Federal government appoints three new bilingual NEB members

OTTAWA _ The federal government has appointed three new bilingual members to the National Energy Board in a move that could get the stalled Energy East pipeline review back on track.

The temporary appointments by Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr fill a void left when the previous panel examining TransCanada’s (TSX:TRP) proposed 4,500-kilometre pipeline stepped down due to perceptions of a potential conflict of interest.

The chairman of the National Energy Board has also recused himself from choosing the next panel over the same conflict concerns.

The three new members _ one each from New Brunswick, Ontario and Quebec _ were not specifically named to the Energy East review panel by Carr because it’s up to the acting chair of the National Energy Board to assign duties.

But the government news release pointedly noted the two men and one woman are all qualified to be considered for the pipeline review.

The three new members are Don Ferguson of New Brunswick, Carole Malo from Ontario and Marc Paquin of Quebec.