Terri-Jane Yuzda


Challenging and Interesting Term Winds Down


APEGGA President

Let me start my last PEGG column by stating how impressed I have been by the vibrancy of our professions, after meeting so many dedicated individuals who contribute so much to our Association and the relevance of engineering, geology and geophysics professionals. Here are a few personal conclusions of the my year as APEGGA President:

  • Professionals in engineering and the geosciences are increasingly in demand, employment rates are very high and stakeholders value our stewardship of accountability for protection of public safety and well-being.

  • Current APEGGA organization restructuring will successfully meet our growth demands. Executive Director Neil Windsor, P.Eng., leads an excellent team of staff and hundreds of volunteers.

  • Alberta teachers, school boards and students praise our Outreach programs and commitment to encourage young minds in the sciences.

  • Our steps into advocacy (the Kyoto Protocol, for example) are encouraging members to get informed and involved in issues vital to the health of our communities and economy.

  • Our world is changing, including the role of our professions. We launched exploration into aspects of an inclusive licensure to better accommodate immigration of foreign-trained engineers and those emerging disciplines where technology will impact public safety.

  • APEGGA is very active in licensure, mobility and member development topics in Alberta -and nationally, where our role in Canadian Council of Professional Engineers' is highly valued.

You were well served by an exceptional elected body. Council members are passionate about our professions.

Role of the Professions
As the public attempts to comprehend the impacts of global security, advances in genetic engineering, climate change and the new frontier of nanotechnology, what are we doing to serve our governance mandate to protect public safety and well-being?

APEGGA's views and participation in these important issues continue to be sought by educators, government and public stakeholder groups. APEGGA members and our army of volunteers in Outreach, working committees, boards and Council are making a difference. As I travelled across Alberta and Canada as your president, it was good to hear the interest and trust our audiences have in our professions.

Health of the Professions
The Canadian Council of Professional Engineers' recent national survey shows 97 per cent of all engineers are employed and the demand for more engineers is increasing. Geoscientists and engineers are increasingly enrolled in professional development training to meet the diverse "soft skill" needs of the workplace, the CCPE survey found.

Alberta universities currently graduate about 850 of the 2,100 professionals registered each year, necessitating that we attract qualified people to Alberta. APEGGA registration offices continue to be overwhelmed with the demand in Alberta for engineers and geoscientists.

The Alberta Advantage of a strong economy and exceptional living conditions fuels Alberta as a priority destination for business and employment. Globally, Canada competes to attract foreign-trained engineers and geoscientists. The federal government has provided CCPE with funds to develop a model, Consideration to Integration, aimed at attracting the best professionals to live and work in Canada. APEGGA is heavily involved in this program.

APEGGA members and the provincial government demand diligence to ensure all qualified engineers and geoscientists are licensed to practice. The scope of practice and right to title compliance budget has nearly tripled in the last two years. As a result, we are seeing more legal challenges, with the result that our government legislators are acutely aware of the governance challenges to the professions.

Where are we headed as professions in Alberta and in Canada? The APEGGA Licensure Task Force is developing a discussion paper for Council and government on the direction of licensure of the professions.

Value of the APEGGA R.P.T.(Eng.) program is visible with 81 new APEGGA members licenced for a defined scope of practice. Recent legislative approval to provide similar title and scope of practice for geoscientist technologists should add notably to recognition of the geoscience team.

APEGGA is closely monitoring actions in British Columbia wherein APEGBC (engineers and geoscientists) and ASTTBC (technologists) propose to merge as "one act, one association," and provide a seamless ladder for governance of technology practitioners. Would this structure improve employer access to qualified persons in a regulated practice framework for engineers and technologists in Alberta?

More than 60 per cent of members and a higher percentage of engineering students desire "borderless" mobility between Canada and the United States. APEGGA is working to reduce barriers to P.Eng. = P.E. In western states, the July 2003 Calgary meeting of Pacific Northwest Economic Region should result in a significant mobility milestone.

For geoscientists, the need to enhance mobility provisions within Canada is at a critical state and APEGGA is working with the Canadian Council of Professional Geoscientists and others to find solutions. Adding a Manager of Geoscience Affairs in the Calgary APEGGA office will notably increase geoscientist services and profile.

An APEGGA councillor defined advocacy as any activity of APEGGA that is not strictly regulatory in nature. Our Advocacy Task Force provided guidelines for public statements of engineers and geoscientists on matters central to our responsibility for protection of public safety and welfare.

APEGGA tested the waters of advocacy in 2002, writing to the Prime Minister on the Kyoto Protocol (not expressing a yes or no on the national debate) and challenging our members to get informed and involved. CCPE members, government, industry and APEGGA members acknowledged APEGGA's appropriate actions.

Thank You
I joined Council to better understand and participate in those issues that speak to the national relevance and performance of our professions. This year has been very insightful and rewarding as the president representing your interests.

Thank you for the privilege of working with a great team of Council, branch chairs, staff and volunteers.

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