Re: Microsoft Dealt Title Blow, The PEGG, June 2004.
I have strong, opposing views on the Canadian professional
engineering aggression towards the use of the word software
engineering, and was naturally upset at the decision reported
in The PEGG. While you will rarely find me defending Microsoft
on any issue, I am ready to support its appeal of the judge's
decision in Quebec.
The gist of Alberta legislation regarding professional engineers
is consistent with Paul Bassett's remarks: the word "engineering" cannot
be used in any context where it would mislead the public
into believing one was a "professional" engineer.
No one I know on this planet, except for politically motivated
professional engineering groups, would be confused about
the term "software engineer."
The reason this is consistent with Paul Bassett's remarks
is that professional engineers are the last people that you
would want to be responsible for software engineering. There
is no confusion in all the world constituencies I have seen
because it is computer scientists that provide the basis
for software engineering as a discipline.
This is wholly in line with Bassett's remarks:
"It's kind of ironic that the engineers are arguing
that they're trying to protect the public interest, when
in fact the expertise for this sort of work lies outside
of engineering per se," he said. "The accreditation
that the engineering accrediting body uses is a one-size-fits-all
sort of criteria. Whether you're a forest engineer or a chemical
engineer or a systems engineer, it makes no difference."
What has become clear is that the professional engineering
societies of Canada are leading the world in ill-informed,
legal, bullying tactics, and doing only disservice and harm
to the "public" they claim to be protecting.
I have more than 30 years' experience in observing the software
skills of professional engineers, and I have to conclude
that it is the professional engineering societies that put
the public at risk regarding software engineering.
Professor and Chair
University of Alberta
Climate Change Causes
Have Had a Hearing
Re: Climate Change Science Actually is Important, David
Barss, P.Geol., Readers’ Forum, April 2004 PEGG.
Mr. Barss’s suggestion that the cause of climate change
has not had a proper hearing is specious. The International
Panel on Climate Change report is based upon review of the
all peer-reviewed articles published in the atmospheric sciences
and therefore represents the findings of the entire atmospheric
The most recent report of the working group on climate change
was authored by 120 of the world’s leading climate
scientists with contributions from over 500 additional climate
specialists. The report was peer reviewed three times by
300 experts in the field. The resulting document represents
a remarkable consensus of opinion.
To suggest that the IPCC report is politically motivated,
as some have indicated, represents an incredibly cynical
view of the integrity of scientists. The document is also
remarkable for its candor. Uncertainties are not discounted;
they are reflected in the interpretations. To have another
review by non-experts is unnecessary.
Mr. Barss’s reference to the many detractors overstates
the scientific disagreement. The IPCC committee reviews all
refereed articles in the field. If the detractors have published
refereed articles in recognized journals, then their findings
were taken into account.
If they have chosen to publish non-refereed articles or publish
in obscure journals, then one must wonder why they have chosen
not to have their findings reviewed by their peers. Are they
more interested in influencing the political debate or are
they truly interested in doing good science?
Mr. Barss’s statement that the cause of climate change
remains unproven may be correct, in an absolute sense – the
question can only be dealt with probabilistically – but
this does not negate the credible evidence that indicates
that anthropogenic greenhouse gases are a major contributor
to this change.
Much of the climate warming from 1900-1940 can be attributed
to natural forcing (i.e. solar output and volcanic emissions),
while natural forcing is not a plausible explanation for
warming in the later half of the century. The increased heat
trapping caused by anthropogenic greenhouse gases is necessary
to account for the rise in global temperature from 1976 to
The question debated amongst climate experts is not whether
greenhouse gas emissions are driving climate change. Rather,
it is about how much change will occur and how it will manifest
The argument that we cannot afford to address climate change
only makes sense if the impacts of climate change are discounted.
Citing the death of 30,000 Europeans in the heat wave last
year, Sir David King, chief scientific adviser for the
British government, recently stated that the consequences
of climate change are “far bigger in its manifestations
than any terrorist action could possibly be,” and
that “we face a period of massive economic and political
In Canada glaciers are receding and as a consequence melt
water is diminishing. Flows in the Old Man and Peace rivers
are at 60 per cent of their 1910 levels, and flow in the
South Saskatchewan River at Saskatoon is at 19 per cent of
To do nothing to address climate change is to pass these
problems on to our children, meanwhile compounding the problem.
