Apegga1c.gif (2007 bytes) The PEGG
May, 1999
Page 1 APEGGA Annual Conference:
A Time for Learning, Decisions Recognition -
and For Fun

'99 Features 007 Theme

Darrel Danyluk:
In Discussion


danyluk_seal.jpg (16256 bytes)An oversubscribed Professional Development Program, fast-paced Summit Award Ceremonies and an Annual General Meeting (AGM), marked by vigorous exchanges, highlighted APEGGA’s last Annual General Conference of the century. Building on an approach used last year in Edmonton, incorporating professional development opportunities within the Association’s major annual gathering, this year’s conference in Calgary spanned three days (April 21-23). The Summit Awards recognize outstanding contributions to the professions, technological innovation and community service. (See accompanying story this page and recipient profile.)

The AGM, held April 23, featured the installation of Darrel J. Danyluk, P.Eng., as the Association’s 80th President. (See pages 6 and 7 for an interview and feature.) He heads an APEGGA Council which includes newly-elected 1st Vice President Sue Evison, P.Eng., 2nd Vice President Gordon Williams, P.Geol. PhD, and four new Councillors: Bill Roggensack, P.Eng., PhD; Brenda Wright, P.Geol., Ken Porteous, P.Eng., PhD; and Ron Tenove, P.Eng. (Please see additional information on APEGGA’s 1999-2000 Council.)

Speaking following his induction, Mr. Danyluk challenged the Association and its members to seek ideas for change. He committed himself to listening to the Association’s "grassroots", adding "I am proud of these professions and the results of the work you and the rest of my colleagues do every day."

A number of issues have arisen on the national level that affect the professions, and, said Mr. Danyluk: "APEGGA can and should take a leadership position in support of CCPE (Canadian Council of Professional Engineers)."

He voiced appreciation for advice and support already offered by members, including past presidents. In particular, he acknowledged the "mentorship" of his predecessor, Dan Motyka, P.Eng., who assumed the presidency in "trying circumstances" (amid the illness of the 1997-98 President, the late Dennis Lindberg, P.Eng.). He emphasized Mr. Motyka’s work in guiding APEGGA toward a new governance model. The new President also praised the work of Fred Otto, P.Eng., PhD, notably to improve relations with the Alberta Society of Engineering Technologists (ASET). Three departing Councillors— John Boyd, P.Geoph.; Alice Payne, P.Geol., and Mark Lasby, P.Eng.—were thanked for their "significant contributions to the professions and the people of Alberta".

In his parting comments, Mr. Motyka voiced appreciation for the enthusiastic exchanges that took place during the AGM, and encouraged more members to play an active role in the Association. "It’s a responsibility of all of us to make sure that the people out there become more aware of the issues that are confronting us," he emphasized.

Earlier, in listing major Association activities and initiatives of the past year, Mr. Motyka pointed to:

  • progress in recognizing and registering suitably qualified Registered Professional Technologists within APEGGA;
  • full implementation of the Continuing Professional Development Program;
  • APEGGA’s continuing national contributions to CCPE and the Canadian Council of Professional Geologists (CCPG) ; and
  • approval of an APEGGA student membership category.

He saluted the contribution public members make to Council and other Association bodies and specifically thanked Don Hoover, P.Ag., who has stepped down as a public member of Council, and Ted Allen, CA, who completed service on the Board of Examiners. Mr. Motyka added he has enjoyed the opportunity to visit the Association’s branches, and described the past year as "a pleasure; it’s been fun—with a few trying moments—and a lot work."

Presidential Honorarium

The presidential induction was preceded by consideration of resolutions. They included a call for APEGGA Presidents to be paid an annual honorarium of $48,000 in recognition of time and lost earnings associated with carrying out presidential duties. Following considerable debate, the honorarium resolution, as a result of a vote, was postponed indefinitely. This allows APEGGA Council to reconsider the proposal and possibly bring it back for reconsideration at next year’s AGM.

Several speakers voiced objections to the honorarium proposal and criticized the fact that the recommendation had not been sufficiently publicized beyond brief mention in the March and April editions of The PEGG.

Arguments raised against the plan included:

  • many professional and technical associations are run on a volunteer basis with less staff than APEGGA;
  • demands could arise for payment of other APEGGA positions, such as Councillors;
  • it might discourage others from filling volunteer positions;
  • it might affect the self-governing nature of the organization;
  • it could impact motives for seeking office;
  • APEGGA already has a paid staff; and
  • presidents receive numerous non-monetary rewards.

Former APEGGA President (1973) Ron Dalby, P.Eng., relayed concerns raised during a meeting of former APEGGA presidents who questioned the appropriateness of paying the President. Mr. Dalby noted: "Company support has in the past, and should, in the future, be the foundation upon which presidents serve in a manner in which additional compensation is not required."

Among others voicing opposition to the honorarium proposal was Kathy Scales, P.Geol., president of the Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists. She listed the volunteer positions she fills—including the United Way, the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists—while, as a single parent, working full-time at Petro-Canada.

She said: "In each of these (volunteer) undertakings I have taken away invaluable potential for improvement—from team-working skills, networking and career contacts, technical advances in my field, to better time management. I cannot imagine asking for or even receiving any financial return or remuneration from these organizations that are working diligently to make the world better."

Arguments presented in favour of an honorarium included:

  • a growing APEGGA membership and an increased range of representational demands placed on the President;
  • greater demands on the President’s time to attend to national issues:
  • this past year, the equivalent of 42 per cent of a normal work year was devoted by the President to Association business;
  • employers show increasing reluctance to allow employees to devote extensive amounts of time to volunteer activities;
  • more members are self-employed and the presidential duties could impact earnings;
  • demands on time and possible income loss discourages younger members from seeking the APEGGA presidency; and
  • a number of other professional organizations pay honoraria to their president.

