Terri-Jane Yuzda


New Council Arrives for APEGGA At a Snow-Covered Annual Conference


Changing of the Guard
Incoming President Mike Smyth, P.Eng., right, passes a plaque to outgoing President Ron Renove, P.Eng., at the 83rd APEGGA AnnualGeneral Meeting, Apri 26.

APEGGA President

Spring is always a time of renewal, and in Alberta it is also a time to dig out from the snowstorm. As always, the Annual Conference in Calgary was a huge success, in spite of the weather, and will be forever memorable because of it.

It is a great honour to serve as your president this year. You have my promise that I will work hard to maintain the high standard set by the presidents before me, and in particular by immediate Past President Ron Tenove, P.Eng.

Ron has done an outstanding job this past year, overseeing the move into the new Calgary office and a reorganization of the entire Association. He also helped to define this fuzzy thing called advocacy, and worked tirelessly to address concerns of the geoscience community during his tenure. His greatest contribution is the cooperative team spirit he has fostered among our executive, Council and staff. I will certainly work to maintain and build upon that tradition in the coming year.

Congratulations to our very first President-Elect, Linda VanGastel, P.Eng. It was my pleasure to serve with Linda on Council for three years. She will make a valuable contribution this year on our executive and a fine president next year.

Congratulations also to newly elected Council members Darcie Greggs, P.Geol., Kim Farwell, P.Eng., Dave Chalcroft, P.Eng., and Barbara Howes, P.Eng., each of whom bring dedication and commitment to a demanding job. Vice-President Andy Gilliland and all other continuing members of council will welcome their contributions.

Personally, I am looking forward to a very busy year that will be both challenging and rewarding. It is a genuine pleasure to work with Executive Director Neil Windsor, P.Eng., and his staff, who serve us all so very well.

Challenges Come With Growth
Growth continues to be strong in APEGGA, as it is across the entire province, and this presents some challenges. This spring we will break the 40,000 membership mark at APEGGA as our provincial economy continues to be the very best in Canada.

According to a report published recently by the TD Bank, the Calgary-Edmonton corridor is in a unique position in Canada. This area has a per-capita GDP 40 per cent higher than our Canadian colleagues, and has experienced "sizzling growth" of a knowledge-based economy, which is expected to continue.

The challenges that such growth brings include things such as labour shortages, strain on existing infrastructure and limited access to post secondary education. APEGGA members will be concerned or involved with each of these, either helping to solve the province's infrastructure problems, or trying to find the expert help needed to manage expanding business opportunities.

Association's Role
In addition to our members, the APEGGA organization itself will have a role to play. One of the solutions proposed in the TD Report is that the Alberta Government remove barriers to entering the job market for immigrant professionals.

One of these barriers is professional registration, and professional registration is one of the key things APEGGA does. APEGGA administers the EGGP Act on behalf of the Alberta Government, and part of that role includes proposing revisions and updates to the act to adapt to changing needs and circumstances.

It is a role we take seriously. For example, four years ago APEGGA added the new membership category of Registered Professional Technologist (R.P.T.) to address similar types of issues.

Retreat Time
The rites of spring include the annual APEGGA retreat to re-examine the strategic direction in which we are heading. This year we will focus on the question, "Do we need to be more inclusive to effectively fulfill our mandate to protect public safety and well-being?"

The question is important as we face registration issues with foreign-trained people, as well as those practicing in emerging disciplines and in related applied science professions.

We are also watching with interest the recent developments in British Columbia where APEGBC is considering a merger with ASTTBC, the body that represents the engineering technologists in that province. Check the June President's Notebook for an update on these discussions, and to see if Council were able to reach consensus on how to remove some of the barriers to registration.

With a team like the one we have this year at APEGGA, everything is possible. I have full confidence that we will find solutions to these challenges, just as engineers and geoscientists do every day in every industry right across this province. The cooperative team environment that many of us experience every day in our jobs is the one factor that will keep this province moving forward and growing faster than any region in Canada.

Drop me a note or give me a call with your concerns, comments and ideas. I look forward to hearing from you. Together, we can make a difference.

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