The question is not can we afford to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions; the question is can we afford not to do it.
By addressing the problem, in a meaningful way, a new wave
of creativity and innovation will emerge.
J. Edward Mathison, P.Geol.
The Edmonton Section Executive of the CSChE believes it
is too early to take a wait-and-see attitude on the issue
of inclusivity. After extensive communication with Council,
and with other engineers and chemists, we remain unconvinced
that there is a problem that the proposed additional membership
category will solve.
We feel we should define and explore the underlying issues
and assumptions to see if a problem exists, before we consider
whether a new membership category is needed.
Few problems are limited to only one solution, and the best
solution is rarely the first one proposed. However, successful
solutions are also only achieved if there is first a clear
and well-defined description of the problem being solved.
How can we accept any new membership categories as a solution
when we don't have a clear definition and understanding of
the problem, or even that a significant problem exists that
would warrant this type of action? Changes to the EGGP Act
should be made based on a clear need, not on vague policy
Where is the in-depth analysis of the problem? There are
many tools for this analysis – for example SWOT, situation
analysis, risk assessment, pros and cons – which can
document the threat to the profession in the province, and
be communicated widely to get buy-in that change is needed
and that the solution proposed will be effective. In fact
we understand that President-Elect Larry Staples, P.Eng.,
has been asked to lead a new committee to try and determine
exactly what APEGGA’s mandate is under the act, so
we could actually assess how well we are doing against it
and determine if we have a problem.
Why would APEGGA members be asked to even consider a policy
solution when the justification, costs, benefits and risks
have not yet been fully addressed by Council? How can we
say the public is affected by others "practicing engineering" when
we still can't seem to concisely define what that means or
demonstrate any adverse impact on the public that would drive
change? Why is so much Council effort focused on this inclusivity– which
appears to be a solution looking for a problem?
Before we survey people on the solution, we should survey
to see if they agree on just what the problem is that the
solution is supposed to solve. In our opinion, the quick
survey conducted by APEGGA in May was asking the wrong questions
so the results are relatively valueless.
Inclusivity" is a feel good term because it's the opposite
of "exclusivity," which is currently politically
incorrect and taken to imply elitism. We don't believe that
the majority of practicing engineers see themselves as elitists,
because we have to work on a day-to-day basis with technologists,
draftsmen, trades, inspectors, operators, scientists, business
people, the general public and others to do our jobs. It
just so happens we have a unique role, defined by government
controlled statutes, that require specific intensive training,
just as you must have a steam ticket to operate a power plant,
or a medical degree to perform open-heart surgery in this
Anyone who wants to meet the basic training requirements
can be a P.Eng., P.Geol or P.Geoph, so how is that being
Let's ask the membership some different questions:
1) Does the current operation of APEGGA put the public at
increased risk? If yes, what is the source of the risk? What
should be done to mitigate the risk?
2) Do you, as an APEGGA member, feel that you are part of
an elitist organization?
3) Do you know any people who believe that the quality of
their current work and ethics would improve if they joined
4) Do you know any people who meet the education and experience
requirements, and are being unfairly excluded from joining
5) What definition of “professional practice” best
meets your interpretation of the intent of the EGGP Act?
a) Any applied use of science that is not specifically excluded
in the act; b) Work or decision-making specifically defined
by provincially or legally sanctioned statutes, codes, standards,
contracts or regulations as requiring the specialized knowledge
of a fully trained professional engineers, geologists or
geophysicists to be performed properly, in the interests
of protecting public safety, well-being or the environment.
6) Rank the relative priority of issues that APEGGA Council
should be focusing on: a) Defining what is meant by "professional
practice" and APEGGA's mandate; b) Preventing the formation
of any new organization(s) which may ask for authority to
license university-educated individuals not currently eligible
for membership in either APEGGA or ASET; c) Methods of expediting
the registration process for immigrant engineers; d) Dealing
with the issue of out-shopping of Alberta EGG work to offshore
locations; e) Defining activities of high risk to public
safety or interests that should only be done by professional
engineers, geologists or geophysicists but currently aren't
required to be by statute?