Mark Lasby, P.Eng., APEGGA Councillor for 1996-99, told the AGM: "If we are to continue to rejuvenate the profession and encourage younger people to participate in the governance of our Association, we must be in position to make it possible for these people to take the time and serve."

Mr. Motyka stressed that the notion of a presidential honorarium was his idea, not Mr. Danyluk’s, and said it would be at the discretion of the individual to accept a presidential honorarium. He added: "I look forward to continued dialogue on this topic."

Mr. Danyluk said he deliberately has refrained from involvement in the discussion about a presidential honorarium but complimented those who joined the debate for the "passion" displayed.

Resolutions Passed

Several other resolutions were presented to the AGM and approved. ( Please check Page 6 March and April PEGG for more details on wording of the legislation.)

The regulation revisions involve:

  • implementation of a defined scope of practice for qualified Registered Engineering Technologists nominated by ASET;
  • implementation of "plain language" version of the General Regulation under the Regulatory Reform Initiative.

Both resolutions were approved with minor debate. A question raised in connection with the defined scope of practice for R.E.T.s centred on whether it would reduce employment for current APEGGA professionals. It was noted that a total of 100 to 300 technologists are likely to pursue the Registered Professional Technologists option—a number considerably below the number of engineers moving annually to Alberta and the total of engineering graduates (700) from Alberta universities. A question on adequate advertising of the Registered Professional Engineering Technologist concept to avoid public misunderstanding was met with assurances. Yet another concern related to accommodating environmental technology within the legislation. The regulatory amendments will be forwarded to the government and may be subject to minor style changes prior to approval by Order in Council.

The AGM also approved bylaw provisions required to administer the defined scope of practice for Registered Professional Technologists. (See The PEGG, April page 6 for detailed wording.)

Guest Speakers

AGM guests included Alberta Minister of Public Works, Supply and Services Stan Woloshyn, the minister responsible for APEGGA’s governing Act. He noted that Bill 18, the Engineering, Geological and Geophysical Professions Amendment Act, was scheduled to be proclaimed April 29. The amendments include provisions for Registered Professional Technologists registering with APEGGA.

In the future, the legislation could accommodate other types of technologists but Mr. Woloshyn emphasized: "APEGGA and the engineers are still responsible for the practice of engineering." The Minister complimented those (including ASET) involved in the process leading to the legislation which, he suggested, enhances the field of engineering and places Alberta in a leadership position within Canada. In contrast to most legislation reaching the Legislative Assembly, Mr. Woloshyn reminded the AGM that the EGGP Amendment Act received outright support from the Opposition.

CCPE Chair Elect Richard Hancock, P.Eng., and Gordon Williams, P.Geol, PhD, past chair of CCPG, thanked APEGGA for the support provided to the two national bodies.

Issue Forum

The AGM closed with an issue forum outlining progress by four of APEGGA Council task forces established last year to examine a) work place issues b) emerging technologies c) relations with geoscientists, and d) regulation of corporate practice.

Coun. Elizabeth Cannon, P.Eng., PhD, said the Council Task Force on Emerging Technologies is trying to define areas of particular growth and APEGGA’s relevance to those working within disciplines such as computer and information technology (CIT). Alberta generally has a positive approach to these growth sectors and is committed to see the province’s CIT workforce grow to 140,000 by the year 2010, from 35,000 now. As areas such as computer and electrical engineering expand, Dr. Cannon suggested , there is a concern on APEGGA’s part whether "we are going to be able to have these people become active members and derive benefit from our Association." It is also important that people in the emerging technologies assume leadership positions within the Association.

From the Council Geoscience Task Force, Neil O’Donnell, P.Eng., P.Geol., summarized the results of an outside survey conducted to gauge the level of APEGGA registration among geoscientists employed by a randomly selected list of some 100 organizations in Alberta. Base on the results of 40 participating organizations, results indicate that close to 59 per cent (in the case of both geologists and geophysicists ) within these organizations are APEGGA members.

The surveys also suggest half of the geoscientists in these organizations are aged 40 to 50. Based on selected feedback, the task force has prepared a list of pros and cons given by geoscientists for APEGGA participation. (See also Council Briefs Page 3.)

Coun. Linda Van Gastel, P.Eng., reported on the work of the Council Task Force on Workplace Issues. Its activities have included preparing an internal policy covering areas such as discrimination and harassment as they apply to APEGGA employees and volunteers. Though not specifically dealing with APEGGA member organizations, Ms. Van Gastel suggested it might also provide them with a model.

Mark Lasby, who has chaired the Council Task Force on Regulation of Corporate Practice said the task force now is actively soliciting stakeholder input subsequent to the recent publication in The PEGG ( March, Page 6) of definitions of three proposed classifications of Permit Holders. He briefly outlined the proposed new Permit structure. Plans are for the task force to report back to Council in November and for introduction of a three-tier Permit to Practice system next year. The task force stands ready to deliver its message to other information sessions, Mr. Lasby said.

Speaking from the floor, Enforcement Review Committee Chair Darcie Greggs, P.Geol., stressed that in the meantime the Association is pursuing a business-as-usual approach regarding Permits to Practice.

CPD Program

The Continuing Professional Development (CPD) sessions on April 21 and 22, involved co-operation from a number of technical societies. The CPD seminars attracted 320 registrants, 100 more than sessions held in conjunction with last year’s conference in Edmonton. CPD topics covered in the concurrent sessions this year included introductory seismology, speed reading, financial planning, wind energy and petroleum evaluation. 


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