The New Brunswick Commission on Hydraulic Fracturing was originally created in March 2015 with the appointment of John McLaughlin, Cheryl Robertson and retired justice Guy A. Richard and began its work in May 2015 following the appointment of Marc Léger to replace Mr. Richard.

Unlike other jurisdictions that have created technical panels, this is a citizens’ panel, which is an important distinction.

The Commissioners’ shared goal is to examine the many facts and arguments surrounding shale gas exploration and extraction from a citizen’s perspective. They are most interested in examining the potential benefits, risks, opportunities and challenges shale gas offers New Brunswick communities and the people who live here.

Commissioner biographies

Marc Léger

Léger served as clerk of the Executive Council and secretary to cabinet with the provincial government from 2013 to 2015. Raised in the southeastern part of the province, he retired following a 26-year career in the provincial public service where he held a number of senior positions, including deputy minister in the departments of Health; Public Safety; and Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour.

During his career, Léger was known for his efforts as a mentor to the next generation of civil servants. He was an active member of the Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC) and served on both the Fredericton and national IPAC boards. He has also served on the board of governors of l'Université de Moncton, and as a board member of the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation. Léger has a master’s degree in public administration from Carleton University.

John McLaughlin

McLaughlin is a former president of the University of New Brunswick and holds the honorary position of president emeritus at UNB. He is currently scholar in residence at the Dr. J. Herbert Smith Centre for Technology Management and Entrepreneurship at UNB. McLaughlin has an academic background in engineering and institutional economics. He has been an international leader in global geomatics and has worked in more than 40 countries with the World Bank, the United Nations and other organizations. He has authored or co-authored more than 200 publications, including three books.

Atlantic Business Magazine has recognized McLaughlin as one of the top chief executive officers in Atlantic Canada. He has received the Lieutenant-Governor's Award for Excellence in Public Administration and the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Medals (Golden and Diamond). He is a member of the Order of Canada and the Order of New Brunswick.

Cheryl M.G. Robertson

Cheryl Robertson is a life-long educator, administrator and community volunteer in New Brunswick. During her more than 30 year professional career, she served as a teacher, guidance counsellor and vice-principal in the public school system, before moving to the post-secondary education system, including serving as principal at the NBCC campus in Saint John and later as the inaugural board chair of the New Brunswick Community College (NBCC).

As an advocate for public education and an active community leader, Robertson has received numerous awards, including recognition from the Institute of Public Administration Canada, the Lieutenant-Governor’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration (IPAC) and the Commemorative Medals for Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden and Diamond Jubilees. She was appointed Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel of the 37 Signal Regiment (CAF Reserve) and more recently, was recognized by Canada’s Public Policy Forum. She is a member of the Order of New Brunswick.

Code of Conduct

We have developed a Code of Conduct that will guide our work. It states:

  • Commissioners agree to serve having no preconceived position on the subject of hydraulic fracturing.
  • Commissioners will declare all potential conflicts of interest as we conduct our work.
  • Commissioners shall be open-minded and respectful of all positions.
  • Commissioners will share any work we do individually on behalf of the Commission with the group of Commissioners in the spirit of integrating our individual work with group decision-making.
  • Members of the Commission, including staff and consultants, shall be collegial and respectful at all times.
  • Commissioners, Secretariat staff and any consultants retained to assist the Commission shall not lobby on behalf of any external parties or represent their interests to the Commission.
  • The Commission will maintain a public record of all formal submissions and will be transparent in its deliberations.
  • The Commission will not communicate publicly on its deliberations or conclusions until the Commissioners have agreed upon the content and timing of any public communications.
  • Commissioners agree there shall be a rotating chair for all meetings.
  • This code of conduct may be modified from time to time upon unanimous consent of all Commissioners.