business Administration from Cape Breton University and is a graduate of the Directors Education Program at the Institute of Corporate Directors and Rotman School of Management.

Independent Commissioners

Damien A. Côté, Lead Commissioner

Damien A. Côté has served as a temporary member of the National Energy Board since October 2016. He has a wealth of expertise related to Indigenous and regulatory law and more than seven years of senior executive leadership. Mr. Côté holds a Juris Doctor degree and a Licentiate of Laws from the University of Ottawa, a Master’s of Arts in Economics from the University of Toronto, as well as a Bachelor of Engineering (Environmental) and a Bachelor of Arts (Economics) from Carleton University.

Kathy Penney, Deputy Lead Commissioner

Kathy Penney has over 25 years of regulatory, environmental and health and safety experience in the public and private sectors. Ms. Penney has expertise in the development of regulatory frameworks, quasi-judicial and federal government project hearings, Indigenous consultations and government and external relations. She holds a Master of Science from the University of British Columbia and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto. Ms. Penney is a Pearson College Scholar and holds an Executive Management Certificate from Queen’s University.

Wilma Jacknife, Commissioner

Wilma Jacknife served as a temporary member of the NEB until March 31, 2019. She has almost 20 years of experience in practising law, both in private practice and as legal counsel for Cold Lake First Nation in Alberta. She specializes in First Nations governance, consultation and negotiation of impact benefits agreements, business development, administrative law and employment and estates law. Ms. Jacknife also has extensive experience working with various First Nations organizations across Canada. Ms. Jacknife holds a Doctor of Juridical Science in Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy and a Master of Laws in Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy from the University of Arizona – College of Law and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of British Columbia.

Stephania Luciuk, Commissioner

Stephania Luciuk has extensive experience in the energy sector, including in oil and gas industries on a broad range of matters, among them environmental, labour, First Nations and employment and human rights issues. Ms. Luciuk has been in legal practice for over twenty years and previously served as in-house counsel for Imperial Oil, where she oversaw a legal team that successfully completed the regulatory process for the Kearl Oil Sands project and negotiated with First Nations groups and government regarding the Mackenzie Gas project hearings. She is also currently appointed as an assistant professor at Mount Royal University. Ms. Luciuk holds a Juris Doctor from York University and a Master of Laws in international environmental law from Dalhousie University.

Trena Grimoldby, Commissioner

Trena Grimoldby was in-house counsel for PETRONAS Canada, as well as a Public Chairperson at the Insurance Councils Appeal Board of Alberta until her appointment as Commissioner. Prior to that, she served as in-house counsel to Pembina Pipeline Corporation, Shell Canada Limited, and as Board Counsel at the Alberta Energy Regulator (then the Energy and Utilities Board and subsequently the Energy Resources Conservation Board). She has extensive experience in administrative tribunal hearings as counsel to tribunals, counsel to proponents, and as tribunal chair. She also has extensive experience in administrative law, hearing practice and procedure, regulatory law, safety and emergency/incident response matters, and environmental law. She holds a Juris Doctor and Bachelor of Laws from the University of Alberta, and a Bachelor of Arts with a specialization in English from the University of Alberta.

Mark Watton, Commissioner

Mark Watton was the Senior Legal Counsel for TC Energy’s Commercial and Canadian Regulatory Law, Liquids Division. Prior to that, he served as legal counsel to the National Energy Board for seven years, advising on several major energy project applications. Mr. Watton joinged the National Energy Board after practicing as a litigator in Toronto, and previously worked in multiple advisory roles for federal cabinet ministers and the office of the Prime Minister.  He holds a Bachelor of Law with specializations in Marine Law and Business Law from Dalhousie University, and a Bachelor of Social Sciences (Political Science) from the University of Ottawa.

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