• Council Briefs

    The following were among matters on the agenda or discussed at the June18 APEGGA Council Meeting in Calgary.

    Publication Of Discipline Cases

    Following suggestions by the Discipline Committee, Council has adopted measures regarding publication of results of discipline cases. The modifications take into account changes in APEGGA's discipline process implemented two years ago. The changes saw the creation of a separate Investigative Committee, functioning separately from the Discipline Committee, and also opened discipline hearings to the public. If a decision by the Discipline Committee affects the registration (through restriction, suspension or cancellation) of a member or Permit holder, a summary account of the case, with names, will be published in The PEGG. A notice will also be published in other "appropriate newspapers".

    In cases where the registration of a member or Permit holder is not affected by a discipline decision, a summary account will be published in The PEGG for educational purposes. If a case is dismissed by the Discipline Committee, the member involved will be given the option of whether or not his or her name is published. Where a case involving an investigation by the Investigative Committee leads to a stipulated order, for publication purposes, the order will be considered as if it were an order of the Discipline Committee.

    Council also approved procedures relating to availability of decisions and stipulated orders, which may be examined at APEGGA's offices or may be provided upon written request. The member subject to the discipline decision will be notified of the request and who is making such a request .

    Council also adopted a policy not to place restrictions on how long a decision and/or orders remain on a member's record.

    Interprovincial Mobility

    Following suggested changes proposed by the APEGGA Board of Examiners, Council has approved a revised version of a 1994 Interim Mobility Agreement to further ease the transfer of professional registration from one Canadian jurisdiction to another. Transfers would be facilitated when the tranfer applicant is in good standing with the home association (where he or she has been registered) and meets the experience requirement of the host association (in the jurisdiction where registration is sought). In addition, the applicant must agree to the "home" association transmitting information needed by the "host" association. (See also Council Briefs item, May 1998 PEGG, Page 4.) The previous agreement took effect only when the professional engineer had been registered for more than five years (now reduced to zero).

    Education Foundation

    The APEGGA Education Foundation submitted a status report on its operations and its audited financial statement for the period ended Dec. 31, 1997. The foundation, formed last year, operates as an arms-length body able to accept tax-deductible donations to support a number of education-related initiatives and provide a channel for distribution of APEGGA scholarships. At year's end, the foundation held net assets of $31,094. Attention was drawn to a successful foundation fund-raiser held last year, involving Hon. John C. Crosbie.

    APEGGA AGM Resolutions

    Council reviewed resolutions raised at APEGGA's Annual General Meeting in April. Following up on a resolution passed at the AGM to change the Permit to Practice system (including creation of several classifications and varying fee structures), a subcommittee has been struck, chaired by Coun. Mark Lasby, P.Eng. The subcommittee will obtain stakeholderinput in implementing the Permit to Practice changes approved at the AGM. (Also serving on the subcommittee are Coun. Gordon Stewart, P.Eng.; Coun. Linda Van Gastel; P.Eng., Coun. Dale Miller, P.Eng.; and Bill May, P.Geol.). Regarding another AGM resolution, on APEGGA proactively increasing members awareness about professional liability, Council determined the matter already was adequately covered through guidelines developed by the Practice Standards Committee on Management of Risk in Professional Practice and Contract Employment of Professional Members.

    Wood Truss Inquiry

    Council has endorsed a report based on a Practice Review Board inquiry into Alberta's wood truss industry. Former PRB chair, Dick Walters, P.Eng., presented the report to Council. The inquiry was initiated following several instances involving structures utilizing pressed plate wood trusses.

    The report notes that recommendations brought forward by the PRB "if implemented would bring an improvement to the product and improve the safety of the public." The report also emphasizes "that very few houses have roof problems associated with the pressed plate wood trusses."

    Five major problem areas were encountered. They relate to incorrect loads, quality control problems in manufacturing, inadequacies in design shop drawings, inadequate bracing and questionable engineering review.

    The recommendations include measures to address these shortcomings. It's also recommended that APEGGA work with the Western Wood Truss Association (WWTA) to improve the quality control among suppliers and that the latter be required to be members of WWTA.

    It is suggested that the wood truss industry develop a certification system similar to that required for welding in steel fabrication shops.

    Furthermore, the Alberta government should include farm buildings in the Building Code and APEGGA should encourage the government to require residential and small buildings (Part 9 of the Alberta Building Code) to conform to these requirements.

