Joint Review Panel – Pierre River Mine Project
Biographical Notes

Mr. Alex Bolton – Panel Chair

Alex Bolton is a professional geoscientist with more than 25 years of diverse technical and management experience within the energy, government and consulting sectors. His extensive knowledge of environmental, sustainability, regulatory and stakeholder issues associated with energy development projects, together with his past position as a board member with the Energy Resources and Conservation Board (ERCB), provides a solid foundation for his position as hearing commissioner with the Alberta Energy Regulator.

As a board member of the Energy Resources and Conservation Board, Mr. Bolton provided oversight of the business and affairs of that organization, championing policy and regulatory initiatives; providing input, advice, direction and approval for policy development; conducting fair and impartial public hearings and inquiries; and ensuring the quality of regulatory decisions in accordance with legislation. He also served as a member of the Audit and Finance Committee.

Prior to joining the ERCB, Mr. Bolton was the president and CEO of Epicentre Consulting in Canmore, Alberta, where he developed and managed regulatory compliance and environmental strategies to support a wide range of energy development projects. During his career, he was also the director of compliance and enforcement for the Natural Resources Conservation Board, and held a number of environmentally-focused positions with producers, Anderson Exploration and Home Oil, respectively.

Mr. Bolton is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA), a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors, and the Canadian Council of Administrative Tribunals, and a past member of the Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada (PTAC). Past board work includes chairing the Town of Canmore's Environmental Advisory and Review Committee, subcommittees of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) and PTAC, as well sitting on the board of the Parkland Airshed Management Zone.

Mr. Bolton has a Master of Management Sciences in the Management of Technology and a Bachelor of Science in Earth Sciences, both from the University of Waterloo. He has also completed the Public Executive Program at Queen's University's School of Business.

Mr. Brad McManus – Panel Member

Brad McManus has a long history in governance and adjudication with regulatory bodies in Alberta, including extensive experience with the Alberta Public Utilities Board, the Energy and Utilities Board (EUB), and the Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB). He possesses a superior understanding of Alberta's government and regulatory systems, and is ever focused on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of regulatory processes. Currently a hearing commissioner with the Alberta Energy Regulator, Mr. McManus is drawing on his experience and skills to help the AER balance public and industry interests as it provides full-lifecycle regulatory oversight of energy resource development in Alberta.

Prior to the ERCB, Mr. McManus served nearly 20 years as a Board Member of the EUB and the Public Utilities Board, respectively. At both of those organizations, Mr. McManus served as acting chair—as required—and sat on, and led, numerous hearing panels. A lawyer by trade, Mr. McManus spent over a dozen years in private practice as both a partner and an associate lawyer at two national law firms.

Mr. McManus has a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Ottawa and a Bachelor of Arts from Carleton University. He was appointed to Queen's Counsel in 1992 and is a member of the Law Society of Alberta, and the Energy Council of Canada. He is active in his community and is a member of the Calgary Glencoe Club and has sat on several boards, including the United Way of Calgary.

Mr. Les Cooke – Panel Member

Les Cooke completed over 35 years of strategic policy and planning, program management and executive experience with the Governments of Saskatchewan and Alberta, and provincial governments in South Africa. He is President of Les Cooke and Associates, a consultancy focused on strategic management and organizational effectiveness in economic development, forest management and infrastructure development. He completed graduate studies in land and resource planning at the University of Alberta.

Mr. Cooke has held executive positions focused on natural resource and environmental management, economic development and strategic policy and planning. He has led national strategic planning processes and has spearheaded new approaches to public sector governance and program management, including integrated land management and partnership-based environmental management.

Mr. Cooke has considerable experience in Aboriginal business development, most recently working with First Nations and Métis communities in Saskatchewan to receive wood supply licenses and develop new forestry businesses.

Much of Mr. Cooke's work, both in government and as a consultant, has involved facilitative leadership and the crafting of consensus-based partnerships involving a wide array of government agencies and stakeholder communities. He has frequently managed in complex organizational environments involving boards, commissions, authorities and interagency task teams.

Mr. Cooke has chaired resource management organizations and served on environmental assessment panels. He has chaired the Board of Directors of the Saskatchewan Wetlands Conservation Corporation and served as the Vice-Chairman of the Alberta Advisory Committee on Heavy Oil and Oil Sands Development. He was a member of the joint federal-provincial panels examining the development of the Kearl oil sands mining and extraction facility, the expansion of the Muskeg River oil sands operation and the expansion of the Jackpine oil sands operation in northern Albert

Document Reference Number: 190

Date modified: