By Dennis Lindberg, P.Eng.
The Canadian Council of Professional Engineers (CCPE ) is a national organization, established in 1936, which now represents some 160,000 professional engineers across Canada. It is comprised of a Board of Directors appointed by the 12 constituent associations/ordre (in the case of Quebec) and has a professional staff at the head office in Ottawa. It does not have independent legislation but derives its power and authority from the constituent associations/ordre each of whom have authority derived from acts of their respective legislatures. The mandate of the CCPE is to represent the profession on national and international matters, to facilitate the coordination of activities between the constituent associations/ordre and to generally promote the value of the profession of engineering within Canada and internationally. The Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB), the Canadian Engineering Qualifications Board (CEQB) and the Canadian Engineering Human Resources Board (CEHRB) have been established by CCPE to standardize accreditation of educational institutions, to set standards of qualification for professional membership, and to provide leadership in the identification and provision of qualified human resources in the engineering profession.
CCPE has adopted a Vision for the Canadian Engineering Profession, stating: " Canadian Engineers provide leadership to advance the quality of life through the creative, responsive and progressive application of engineering principles in a global context."
Recently, the CCPE has undergone a period of self-evaluation and restructuring with the benefit of a significant level of input from the constituent associations/ordre. At a meeting of the Board of Directors held in Montreal Sept. 13-14, a new Governance Model was approved. The new model would see a Board of Directors comprised of 18 members appointed by the associations/ordre based on a formula similar to the present formula for weighted voting; Ontario and Quebec three directors, Alberta and British Columbia two directors, and the other associations one director each. Each director would have one vote. An Executive Committee would be elected by the board from amongst its members and would consist of a chair, vice-chair, past chair and two other directors. In electing the Executive Committee, consideration would be given to regional representation. The committee would have the power to make decisions between board meetings and would be answerable to the full board. Executive Committee members would continue to be directors representing their home province or territory and would vote at board meetings.
Council of Members
The Board also approved the creation of a Council of Members with one elected person to be appointed as a representative from each constituent association/ordre. This council would meet at the Annual Meeting of CCPE and would be asked to approve the decisions of the Board of Directors, the budget and the business plan. In effect, the council would represent the stakeholders of CCPE and would be the body to which the board would be responsible for its actions.
APEGGA is fortunate to have two very capable and experienced individuals represent us at the national level. Noel Cleland, P.Eng., was elected in May to the Executive Committee of CCPE and Fred Otto, P.Eng., PhD, was appointed to the Board of Directors. Both of these members have considerable experience at the executive level of APEGGA as well as working at the national level with CCPE. Fred Otto has accepted appointment to the Strategic Planning Committee of CCPE and will play an active role in shaping future strategies and direction for the national body. In addition, our Executive Director and Registrar, Neil Windsor, P.Eng., is a member of the Permanent Staff Officers Committee ( PSOC), which serves as a resource to the Board of Directors, and other professional managers of APEGGA serve on various working committees. APEGGA has continually played a very active and supporting role and has contributed greatly to the work of CCPE and, in return, has benefited from the interaction with other associations.
A National Presence
A national organization which has stature and credibility in the eyes of the general public is important to all of us as individuals and to our profession as a whole. Much remains to be done if we are to enhance our public image and raise our level of awareness and standing in society. Ours is a proud profession which has served society well and which continues to hold the safety of the public paramount. Both provincially and nationally, engineers continue to contribute in a very real way to the economic well-being of our country and play a significant role in shaping our future. A strong national organization is critical to ensuring a measure of uniformity and mobility between provinces and territories and to maintaining the image of the engineering profession on a par with the other professions.
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