While we wait for the above survey, we will continue to provide
Council with our input until they more fully understand our
position on this issue. We also look forward to the September
PEGG publishing the complete and unabridged or edited report
on the Board of Examiners’ position on new categories.
Bruce Peachey, P.Eng.
CSChE Edmonton Section
Recent actions by the lead administrators and Council again
demonstrate the lack of an open and democratic process within
APEGGA. The recent inclusivity initiative is the third major
initiative in recent years (the mandatory Continuing Professional
Development program and the creation of the registered professional
technologist categories are examples of senior administrators
and Council trying and succeeding) to impose major change
on the membership without regard to its wishes.
Twice in the past and apparently now as well, Council assumes
it has the right to impose on the membership because it was
elected. If anyone read the propaganda that came with our
last election ballot, all the candidates, save one, strongly
endorsed inclusivity. So it is no surprise to read in the
May PEGG that the past Council reaffirmed it views with newly
elected members observing.
That appears to be a way to indoctrinate the new members
to ensure continuation of the policy.
Further, the article has a tone that the old Council has
turned this initiative into a crusade, as were the CPD and
R.P.T. initiatives. Statements such as “Council believes
the new categories are clearly part of APEGGA’s duty
to the public” clearly show this crusade is one where
members’ input will be ignored.
Now that we have a crusade, what are the odds that Council
will listen to the membership?
How many people saw the secret survey Council undertook
on inclusivity? The interesting part was the undertone of
the survey. Clearly, it was to find a way to sell this initiative
to the membership.
A reliable rumour has that the survey had a few problems.
First, there were numerous people who expressed their uninvited
opinion. And the results, even after hand sorting, did not
produce a clear result.
I bet a loonie that Council will not release to the members
the unsorted results of the survey and will sugarcoat the
sorted results. It would only serve Council’s purpose
to release an “interpreted” version of the survey.
I believe Council should give the raw facts to members and
let them draw their own conclusions.
There also is another disturbing trend occurring within
APEGGA, and that is that the executive director is assuming
a central role within numerous issues.
The address made by the executive director at the AGM is
an example. This is a major policy address. This address
should be made by the elected president of APEGGA. It is
the president’s job to sell policy, not a bureaucrat’s.
The ED’s role is to implement policy after it has been
adopted by the organization. It leads one to wonder how far
the role has grown within APEGGA.
This also makes me wonder about the role the managing editor
of The PEGG. The Inclusivity Reaffirmed article written by
the editor is clearly propaganda to push forward the initiative.
Should the managing editor be pushing policy? Or is he to
be unbiased presenting all views equally?
I believe it is not healthy to have an editor that clearly
is biased. It could stifle debate on the issue. After all,
The PEGG is the only forum for the membership to discuss
the issues at this time.
The article could have been written reporting events at the
Council meeting without the thick layer of promotion. Just
the facts, thank-you. Leave the salesmanship to the president’s
How do we address the democratic deficiency that exists
1) We need lead administrators who clearly understand their
roles within APEGGA. They are to be the unbiased executor
of policy. Not the creators, promoters or champions of policy.
We have an elected Council which has this responsibility.
2) The editor must be given journalistic freedom to report
all events in an objective and truthful way without “assistance” from
administration or Council.
3) The Nominating Committee process needs to be reformed.
The perception, now documented with our last ballot, is that
they only find candidates that are friendly to the positions
that the previous Council wishes to promote. Further, the
committee only seems to ask people who are already part of
the APEGGA system (they served on a committee previously).
I propose a more random process. It has worked well for other
The province should be divided into regions. Then, from each
region, a random phone list is generated of persons with
10 years of registration (for the experience level). The
nomination committee then calls the random phone list until
there are two or three volunteers to let their name stand
Thus, a wide set of views and concerns can be seen within
Senior APEGGA administrators should have no role in the nomination
process. There are defined rules as to how the nomination
committee is formed and who is to be involved.
