BY GEORGE LEE
Executive Director & Registrar Neil Windsor, P.Eng.,
says his appointment to a new Alberta-Alaska council demonstrates
a growing recognition of APEGGA's role in trade and economics.
His appointment is also an important step in the ongoing process
of making it simpler for engineers and geoscientists to work
beyond the borders of their home jurisdictions - the issue
known as mobility.
Mr. Windsor is one of a group of Albertans named in early
May to the Alberta-Alaska Bilateral Council, which comes out
of an agreement the two governments adopted a year ago. Also
named from Alberta are six other private sector representatives
and six provincial government representatives, including four
Mr. Windsor said his appointment builds on efforts APEGGA
has already made, working with the Alaska State Board of Registration
for Architects, Engineers and Land Surveyors. "This is
all part of our ongoing effort to improve mobility,"
said Mr. Windsor. "The real advantage of this council
is that it's government and industry to government and industry.
This is a great opportunity to present our message before
policy-makers in the state and in the province."
That message is particularly important because of a proposed
Alaska pipeline to move natural gas through Alberta to the
lower 48 states. The pipeline will pass through a number of
jurisdictions, so designing and building it will involve professionals
with different home registrations. "It's in everyone's
best interest that this project be done efficiently, effectively
and economically, and having professionals work across borders
will be fundamental to making that happen."
It's no accident that Mr. Windsor was appointed. Alberta International
and Intergovermental Relations Minister Halvar Jonson, who
will co-chair the council, and Deputy Premier Shirley McClellan
have been "very supportive in making sure the government
is familiar with our role in trade issues. Consul General
of Canada Roger Simmons is also a strong advocate of APEGGA
and has supported our mobility initiatives."
APEGGA is represented in other ways on the council as well.
Several appointees have ties to the oil and gas and other
industries, which have a major interest in Alberta-Alaska
trade. They're involved in APEGGA through permit-to-practice
"Not only is this a way to support our individual members
by addressing mobility of engineers and geoscientists. It's
also a way to show our corporate members that we support their
industries," said Mr. Windsor.
Designed to pursue areas of cooperation between Alberta and
Alaska, the council was created in June 2002 by Premier Ralph
Klein and Alaska Governor Tony Knowles. The two jurisdictions
have significant trade - an average of $112.7 million a year's
worth, in fact, between 1996 and 2001.
"As major energy producers, Alberta and Alaska have much
in common," Mr. Jonson, the council's co-chair, said
in a news release. "Alberta's delegates represent a number
of different sectors - energy, economic development, transportation
and Aboriginal issues, to name a few. I'm sure the discussions
generated at the council will be wide-ranging and beneficial."
The council is similar to those Alberta has in place with
Montana, Idaho and the Northwest Territories. Mr. Windsor
has also participated in meetings of the Montana-Alberta Bilateral
The new council will meet annually, discussing opportunities
for cooperation and joint action. It will also identify any
trade issues and work to resolve them before they escalate.
Mr. Windsor said the mobility issue in the Pacific Northwest
is gaining momentum, through bilateral work with state boards
responsible for licensing professionals and through the Pacific
NorthWest Economic Region. Fostering sustainable economic
development throughout its region, PNWER has representation
from Alberta, B.C. and the Yukon, as well as the states of
Alaska, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Oregon.
Such bonds are important, and the new joint council with Alaska
is no exception. "It's critical to have mobility of our
professions, so our professionals can work there and theirs
can work here," said Mr. Windsor. "The Alberta-Alaska
agreement is an important piece in the whole process, and
I welcome the opportunity to represent our professions in
The full Alberta contingent on the Alberta-Alaska Bilateral
Council is made up of the following appointees.
- Neil Windsor, P.Eng., the Association of Professional
Engineers, Geologists and Geophysicists of Alberta
- Ian Scott, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers
- Doug Mitchell, Q.C., Alberta Economic Development Authority
- Harry Hobbs, member-at-large
- Roger Soucy, Petroleum Services Association of Canada
- Kells Boland, ProLog
- Robert Hill, Canadian Energy Pipeline Association
- Halvar Jonson, Minister of International and Intergovernmental
- Murray Smith, Minister of Energy
- Mark Norris, Minister of Economic Development
- Pearl Calahasen, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern
- Mel Knight, MLA
- Mark Hlady, MLA
For more information on the Alberta-Alaska
Bilateral Council and the Alaska-Alberta Memorandum of Understanding
and Cooperation, visit
For more information on the Pacific NorthWest Economic Region,