Council Briefs

The following were among matters on the agenda or discussed at the April 16 APEGGA Council Meeting in Edmonton.

Comer Named CCPG Director

Council has named a former APEGGA Councillor Robert (Bob) Comer, P.Geoph., as Alberta Director to the Canadian Council of Professional Geoscientists (CCPG). He replaces Gordon Williams, P.Geol., PhD, who has been chosen chair of the recently formed CCPG. A graduate of the University of Saskatchewan, Mr. Comer is a past president of the Canadian Society of Exploration Geophysicists and served a three-year term on APEGGA Council, ending in 1993. He is a principal in the consulting firm Comer and Wilson Ltd. in Calgary.

Insurance Rebate

Council has decided that any rebate received by APEGGA for its endorsement, through the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers, of the Manulife insurance program, be directed to the APEGGA Education Foundation. The sponsoring insurer provides the rebate to the participating associations (one per cent a year of premiums paid and an additional one per cent of yearly premium growth based on province of residence). APEGGA’s policy is not to profit directly from its members’ participation in the endorsed plan. Council earlier had requested a report on how other provincial associations allocate their rebate. These policies differ and include: directing the funds to general revenues, supporting educational programs, sponsoring students memberships, assisting professional development, and marketing member services. Based on 1997 figures, the APEGGA Education Foundation would receive $45,000.

Mobility Agreement

Subject to a final review by the APEGGA Board of Examiners, Council has agreed to proposed revisions to the CCPE Interprovincial Mobility Agreement. That agreement generally facilitates registration of professional engineers in a province if they already are registered in good standing in another province. Among the changes in the new agreement is the removal of the earlier requirement that applicants had to be a registered professional engineer in Canada for a minimum of five years prior to being able to take advantage of the mobility provision. The revised agreement also acknowledges the incoming continuing competency programs and encourages consistency across the country.

Award Names

Upon the Recommendation of the Honors and Awards Committee, Council has set aside an earlier recommendation that the titles of major APEGGA awards named after individuals be subject to a sunset clause and that, after a certain period, consideration be given to renaming the award after another worthy individual. A report presented to Council by the Honors and Awards Committee at the April meeting states: "If Council agrees the honoring through the naming of an award or scholarship should be undertaken only in exceptional circumstances, then the existence of a sunset provision is incongruent. The committee believes that once the decision has been made to honor a member in this fashion, the name should remain."

Education Reorganization

Director of Professional Development Len Shrimpton, P.Eng., presented Council with a discussion paper calling for APEGGA’s Education Committee to be disbanded, with its responsibilities redistributed so as to better reflect changing circumstances, particularly regarding professional development. As part of the reorganization, the roles of the Student Liaison Committees at the Universities of Calgary and Alberta will be enhanced and the committees renamed the Undergraduates Professional Development Committees. In addition, the existing Professional Development Committee would be split to form the Members-in-Training Professional Development Committee and the Professional Members Professional Development Committee. The Practice Review Board retains overall responsibility for implementation of the Continuing Professional Development program. This will facilitate increased PD activities relevant to M.I.T.s. Under the reorganization, APEGGA’s Executive Committee would assume liaison with the deans of engineering and the chairs of the geoscience departments at the universities and would arrange twice yearly meetings, possibly in conjunction with full meeting of the Board of Examiners. The Board of Examiners would take responsibility for educational standards as they relate to undergraduates and also assume liaison with Alberta Advanced Education. APEGGA’s Communication Department would oversee activities affecting students at the Kindergarten through Grade 12 level. The discussion paper noted that the Education Committee had been frustrated by the "intermittent nature of its workload" and that its role has been primarily of an advisory nature. Following discussion, Council voted in support of disbanding the Education Committee and redistributing its responsibilities as the Executive Director sees fit.

CCPG Report

Gordon Williams, P.Geol., PhD, reported on the Canadian Council of Professional Geoscientists activities, including an update on efforts under way in various provinces to register professional geoscientists. In that regard, he noted "a major setback" in Ontario, where a vote by PEO members resulted in approximately 60 per cent of those casting ballots opposing inclusion of geoscientists in the PEO Act. Dr. Williams also noted that the Canadian Geoscience Standards Board met in Ottawa in early April and the CCPG annual meeting is scheduled to take place in Quebec City, May 20-21.

Car Rental Program

Council has approved entering into an agreement, through CCPE, for preferred rates on the provision of rental vehicles to members. The agreement currently has participation by five other constituent associations and is with Budget Rent-A-Car. The rental company involved may change from year to year depending on the most favorable rates. Members will be issued appropriate cards permitting preferred rates. Please check for further information in future issues of The PEGG.?

Sponsored Dental Plan

The CCPE Board of Directors has approved implementation of a CCPE-sponsored dental program effective April 1, 1998. The program is underwritten by Aetna Canada. For more information, please contact Shirley Layne at APEGGA’s Edmonton office (403-426-3990).