Executive Director’s Notes:
The “secret survey” referred to is a survey
carried out by staff in order to better be able to advise
Council. It was sent by e-mail to 2,500 members selected
randomly by our computer so that is hardly secret. We are
aware that Mr. Kachorowski was one of the members selected
and that he attempted to corrupt the results of the survey
by broadcasting it to his associates and requesting that
they respond negatively to the questions contained therein.
This represents a deliberate attempt by Mr. Kachorowski to
interfere in the legitimate business of APEGGA and is unacceptable
conduct on the part of a professional member. Fortunately
the computer program rejected responses from respondents
who were not part of the randomly selected sample so the
results obtained were considered accurate within the expected
accuracy of the survey methods employed. Interestingly, a
review of the rejected returns indicates they would not have
affected the results in this case.
As most members know, the Nominating Committee comprises
of professional members who volunteer to serve in this capacity
for a two-year term and are approved by the Annual General
Meeting in accordance with the bylaws. One-half of the members
are replaced each year. Members of the committee are free
to recommend any professional members they choose as nominees
for election to APEGGA Council and are not given any direction
from Council whatsoever.
Full terms of reference for the committee are available
on the APEGGA website.
H. Neil Windsor, P.Eng.
Executive Director and Registrar
I, like other members I have talked to, am trying to understand
the issues around inclusivity. I am doubtful about its need
and I am concerned by the manner in which APEGGA Council
and The PEGG have promoted it and are dealing with objections
After over two months of rhetoric about wanting to enhance
member communications and consultation, it is time that Council
put forward some substantive justification for proceeding
with this initiative.
I thank Ken Porteous, P.Eng., PhD, and others for publicly
alerting the general membership to the inclusivity concerns.
From my reading of the published information and from the
response I received from President Linda Van Gastel, P.Eng.,
to my e-mail in April, I have seen nothing that would indicate
that inclusivity should be given serious consideration.
All appearances are that the inclusivity initiative was ill-conceived
and that Council, The PEGG, and closely associated members
are actively suppressing the reasons they have for proceeding
in the manner they have chosen.
Dr. Porteous has pointed out some apparent bias from the
Nominating Committee. I see no reason why Dr. Porteous should
apologize for the appearances, as seen by many members, of
the Nominating Committee, even though Tom Greenwood-Madsen,
P.Eng., of the committee suggested in the June PEGG that
he do so.
Then in a letter published in the June 2004 PEGG, Fundamental
Questions Remain Unanswered, Dr. Porteous suggests there’s
a “hidden agenda” of increasing membership, and
encourages new Council members to undertake an “independent
review of inclusivity.”
I see no reason for the executive director to challenge Dr.
Porteous’s comments. Dr. Porteous’s concerns
are held by a great many APEGGA members and to dismiss them
does not serve the profession or its members.
Inclusivity appears to be an ill-conceived program and the
manner in which the Council continues to stonewall and stifle
contrary opinion is an embarrassment to the Council and the
members they represent.
The questions have been asked, it is time for some answers.
John Glasswick, P.Eng.
The Nature of Exclusion
I write as a member of the B.C., Alberta, and Washington
State professional engineering associations.
Let us get one thing straight. Professional associations
are exclusive by nature. Membership in these associations
is meant to convey to the public that fact that members credential
have been examined, and that all are qualified to practice
their chosen profession.
You are either a doctor, lawyer, accountant, or professional
engineer; or you are not. There is no such thing as an almost
doctor or lawyer. We do on see para-doctors with licences
to practice some medicine.
The current drive to give partial engineering licences to
technologists and technicians is not only plain nonsense.
It represents and abdication of our responsibility to the
Let’s get something else straight. Technologists are
very good at what they do. They can produce good work, form
companies, hire anyone they wish and be successful. This
What a technologist or technician cannot be, pretend to be,
or be permitted to act as, is a professional engineer.
There is more. There is no need to licence technologists
or technicians. They cannot practice professional engineering.
They cannot, and should not be able to, take professional
engineering responsibility of their work.
The promotion of “inclusivity” in our profession
is cruel folly and must be curtailed immediately.
R.G. Fraser, P.Eng.
Drive to Dilution
The drive towards inclusivity, like the issuing of more shares
in a company, always results in a rendering down and dilution
of the standards and values of the original material.
This is the bedrock of the discussion.
