|Page 3||PRESIDENT'S NOTEBOOK|
||Directing Our Skills and
Toward Places Where They Count
By Darrel Danyluk, P.Eng.
We are at a time of new beginnings, now just months away from the turn of the century. I got a sense that we within APEGGA got an early start on our millennium celebrations during the Associations Annual Conference, which included the Summit Awards® and Annual General Meeting, late last month in Calgary. I feel personally honoured to have been part of the proceedings and to be installed as APEGGAs 80th President.
I know that in the eyes of some, it may seem like a mere ritual to thank ones predecessor. However, I firmly believe the circumstances surrounding Dan Motykas presidency require me to extend a very special acknowledgment. There may be those who think being 1st Vice President is merely a matter of biding ones time in the wings waiting for the call to walk on stage. If thats ever so, certainly this was not the case with Dan. The untimely illness of the 1997-98 President, the late Dennis Lindberg, P.Eng., meant that Dan was called upon to assume many presidential duties before he actually held the office. Dan has performed in a stalwart fashion as a stand-in and in his own right for the last 18 month. It therefore is no perfunctory gesture on my part to thank him for the dedication and time he selflessly devoted to our professions and the Association.
Thank you Dan!
I welcome the opportunity over the next year, through this space in The PEGG, to share some thoughts with you.
In honouring those who have made outstanding contributions to our professions and the wider community, the Summit Award ceremonies provided a reminder of the significant role that our professions play in Alberta, in Canada and in the world. It is appropriate that we honour our own and, through the publicity that surrounds the Summit Awards®, make others aware of our contributions.
Still, I believe that too often, we tend to do our jobs and pat ourselves on the back without getting the recognition that is justly due to our professions. The recognition is important and satisfying to the award recipients as well as to those associated with them. Nevertheless, those recognized represent the tip of the iceberg in terms of the pool of talent and experience within our membership of more than 30,000.
The fact that we arent utilizing that total resource for the benefit of our province in a focused way seems a shame. I think our government could draw upon the advice of our professions in a more significant way. Because of our knowledgewhether its global or whether its technology-basedwe can play an important role in the economic development of the province.
This is not just wishful thinking on my part. In connection with my work and through my involvement with other organizations, I have had considerable opportunity to travel abroad and to gain insight into how things are done in some other countries. As Canadians, we have much to give but we should not be too proud to take a cue from what others are doing.
In the Inner Councils
For instance, I know that in the Netherlands members of their engineering associations are given the opportunity to sit at the cabinet table and inner circles when their national government is setting policy. Thats how significant the engineering profession is viewed in at least one of the European countries.
Two years ago, when the Alberta Government sponsored a Growth Summit, APEGGA held a couple of mini-summits, and, on the basis of them, prepared a very valuable list of recommendations for the Growth Summit itself. Unfortunately, such opportunities are too rare.
In this country, rules relating to cabinet secrecy and
solidarity might preclude us actually sitting in on cabinet meetings, but by not being
close to the policy-making action our professions lose the chance to contribute early in
the design process. More importantly,
Within our Association, there are 31,000 really powerful brains. They represent many perspectivesincluding the private sector, business, consulting, resource industries; the public sectorfederal, provincial and municipal, fundamental infrastructure; and educators. If they all get focused in trying to solve some problems or give some ideas, we can really build on that insight, experience and knowledge. I look forward to hearing from you and will do my best to relay useful ideas to the places where they count.
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