    CCPE Communications

    Subject to receiving some more details, APEGGA Council has lent its support to plans over the next five years by the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers (CCPE) to increase its communications efforts and infrastructure. This would lead CCPE to spent $1.22 million on such activities by the year 2002. It would cause a $6.05 rise in the individual member assessment CCPE collects from each constituent association. (That levy was recently confirmed at $8.65 for 1999, unchanged from last year.) It was noted that an increase in CCPE levy does not automatically mean a rise in association dues. Some of the cost might be absorbed by the association and there might be some provincial savings and synergies resulting from the CCPE's stepped up initiatives. In presenting the proposal to Council, APEGGA Director of Communications Trevor Maine, P.Eng., noted that a number of other professions are increasing such efforts at the national level. Given that a number of government initiatives affecting the professions occur at the national level, it is important that CCPE retain an effective voice.


    President Dan Motyka, P.Eng., reported on the meeting of the Board of Directors of CCPE and the CCPE AGM held in Vancouver in May. Approved was a budget that will leave the CCPE per-member assessment to constituent associations unchanged at $8.65. Elections to CCPE's Executive Committee resulted in Richard Hancock, P.Eng., being acclaimed as chair elect. Former APEGGA president Noel Cleland, P.Eng., was elected a member of the Executive Committee to represent provinces and territories west of Ontario, while Walter Bilanski, P.Eng. PhD, was elected to represent Ontario. Bill Sutherland, P.Eng., takes over as CCPE chair.

    TSE/OSC Report On Mining Standards

    APEGGA Council has strongly endorsed the recommendations of the Toronto Stock Exchange/Ontario Securities Commission Mining Standards Task Force report. The report includes a recommendation that "the Canadian Council of Professional Geoscientists develop national exploration guidelines".

    The task force, set up in the wake of some major financial collapses in the mining sector, examined the need to set standards for mineral exploration and mining companies on how exploration programs should be carried out and the results reported and disclosed.

    The report specifies the kind of results that should be included in the technical reports on material results or assays.

    After discussing the concept of a "Qualified Person" -- including a requirement that such a person be responsible for the design, implementation and assessment of a mineral development or exploration program -- the report states: "We recommend that geoscientists be included in the professions regulated by the provincial and territorial engineering associations or, alternatively, that enabling legislation be enacted providing for self-regulation by provincial associations of geoscientists."

    Other related recommendations include that:

    • professional associations recognize the responsibility of Qualified Persons by interpreting the term "public welfare" in the definition of professional misconduct to include financial welfare, so that a member may be disciplined for failure to report a situation that may endanger the financial welfare of the public;
    • professional associations should be proactive, timely, and diligent in pursuing disciplinary initiatives and enforcing breaches of their codes of conduct;
    • disciplinary proceedings concluded by recognized professional associations be made public and the results of the proceedings be published and a media release be issued;
    • amending the code of conduct of professional associations to prohibit Qualified Persons entering into a confidentiality or other agreement that conflicts with the duty to report a situation that may endanger the welfare of the public;
    • stock exchanges and security regulators alert the appropriate professional association of actions by a member of that association which may constitute a breach of the law or the code of conduct; and
    • professional associations recognize the qualifications of Qualified Persons belonging to a recognized professional association in another Canadian jurisdiction.

    (See also response by the Canadian Council of Professional Geoscientists -- this page.

    Tire Board Member

    Al Schulz, P.Eng., has been appointed as APEGGA's representative on the Tire Recycling Management Board of Alberta, replacing Ken Teare, P.Eng.

    Geoscience Task Force

    Council has approved the terms of reference of a Council Geoscience Task Force, chaired by Coun. Neil O'Donnell, P.Eng., P.Geol. (See also this month's President's Notebook.) The task force is one of several arising out of Council's strategic planning session in May. This task force will gather information on the current level of enrolment/ registration as it relates to geologists and geophysicists, and will make recommendations to APEGGA Council on ways and means to ensure that all persons practicing either of the professions are properly licensed to do so. Other members of the task force are: Coun. John Boyd, P.Geoph.; Coun. Elaine Honsberger, P.Geoph.; Coun. Alice Payne, P.Geol.; and Al Schuld, P.Eng. (Deputy Registrar).