The proposals are for international applicants, for those
with academic backgrounds that do not match APEGGA’s
established syllabi, and for those from assorted sciences
and who would probably be better advised to set up their
own association to deal with their specific talents.
In each instance standards are the issue.
Surely APEGGA, while maintaining its own high standards,
could liaise with other organizations which, although slightly
different in composition, such as the assorted scientists
mentioned in The PEGG articles, also maintain a specialist
faculty which values high standards in its own ranks.
While one can sympathize with the second group, that is no
good reason to lower the standards of APEGGA. Life is not
fair, but to deliberately subordinate the qualifications
of the majority in favour of a minority seems to be grossly
Internationally trained practitioners” are coming to
Canada to partake in the Canadian quality of life, which
was developed and built on Canadian values, Canadian standards,
Canadian blood, Canadian sweat, Canadian examinations, Canadian
financial resources, Canadian tradition, Canadian heritage
and Canadian tears. While it should not be the aim to “exclude” deserving
practitioners who desire to embrace all that Canadians are,
one should be careful to avoid the trap of “including” a
minority who wish the majority to bend to their demands and
requirements for inclusion into a system they did not found,
build, develop or finance, but wish to exploit for their
own personal gain.
Despite the noble sounding rhetoric emanating from politicians
and people in leadership positions, Canada’s high standards
and values are being diluted insidiously. It would be sad
to see APEGGA follow suit. The empirical evidence of history
proves that once lost, it is extremely difficult to rebuild
standards, values and morality in any society.
By the way, as an example of the insidious nature of decline,
there is no such word as “inclusivity.”
(Spouse of a Life Member)
Editor’s Note: Although standard dictionaries do not
include “inclusivity,” its usage was quite well
established before APEGGA adopted it. A Google search, in
fact, turns up 59,000-plus citations.
I express my concerns about inclusivity because I am an
example of a person who would not be considered eligible
to become a P.Eng. under this new proposal. My area of expertise
was as an electrical engineer with specific expertise in
microwave engineering. I gained this expertise while doing
research in physics for a PhD degree.
Indeed, I was one of very few persons with such expertise
in Alberta for many years prior to my registration. My lack
of registration created a problem since I could not offer
my services despite my expertise. It took the concerted efforts
of some enlightened engineering educators to help me obtain
It is not necessary to restrict the area of practice of those
persons with legitimate expertise in an area of engineering
and frequently more comprehensive and in greater depth than
most engineers would have, just because they lack an undergraduate
engineering degree. No registered engineer attempts to consult
or offer services outside his/her area of expertise, as that
would contravene APEGGA licence regulations as well as professional
responsibility and ethics.
The fact that one holds an undergraduate degree in some branch
of engineering does not guarantee that the person is an expert
in any particular area. Every engineer develops narrow areas
of expertise and this is usually gained through practice
and experience. Indeed, this is the strength of the profession.
Today, there are few if any engineers who have a comprehensive
understanding of the entire field of, say, chemical or electrical
engineering. The knowledge base is far too large. It is,
therefore, not necessary to impose the restrictions on the
practice of those registered who lack an engineering undergraduate
degree and to impose on them a different professional designation.
Globally, engineering is now practiced by many professionals
who do not have an engineering education because of the degree
of specialization now necessary to provide first-class, up-to-date
information to clients is not always available via the engineering
education route. A professional in any field of endeavour
is one who has expertise in that field and this can be gained
in other ways than through university education in that field.
APEGGA should stop trying to turn the clock back and move
forward into the 21st century. It should introduce flexible
regulations to encourage trained scientific professionals
to be included in the eligible membership of APEGGA without
the proposed constraints.
Failure to do this will only encourage the misuse of the
term "engineer" by those who may not be adequately
trained and not have the expertise to offer such services
to the public.
H. A. Buckmaster, P.Eng., P.Geoph., PhD, P.Phys.
Dr. Porteous expresses the frustration of many of us seeking
to understand the inclusivity issue. We have made similar
Equally annoying is the non-response and denigrating language
used by the executive director and others defending APEGGA's
position, including the rather misleading headline in the
May PEGG and website FAQ suggesting that the inclusivity
initiative was being met with wide acceptance by the membership.
