BY GEORGE LEE
Legislative wordings that better protect APEGGA’s three
main titles are off to the provincial government for consideration.
Also sent to government is a new way to help foreign-trained
practitioners gain their Canadian experience.
Council looked at final wordings of the proposed changes April
23, and then members approved them by large majorities the
next day at the Annual General Meeting in Edmonton.
The two actions are separate from the controversial inclusivity
initiative, which Council reaffirmed but brought to the annual
meeting for discussion only. After town hall meetings and strong,
sometimes angry opposition, APEGGA has entered a consultation
and communications phase on inclusivity. The proposed new category
will be refined and go to a membership mail-in vote. See front-page
Nailing Title Violators
A blatant title violation that the courts failed to end prompted
Council to recommend a statutory amendment. In November 2003
an Edmonton man won his appeal to keep calling himself a “systems
engineer” or “systems engineer representative,” even
though he is not an APEGGA member and is not a professional
APEGGA contends that Raymond Merhej misleads the public when
he uses the titles, and it filed an injunction to stop him.
But the Court of Queen’s Bench did not see it APEGGA’s
way and the Court of Appeal upheld the decision. That’s
when Council decided the time had come to toughen up the Engineering,
Geological and Geophysical Professions Act to give APEGGA staff
more legislative backbone when going after title violators.
The APEGGA Act, Regulations and Bylaws Committee looked east
for guidance, buoyed by the success in the courts of Quebec’s
more strongly worded act. Council’s public members felt
strongly enough about the legislative shortfall that they wrote
a letter to the Hon. Clint Dunford, Minister of Human Resources
and Employment, in support of the changes.
The new Provisional Licensee category, meanwhile, is designed
to end the Catch 22 many foreign-trained professionals face
when they try to work in Canada. They discover that they can’t
find work in Canada because they aren’t members, but
they can’t become members until they find work.
The category is for those practitioners who meet all but one
of the academic, experience and other requirements for registration – they
still need their one year of Canadian or North American-equivalent
experience to become full engineers, geologists or geophysicists.
Otherwise, they are trained and experienced professionals,
and they are legally permitted to work in Canada.
Under the new category, the licensees have two years to complete
the required one year of experience. During that time, their
work would be under the supervision and control of a professional
member, R.P.T. or licensee. They would not be able to independently
stamp documents, take professional responsibility for their
work, vote in APEGGA elections or run for office. They would,
however, have access to Association member benefits.
The Provisional Licensee category requires amendments to the
EGGP Act General Regulation. The title changes require amendments
to the statute itself.
To view the actual legislative wording
and new Provision Licensee regulation
sent to the Alberta