FREDERICTON (GNB) – The former clerk of the Executive Council, Marc Léger, will join the Commission on Hydraulic Fracturing.

“We are pleased that Mr. Léger has agreed to accept this challenging new position,” said Energy and Mines Minister Donald Arseneault. “I am confident that his breadth of experience and the exemplary leadership he has shown throughout his career will serve New Brunswickers well as the commission learns more about how hydraulic fracturing impacts our health, water and environment.”

Léger joins commission members John McLaughlin and Cheryl Robertson. Guy Richard has stepped down from his role.

“Due to unforeseen health reasons, I have decided to step down from the commission,” said Richard. “This was a difficult decision for me to make. I am very grateful for the opportunity to have served the people of New Brunswick.”

Since being announced in March, the independent commission has met and begun work to fulfil its mandate. It has been given a year to study the issue of hydraulic fracturing and to determine whether the five conditions outlined by the government could be met. Its key findings will be presented to the government which will then make the final decision before considering moving forward. The commission is guided by the principles of transparency, thoroughness and objectivity in the execution of its duties.

“I thank Mr. Richard for the significant contribution he made as part of the commission and for all of the important work that has been accomplished to date,” said Arseneault. “I wish him all the best.”

An important component of the commission’s work is to consult with stakeholders such as the general public, the industry and other petroleum-producing jurisdictions.

In December 2014, the provincial government introduced amendments to the Oil and Gas Act to place a moratorium on all types of hydraulic fracturing. The bill received royal assent in March.

Following are the biographies of the three commissioners:

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 Robertson

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 board chair of the New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) and principal at the NBCC campus in Saint John.

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 and the Commemorative Medal for Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee. Most recently, Robertson was named Honorary Lieutenant Colonel of the 37 Signal Regiment (CAF Reserve). She is a member of the Order of New Brunswick.