It appears the answers many of us are seeking are in the
later pages of the June PEGG, CCPE Announces Integration
Ideas. The article
states that Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
has been funding CCPE for a program called From Consideration
to Integration, or FC2I, which is tackling the difficulties
of licensing and employing international graduates.
The idea is that barriers to professional licensure of overseas
engineering graduates must be reduced or even eliminated
so that foreign trained technical practitioners may enter
the professions more easily than in the past.
The big picture? Canada is in a global competition to attract
highly skilled professionals and the previous barriers to
entry into many professions (these include medical practitioners,
among others) are no longer serving their purpose and need
to be re-evaluated.
Of course, this begs many questions, not least of which
is whether the CCPE and APEGGA are acting as agents of government
or as representatives of their membership in how they have
brought the FC2I initiative to the membership? It appears
to be the former, unfortunately.
Let's hope that President Linda Van Gastel, P.Eng., takes
the opportunity to implement her promise to better communicate
and consult with the membership in a more comprehensive and
forthright manner than her predecessor.
This should bring a different quality of discussion to the
table and hopefully more illuminating answers than we have
received to date. As professional members, we are due direct,
meaningful communication and data from our Association, including
HRSDC projections on the number of new technical registrants,
financial impacts, professional reciprocity and impact on
I, for one, will be listening with avid interest.
John Aumuller, P.Eng.
I wish to echo references in Readers’ Forum, to indications
of an apparent bias within the Nominating Committee. The
cumulative impression arises that perhaps only selected individuals
supportive of current APEGGA-insider thinking are being courted
In the February 2004 PEGG the Report of the Nominating Committee
was presented in large bold type, wherein seven names were
entered under the heading 2004 Candidates for Council. This
was followed by a second separate heading in equal sized
type, Mail-in Nominations, introducing three other names.
All 10 names were subtly enclosed in a thin-lined box, so
that one could surmise that all 10 were indeed candidates
for Council. However, as the last three names were segregated
from the others, I was left with the distinct impression
that mailed-in nominations, names not selected by the Nominating
Committee, were perhaps not as desirable, suitable, or appropriate
- and one could wonder if these segregated candidates were
perhaps not as malleable to a perceived cosy group of like-thinking
people now running APEGGA.
The same clear differentiation and visual segregation also
took place in the Nominating Committee's presentation of
the Vice-President candidates. Again, by the presentation
style, the overt suggestion is that the Nominating Committee's
considered opinion (along with whatever back-room political
wheeling-and-dealing may be involved in orchestrating the
nomination slate) is a superior offering to APEGGA membership,
and somehow preferable to the mailed-in nomination from a
number of concerned individual members.
I put it to the membership that inclusivity should be practiced
more diligently inside APEGGA, for instance with acceptance
of the legitimate participatory actions of individual members
(actions such as nominating a Council candidate by mail-in)
without visually segregating such candidates from those that
might now be perceived as the "mainstream conformist" candidates
put forward by the Nominating Committee.
It is indeed useful to the voter to know which candidates
were mailed-in nominations (by an asterisk, for instance,
with all candidates presented together in alphabetical order),
but please let us portray all legitimate candidates as equal.
When a number of individual members galvanize to put forward
a candidate, I suspect this is an attempt to provide a voice
to address a perceived serious concern, and such action should
be openly encouraged if APEGGA wants to stay connected to
As a member who has not been involved in a mail-in initiative,
I tip my hat to those members who have in this way attempted
to improve APEGGA from their perspectives, and especially
to those who allow their names to go forward as candidates
in such circumstances. I look forward to a more equitable
portrayal of such initiatives in the future.
Tony Griffin, P.Eng.
Mr. Greenwood-Madsen of the Nominating Committee took exception
to someone pointing out that all the committee’s nominees
held the pro position on the important issue of inclusivity.
What he left out, however, is the fact that on the basis
of most recent letters in the Readers’ Forum, the Nominating
Committee's nominees did not reflect the view of most APEGGA
members on this important issue.
