Let’s Participate More in Politics

Our Professions Offer an Important Perspective to Decision-Making at All Levels

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 level.

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.

Home | Past PEGGs | PEGG Search | Contact Us