| Editor’s Note: Following is a report on the most recent
APEGGA Council meeting, held April 23 in APEGGA’s D.A.
Lindberg Conference Centre in Edmonton.
A year that saw Council and staff grapple with tough challenges
and new directions clicked across the screen at the last
meeting of Council before its 2004-2005 incarnation takes
charge. Executive Director & Registrar Neil Windsor,
P.Eng., presented a PowerPoint on APEGGA’s calendar
year 2003, to show councillors what the Association accomplished
under their watch.
Among the main storylines in the presentation are:
• Registration Milestones. 40,000th member licensed,
3,000th permit to practice issued.
Financial Performance. Association meets 2003 budget, passes
good news 2004 budget with no dues increase.
Inclusivity. Concept born and developed.
ASET Negotiations. One act, one association model proposed,
government relations strengthened.
PEGGasus. The online professional development marketplace
is launched and developed.
Insurance. Task force looks at how liability insurance is
sold and other insurance issues.
Privacy Policies Developed.
Examinations Role Increased.
Professional Development Changes. Association gets tough
with members not complying with Continuing Professional Development,
expands Association offerings.
New Responsible Member Permit to Practice Seminars, Professional
View Executive Director’s PowerPoint:
Annual Report Summary II
Centrespread of this PEGG
Is that extra $4 a tire you pay doing any good? Yes, proponents
of the Alberta Tire Recycling Management Association told
After a bumpy start 11 years ago, the program is finding
practical uses for waste tires and keeping them out of landfills,
Council heard from board member Al Schultz, P.Eng., and Doug
Wright, the executive director. One idea that didn’t
work out was using the tires as fuel for cement plants.
Then the emphasis shifted to true recycling. Among the growing
list of uses for tire shred and crumb are:
• Paving with asphalt-rubber on streets and highways
Rubber surfaces for track-and-field tracks
Cushioning under Astroturf
Replacement of pea-gravel or sand in playgrounds with rubber
Leachate collection systems
APEGGA members can take much of the credit for the research
and recycling system that has now created a demand for waste
tires. About half the tires shredded go to leachate collection
systems for drainage and insulation – a practice permit
holder EBA Engineering took a leading role in introducing
to North America.
So far, because of the process used to create tires, it isn’t
possible to melt them. The Alberta Research Council may have
found a way, however, although the method is still far from
reality. If it turns out to be possible and practical, melting
tires opens up a whole new array of uses, Council heard.
Another challenge facing the program is what to do with huge
industrial and agricultural tires. Right now, equipment for
shredding and crumbing is too small for them.
On average, every Albertan sends one tire to the recyclers,
each year. If the tires go to landfills, they take up space
and create instability by “floating” to the surface.
Left in stockpiles, they’re a health and environment
nightmare – toxic fires waiting to happen.
Also, tires hold water, which stagnates and provides a breeding
ground for mosquitoes. That’s of particular concern
now that the West Nile Virus has reached Alberta.
So far, the Alberta Tire Recycling Management Association
has kept 30 million tires out of landfills. That’s
an estimated $150 million of savings in landfill lifecycle
Are You Professional?
A document that helps keep professionalism thriving is getting
a facelift. Council received Concepts of Professionalism – A
Position Paper, with the intent that it come forward at the
June 24 meeting for publication approval.
Says a Practice Standards Committee report on the paper: “The
privilege of being a self-regulated profession is not without
responsibility and associated accountability. To protect
the public welfare, professionals must continually conduct
themselves to the highest ethical and professional standards.
“The professionalism ideal is discussed by answering
the following questions: What is professionalism? What are
for APEGGA members and their actions? What are the challenges
to professionalism? How can professionalism be encouraged?”
The 10-page paper recognizes changes in the professionalism
model since its predecessor, The Concepts of Professionalism – An
APEGGA Statement, was issued in 1988. The new paper also
updates reference citations and the language it uses.
The People Who
Who comes up with that list of names to run for Council,
each year? The job falls on the APEGGA Nominating Committee,
which is made up of at least 11 professional members of the
Association, including the immediate past president, who
is the chair.
The current president attends the meeting, but only as an
At the last meeting of the term, Council selected about half
of the committee for two-year terms from a list of proposed
members. If they accept, they’ll join those selected
before and about to serve their second year.
The list was then taken to the Annual General Meeting for
approval and one name was added from the floor.
The committee’s job is to come up with a list of willing
nominees for the next election. However, a member doesn’t
have to be on the list to run. Any professional member in
good standing can run, with a nomination in writing signed
by 10 professional members.
The PEGG will publish names of those on the Nominating Committee,
once they’ve accepted the volunteer job.
Pension Plan Examined
APEGGA employees are best retained and served by a pension
plan that clearly defines their benefits, a committee told
Council. The Staff Benefits Committee said its analysis shows
that a defined benefits plan costs more in contributions
and administration, but its assets are generally higher than
those in a defined contribution plan, which has employees
controlling their own pension portfolios.
Council agreed – to a point. Council’s motion
instructs the Staff Benefits Committee to “investigate
the possibility” of giving staff the option to choose
a defined contribution plan.
Council prompted the committee’s investigation because
it was concerned about the costs of APEGGA’s existing
defined benefits plan. The employer and employees have had
to increase contributions in the past several years to finance
unfunded liabilities, thanks to poor market performance.
An industry shift to plans managed by employees isn’t “as
significant as many perceive,” said the committee report. “The
shift to defined contribution plans was driven by corporations
wishing to shed some costs or liabilities, and by employees
thinking they could generate better returns by managing their
own portfolios at a time when the stock market was hot,” said
the report. “At APEGGA, none of these drivers were
That shift hasn’t necessarily been a good news story. “Some
APEGGA managers have seen first hand how badly employees
in other corporations have been burned by accepting the responsibility
of managing their own portfolios. And corporations, too,
which thought they were avoiding liability in going to a
defined contribution plan, have been burnt when employees
have taken them to court, and won, for not providing the
necessary information to enable employees to manage their
Governance Manual Updated
In a housekeeping matter, Council approved an update to the
Council Governance Manual to reflect current practices.
The manual came into being in 1995, replacing the Polices
and Procedures Manual for Council.
The manual is:
a guide to Council governance style
a reference for APEGGA’s organizational structure,
and relevant roles and responsibilities
a collection of governance policies and procedures developed
One of the changes in the new version has to do with how
Council candidates are presented in election pamphlets. For
a number of years, candidates have answered a list of specific
questions to give voters a sampling of their views, but the
manual didn’t make mention of the practice.