This seems to be more than mere chance and should have been
corrected regardless. It is a pity that Mr. Greenwood-Madsen
cannot see that the Nominating Committee owes a public apology
for selecting nominees that universally do not reflect the
views of APEGGA membership on an important issue – and
that Dr. Porteous does not for pointing it out. Mr. Greenwood-Madsen's
letter leaves one pondering how members of the Nominating
Committee are selected, and what instructions they are then
When one removes the outer layers, inclusivity still describes
a process whereby individuals who are, or want to be, practicing
engineering without providing the education and experience
required to receive the current APEGGA designation, are rewarded.
Simply stated, inclusivity is dangerous to the public, and
Karl Miller, P.Eng.
Several years ago APEGGA hired KPMG Consulting in part to
determine what proportion of Alberta-based geoscientists
are licensed members of APEGGA. The consultants determined
that 59 per cent of practicing Alberta geoscientists qualified
for registration with APEGGA are actually registered.
That means that over 40 per cent of geoscientists were not
registered. Has this number changed? By how much?
APEGGA's mission is restricted to "the practice of the
professions of engineering, geology and geophysics." Why
does APEGGA insist on expending its finite resources on creating
a new groups to register through inclusivity when it is hard-pressed
to fulfill its current mandate?
Is it possible that my dues are financing a dysfunctional
organization that has strayed from its mission statement?
Jim Letourneau, P.Geol.
Name Will Lose
If the currently proposed "inclusiveness" (in
the interest of clarity, let's try using a word that is part
of the English language) initiative is eventually accepted,
acceptance will have to be accompanied by a change in the
name of the Association. After all, not all of the members
will be professionals.
Michael Doty, P.Geoph.
Foreign Acceptance Unevenly Applied
I am truly amazed with the reactions expressed by some APEGGA
members in recent issues of The PEGG, regarding inclusivity.
The government has been pressuring APEGGA and other professional
associations to relax licensing requirements by allowing
foreign professionals to contribute to the public with their
For example, I don’t think that APEGGA members would
disagree that foreign medical doctors washing dishes in restaurants
for minimum wage are doing the best service to the Canadian
public. Many of them are skilled practitioners but have no
chance to prove it.
APEGGA leadership has chosen a wrong route to accommodate
the government move. The right step would have been to relax
the current registration policy regarding accepting foreign
Apparently, only foreign professionals with degrees from
the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, the U.S., Ireland, Hong
Kong, South Africa and France can register without taking
confirmatory exams. To justify that, APEGGA claims that those
countries have an engineering educational accreditation system
similar to that of the Canadian Engineering Accreditation
That’s not good enough. If APEGGA is to protect the
public interest by allowing qualified foreign professionals
to practice, it should conduct due diligence by compiling
and translating curricula from other universities. In fact,
foreign candidates applying for membership could do this
at no cost to APEGGA since most universities provide this
Why does APEGGA reject a degree from Germany, China or India?
How do you think this registration policy could be defended
in a court of law, on potential charges of unfair discrimination?
If you look at the situation in Canadian graduate engineering
schools, you will quickly realize that Chinese and Indian
graduate students set the standards of excellence, although
they enter graduate studies with degrees which are not acceptable
APEGGA should have never been given authority to judge foreign
degrees. Only Canadian universities should be allowed to
do that. If so, we would never have a situation where the
same foreign degree unacceptable to APEGGA is accepted with
open arms by Canadian universities.
The most serious impediment to foreign engineers is not
the lack of professional practice in Canada, but APEGGA’s
policy of accepting academic credentials. A foreign professional
raising a young family under pressure to make a living is
put in a difficult situation when asked to take two closed-book
exams in the same day, which requires months of preparation.
This is overkill if the idea is to merely demonstrate the
knowledge of engineering principles.
Also, APEGGA used to allow graduates of foreign degrees who
completed master’s or PhD programs in Canada to register
without any additional exams, but even that recently came
to an end because, in some cases, such candidates are required
to write engineering economics exams. I suppose the moral
of this is that only graduates from Anglo-Saxon schools have
been exposed to the right ideas when it comes to economics!
No wonder governments are trying to intervene. I am not a
proponent of government intervention in everything, but it
should also be recognized that self regulating alone does
not always guarantee the best protection of public interest.
Nesa Ilich, Ph.D., P.Eng.