BY NEIL WINDSOR, P.ENG.
APEGGA Executive Director & Registrar
According to an informal survey by the Canadian Council
of Professional Engineers, prior to the federal election
on June 28 there were some 26 candidates who are either professional
engineers or closely involved with engineering in some manner.
(Note: CCPE does not track geoscientists.)
While that might seem like a large number of
candidates, it represents only about two per
cent of the total number running in the election.
If you don’t think that’s enough representation, perhaps
you should do something about it.
Two of these candidates were successful – MP Andy Savoy,
P.Eng., (New Brunswick), and MP Hon. Raymond Chan, P.Eng., (British
Columbia). Mr. Savoy, in particular, has been a great friend of
the engineering profession during the past several years and has
worked closely with CCPE on a number of initiatives at the federal
For the past several years the Government Relations Committee of
CCPE, with the capable assistance of CCPE Manager of Government
Relations Clarke Cross, has monitored activities on Parliament
Hill and prepared a number of position statements submitted to
various government departments. As a result, CCPE was able to state
in a recent press release: “CCPE, its constituent members
and the engineering community can collectively feel confident that
national position statements such as those calling for a national
roundtable on infrastructure, the establishment of a national drinking
water code and climate change adaptation, could potentially be
the focus of interest and debate on Parliament Hill.”
This shows clearly that good government relations is important
and can play a valuable role both in enhancing the image of the
professions and in ensuring that the collective voice of the professions
is heard when government is passing legislation or setting policy
that impacts what we do and our ability to fulfill our mandate
to protect the public safety and well-being.
APEGGA supports the concept of professional members being in the
political arena and encourages more members to consider offering
themselves for election in future. With a provincial election in
Alberta on the horizon this is an opportune time to become involved
with the provincial party of your choice.
Engineers and geoscientists, whether in the public service, the
consulting industry, business or industry, collectively represent
one of the most important and relied upon sources of expertise
and advice to governments at all levels. Why then would it not
follow that more members of the professions would become active
politically, either in an elected role or as party supporters and
organizers? If professionals are valued as a resource then surely
they can also have significant impact as an elected representative,
either federally, provincially or municipally.
We should encourage members to seize the opportunity presented
by the provincial and municipal elections soon to be held. There
is much to be gained by having input directly at the source of
the governmental decision-making systems. Professionals will find
an opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way to the activities
that impact us all and that will shape the future for all Albertans.
You can have an impact.