Editor’s Note: Following is a report on the most
recent APEGGA Council meeting, held Feb. 5 in APEGGA’s
Calgary Conference Centre.
This spring’s Annual General Meeting could help
eliminate an employment Catch 22 for many foreign-trained
practitioners of engineering and geoscience. The way it
works right now, some of these practitioners need a licence
to earn a living – but they also need a living to
earn a licence, because of the requirement for one year
of Canadian or equivalent North American experience.
Council hopes new designations of Provisional Engineer,
Provisional Geologist and Provisional Geophysicist will
change that, with APEGGA doing its part to smoothen the
integration of foreign-trained professionals into Alberta’s
workforce without lowering public protection standards.
The AGM will also be asked to approve a second new category,
this one to help the Association improve public protection
by reaching out to more of the narrow, defined scopes that
already exist. Because certain university-educated practitioners
have no current APEGGA categories to regulate them, Council
wants to add the categories of Registered Engineer, Registered
Geologist and Registered Geophysicist.
The AGM takes place April 24 in the Westin Hotel in Edmonton
at 8:30 a.m.
Some question still remained at Council about which changes
should fall under regulations of the Engineering, Geological
and Geophysical Professions Act and which under the EGGP
Act itself. After being passed by the AGM, regulation changes
require the approval of the cabinet of the Alberta Government.
Act amendments, however, require the approval of the Legislative
Either way, Council has endorsed the new categories as
major components of its inclusivity thrust, which came
out of strategy sessions last May.
Provisional licensees would have to work under the supervision
of someone fully licensed by APEGGA in, at the minimum,
the appropriate scope of practice. They wouldn’t
have voting or stamping rights, but they would have access
to member benefits. The licence would be valid for two
years and would be available to practitioners who qualify
for licensure in every respect but experience. Licensees
would have to be legally entitled to work in Canada.
The blending of disciplines and the emergence of entirely
new ones are behind the creation of the new registered
categories. Some applied scientists with university degrees – but
not formally educated in engineering or geoscience – are
already practicing the professions without a licence. It’s
not uncommon, for example, for a chemist and a chemical
engineer to work side-by-side, doing the same type of work.
APEGGA believes the public will be better served if these
scientists are licensed in their narrow, defined scopes
of practice, rather than left unregulated. As licensed
members, they would have to abide by APEGGA’s Code
of Ethics, meet its professional development requirements,
and be subject to its investigation and discipline processes.
The PEGG will publish a full-page notice next month, explaining
each of the act and regulation changes going to the AGM.
Illegal Title Use Addressed
APEGGA is about to decide how the EGGP Act should be strengthened
to give its professional titles greater protection from
illegal use by non-members. Council hopes to approve changes
in time to bring them to the Annual General Meeting, after
receiving approval by a special Council meeting in March.
The move comes out of a court decision last November. The
Appeal Court of Alberta dismissed an APEGGA application
for an injunction to stop an Edmonton man from calling
himself a “System Engineer” and “System
Engineer Representative” in his information technology
Council approved APEGGA’s audited financial statements,
which show a minor deficit on 2003 operations. Expenses
came in at $8,883,739 and revenues at $8,786,776, for a
difference of $96,963. Council had budgeted for a slightly
higher deficit of $189,000.
Most of APEGGA’s revenue comes from dues, with a
2003 figure of more than $6.2 million. The biggest expense
is staff and benefits, at more than $3.3 million in 2003.
Full financial statements will be published in the April
edition of The PEGG and in the 2004 APEGGA Annual Report.
Environmental Guideline Finalized
APEGGA members should strive to influence the practice
of engineering and geoscience in an environmentally responsible
direction. That’s the philosophy behind the updated
Guideline for Environmental Practice, approved by Council
for publication. In fact amplifications and commentaries
under the nine guidelines within the document explain how
members should put that philosophy into action.
The guideline is a revision of the 1994 document Environmental
Practice – A Guideline. The new version recognizes
changes in environmental standards and practices in Alberta,
including those relating to sustainability and climate
“The purpose of this document is to inform, provide
guidance and encourage members and permit-holders to be proactive
in the protection and stewardship of the environment,” says
an Environment Committee report to Council.
APEGGA Supports Centennial Celebrations
APEGGA has come through with $50,000 to help Alberta celebrate
its 100th birthday. Council approved $25,000 this year
and $25,000 next year for Innovation 2005, which will mark
the centennial with a public awareness program on science
The multi-faceted project will salute the people behind
a century of innovation in Alberta. It’s the result
of meetings dating from March 2001, bringing together more
than 30 representatives of Alberta’s leading science,
engineering, technology, innovation and educational organizations.
APEGGA Executive Director & Registrar Neil Windsor,
P.Eng., is a key member of the project’s steering
Innovation 2005 will feature video clips, media interviews,
speaking events, a website and more. It will involve partnerships
with media outlets, as well as the other science related
associations, private enterprise and government.