Executive Director’s Notes:
APEGGA’s Election Policy
By Neil Windsor, P.Eng.
The Engineering, Geological and Geophysical Professions Act of
Alberta gives APEGGA the privilege of self-governance. This includes
the ability to set standards, to register members based on qualification
and experience, to maintain discipline and enforcement processes
based on peer review, to maintain and enforce a strong code of ethics,
to set standards for continued professional development and the
privilege of electing members to APEGGA Council, and of managing
our own affairs. These are important responsibilities that provide
real value to Members. Belonging to a self-governing professional
organization with such a broad range of privileges should not be
Each year, the process of preparing for the election of qualified
Members to accept the challenges of office begins early in the fall.
A Nominating Committee is struck comprised of Members from various
disciplines and from all parts of the province to identify qualified
and suitable candidates who might be approached to offer themselves
for election. The task is not a simple one, not because there is
any shortage of Members from which to choose, but because there
are so many qualified potential candidates available. The task of
the committee is to identify a listing of top candidates who could
be approached to enter the race. Inevitably, many Members have great
interest in the challenge but their personal situation or busy employment
schedules do not permit them to step forward. In the end, the committee
identifies a minimum number of suitable candidates to propose for
nomination. Any number of other candidates may be nominated at large
by submitting the required form containing the supporting signatures
of at least ten registered Members.
In doing so, the committee considers the requirement to have at
least two geologists and one geophysicist on Council at all times.
It also considers discipline, age, gender, employment, place of
residence, personal achievements, experience and leadership abilities.
In this way, the Nominating Committee hopes to offer candidates
who will provide a well- balanced Council and as nearly representative
of the entire membership as possible. This is important, because
members of Council are not elected to represent either a discipline,
a geographic area, a special interest group or particular issue.
Rather, they are elected to represent the membership as a whole
and to vote on the various issues placed before them in accordance
with their own conscience and best judgment and in the best interests
of the professions and the public we serve. Once elected, they are
expected to come to the Council table with an open mind and prepared
to weigh all the facts available to them before making a decision
It is for this reason, as well, that "election platforms"
are not included with the information about candidates that is provided
to Members. Naturally, candidates have personal views on many issues,
but they are expected to remain open-minded rather than come to
the table with preconceived opinions on various issues. Members
are free to contact any candidate to determine his or her views
on any subjects of interest to the voter, but the candidate should
not be expected to take a firm and irreversible position prior to
debating all the facts with Council colleagues.
Service of the professions on our elected Council is a privilege
but it is also a large commitment of time and energy and, sometimes,
money. Like any volunteer position, the return is the satisfaction
of serving your profession and the public, and of making a real
contribution to society. Members who have an interest in serving
in this manner are encouraged to come forward and place their names
on the ballot sheet so that APEGGA will continue to enjoy strong
leadership as we challenge the interesting years ahead.
Neil Windsor, P.Eng., is APEGGA’s Executive Director and Registrar.