BY RON TENOVE, P.ENG.
My year as your president has now begun. In the few days
since our Annual General Meeting, I have already come to realize
what my predecessors meant by increased demand on time and
attention to the needs of our profession. But what a great
The Hon. Mark Norris, minister of Alberta Economic Development,
was the guest speaker at our AGM luncheon. He reinforced the
value of APEGGA members to the Alberta Advantage. Now, if
we could just promote ourselves with the enthusiasm and gusto
Mr. Norris displayed.
First, I want to express my personal and your collective
thanks to those APEGGA members and their employers who form
the army of volunteers, representing us and our interests
so ably on committees, in Outreach programs, on Council and
at special events. The AGM is a bittersweet moment, as we
say goodbye to committee and Council members who have completed
Certainly at Council, Dr. Ken Porteus, P. Eng.; Dr. Bill
Roggensack, P.Eng.; Brenda Wright, P.Geol.; and Ian Williamson,
P.Eng., served you so very well. And a special thanks to Sue
Evison, P.Eng., past president, and Noel Cleland, P.Eng.,
CCPE director, for their multi-task services over extended
terms. What a team we have, along with an enthusiastic group
of new recruits beginning their contribution to APEGGA.
Once again the APEGGA Annual General Conference did us proud.
You only had to be at the Summit AwardsÒ gala and any
of the Continuing Professional Development sessions to see
The awards attracted 850 people to the Shaw Conference Centre
in Edmonton, for a night of entertainment and awards presentations.
Congratulations to the 11 deserving award winners. An added
feature this year was a show of 52 art pieces, created by
15 of our members, members of their families or representatives
of permit-holding companies.
Our continuing professional development sessions attracted
355 members per day, with topics ranging from soft skills,
such as mental toughness, to more functional skills, such
as project management.
About 160 people attended the Annual General Meeting luncheon
and heard MLA Mark Norris praise the value of our professions.
My heartfelt thanks goes out to the staff and the various
APEGGA committees who once again organized an excellent conference,
which celebrated our achievements, helped us build our professionalism
and provided us with some great entertainment. Special thanks
to an exceptional group of corporate sponsors.
Our Annual General Meeting included comments by representatives
of sister associations/ordre from across Canada, giving members
who attended a good overview of the challenges facing our
colleagues in other provinces. It also featured the announcement
of election results and my oath of office, plus the selection
of a nominating committee for next year's Council.
Other equally important business was also handled at our AGM,
specifically revisions to the Engineering, Geological and
Geophysical Professions Act, Regulations and By-Laws. This
year, two changes were passed.
One bylaw gives the Board of Examiners the discretion to register,
in advance, transfer applicants who are registered as professional
members in good standing with other Canadian professional
engineering or geoscience associations, or U.S. boards, and
whose qualifications have been deemed acceptable by the registration
director. This change in the general regulation, now recommended
to the Province of Alberta for passage, will assist in improving
mobility of professionals.
The other bylaw change changes the title of first vice-president
to president-elect, which means the president-elect is the
sole nominee for candidate in the succeeding year. And it
makes the second vice-president the first vice-president.
What this will do is ensure planning and continuity at the
There was also discussion of the challenges the public faces
with the emergence of new technologies, practitioner groups
and mechanisms to ensure the safety and welfare of the public
who are impacted by these disciplines. Of interest, there
was discussion in Alberta of the relationship with technologists
and ASET. In 2001, following approval of an EGGP Act change,
ASET and APEGGA have introduced R.P.T.(Eng) or Registered
Professional Technologist (Engineer), which provides for independent
accountability in a limited scope of practice.
To date 64 technologies have become R.P.T.(Eng) and we are
very pleased with employer and individual response on increasing
the awareness of the strength of the engineering team. There
are a similar number of applications pending and we hope to
increase the visibility of this group and the cooperation
between ASET and APEGGA in this area.
Also of note, discussions are at an advanced stage in British
Columbia to have the technologists move into the B.C. Engineers
and Geoscientists Act. APEGGA has yet to study this action
but it does appear to add clarity to the public on the relative
roles and accountability of engineers and technologists. Stay
The Canadian Council of Professional Engineers (our national
body) is seeing some very positive advances in our profile,
particularly with the federal government. Of some concern
is the recent cancellation of the Initial Assessment Program
(IAP) by the Department of Immigration, wherein the CCPE provided
screening of immigrant applications in the technology sectors.
This program contributed a very substantial portion of CCPE
revenues, so its loss is resulting in a CCPE review of its
strategic plan, programs and budgets. I expect the outcome
will be an increase in assessment fees on each member in 2003,
which have been subsidized by the IAP to date. Again, stay
Enlightened Self Interest
Does the public value the professions of engineering, geology
and geophysics? I include our customer groups, employers and
other professional organizations in the definition of public.
It has always been my experience that most people seek out
an EGG professional in time of need because of our problem
solving abilities and adherence to highly ethical codes of
Yet we often hear or experience situations where it would
appear the answer is no, our professions aren't receiving
the value they deserve. Telltale signs of this situation are
salaries, commodity pricing of services rendered and proposal
processes that are not solely qualifications based. I should
add this malady is widespread in North America and beyond,
to a large degree because our profession has few failures
or tragedies associated with provisions of services.
I was recently at a business leaders function where branding
or image of a company or profession was cited as the central
factor to determining one's value. With the recent Enron situation,
it is evident how sensitive a brand name (company or profession)
is to conduct and performance. To me that means we must continue
actions to ensure services rendered are of the highest quality
but also go the extra step to communicate our presence.
Firstly, we need to do some introspection to see if we value
ourselves and then determine how to communicate our value
to our various audiences. An APEGGA task force is conducting
a survey to assess this question and I hope you take the opportunity
to give a considered response. In the interim, why don't you
begin the process of letting others get a glimpse of your
profession by taking the PEGG to at least five persons who
would not normally have access: parents, neighbours, employer,
client or just a friend. Through this column, I hope to encourage
each member to take a little extra pride in his or her profession
and be visible.