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In recognition of our organization's 25th year, we've connected with some of our existing "founding members" to gather insights and reflections from these exceptional individuals who have been with us since day one.


  • 1998
    The BC Oil and Gas Commission was established by the provincial government to "regulate oil and gas activities and pipelines in British Columbia."

  • 2023
    Coinciding with a major mandate expansion brought about through the Energy Statues Amendment Act, we were renamed the BC Energy Regulator.

Jody web

Jody Sutherland, Senior Advisor, Permit Administration

How has the organization changed since you started at the BC Oil and Gas Commission in 1998?

Paper to electronic submissions, new staff, new organization name, new logos, new buildings, new regulations, to be honest, there have been so many changes in the last 25 years I don’t even know where to start or what to mention.

How have things changed for you during your 25-year tenure?

I started at reception and am now the Senior Advisor of the Permit Administration Technicians, with a couple of other positions along the way. I have spent over half my life working for the organization, there have been many ups and downs over the years. We shall see how the next five to seven years go before I retire.

What has been the best part of working for the organization across the years?

The friends I have made are irreplaceable, they have become family to me.

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Ron Stefik, Supervisor, Reservoir Engineering

How has the organization changed since you started at the BC Oil and Gas Commission in 1998?

A small group of people were initially brought together from a wide variety of ministries and agencies to form the BC Oil and Gas Commission, with only a general plan on how it would fulfill a challenging mandate. From this humble beginning, the organization's size, expertise, and leadership has grown to become a world class highly respected regulator, successfully innovating in response to each challenge that has arisen.

How have things changed for you during your 25-year tenure?

Evolving technology to implement many innovative ideas has transformed the efficiency of our work. At the same time, the oil and gas industry has changed from one of exploration and new pool discoveries over a wide area, to one of concentrated “gas manufacturing” in the single Montney resource play. I am proud of how we have embraced these many changes to continue to successfully evolve.

What has been the best part of working for the organization across the years?

The opportunity to make a difference, implementing creative improvements to how we regulate, all within a collaborative and friendly workplace that shares a common goal.

See also: Ron's profile in the June 2023 edition of our Community Connector newsletter.

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Shelley Calder, Manager, Application Process

How has the organization changed since you started at the BC Oil and Gas Commission in 1998?

As in any organization, changes are continuous as we strive to work better and smarter. The organization has grown immensely and the BCER has had to undergo change to keep up with the times, which we have been very successful in doing. We started with approximately 50 staff and now we are close to 300. That itself reflects the progress we have achieved in 25 years.

How have things changed for you during your 25-year tenure?

My position for quite a number of years was first manually screening the applications (all paper copies) and then for the last 19 years I managed and worked with the team that was responsible for screening the applications submitted by hand to the Oil and Gas Commission. Each application was manually reviewed for correctness and required documentation. At peak, I had nine staff as it was busy times. In 2016 the electronic application system was initiated, which meant the application requirements were now mostly screened by the systems, ensuring all required information is in place before the system will allow the application to be submitted. Screening manually was cut by approximately 80 per cent and staff moved to new positions or retired. In the end I had only one staff member, screening minimal application information and ensuring correct documentation was attached. This duty has now been combined with the permitting administration personnel.

What has been the best part of working for the organization across the years?

Honestly, the best part of working for the organization is the people and the “family” atmosphere. I have been here through really good times and really bad times and have had an immense amount of support when I needed an ear or a shoulder or to celebrate successes. These people made my career with the organization something I will treasure forever, made my time here rewarding. I have lots of great memories and now going forward I am creating new ones. Whatever changes come, we always seem to band together to get the best end results.

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Richard Slocomb, Vice President, Well & Energy Resource Stewardship

The best part of working for the organization across the years has been watching and being a part of the amazing transformation of the industry and our mandate.

Evolving from a prescriptive regulatory framework, overseeing conventional oil and gas activities, to a results-based framework supporting a predominantly unconventional oil and gas industry with an expanded mandate into alternative energy resources. It’s also fascinating to consider how much the organization has matured over the years. As you can imagine merging people from three different ministries with three very distinct cultures was interesting to say the least. In the early days it was the Commission [short for the BC Oil and Gas Commission, as we were then known] looking to the Alberta Energy Regulator for advice as they were seen as global leaders in oil and gas regulatory oversight. And today the BCER stands as a leader in so many aspects of the work we do, from managing induced seismicity to regulating LNG export facilities along with all of the great engagement work we undertake. It’s been an amazing opportunity for me, and I can’t wait to see how the next 25 years evolve (p.s. as a retiree from my armchair at home).

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Noella Valliere, Compliance & Enforcement Officer

Switching over from the little Ministry office out at Charlie Lake to the newer, bigger Oil and Gas Commission (OGC) office in Fort St. John and witnessing and being a part of the many challenges, changes and successes has definitely made for great memories to look back on. Over the years, we have grown to have many more staff with different backgrounds, more departments covering all the different facets of our mandate and then more opening of offices throughout the province. Twenty-five years for OGC and the BC Energy Regulator is just a small part of history for the oil and gas industry of northeast B.C. Witnessing the sector in northeast B.C. continually grow with ever changing improvements and technological advancements has been exciting and fulfilling. To have been a part of the organization for the last 25 years has truly been a rewarding experience.

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James Gladysz, Engineer, Facilities

I am thankful for the excellent people, visionary leadership, and supportive culture at the BCER. My 25 years at this organization has been much more than a job. It has in fact been a life-enriching journey of personal and professional growth, family-like community experiences, and an opportunity to serve and learn from my colleagues, land owners, Indigenous communities, industry and the public of B.C.

I have experienced the organization change from being a small one-window regulator under the Oil and Gas Commission Act with primarily winter season oil and gas activity and foothills exploration to become a much larger, and more mature regulator under the new Energy Resource Activities Act with an expanded mandate overseeing not only the prolific unconventional oil and gas resource, but also geothermal development, manufacturing facilities and oil refineries, and most recently hydrogen, methanol, and ammonia facilities and carbon capture from non-oil and gas industries. A couple major highlights for me during these 25 years are the BC Ladyfern natural gas discovery, one of Canada’s largest in decades, and on a personal note our family growing with the addition of 3 healthy sons for my wife and me. What an exciting journey with much to be thankful for!