Date of Decision: June 22, 2004

IN THE MATTER OF the Engineering, Geological and Geophysical Professions Act

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IN THE MATTER OF the conduct of Stewart Weir & Co., regarding services provided to The Town of Peace River.

CASE MANAGER Robert Swift, P.Eng.

PERMIT HOLDER Stewart Weir & Co. Ltd.


During the course of an investigation conducted by APEGGA's Investigative Committee into the conduct of Stewart Weir & Co. Ltd., concerning services provided to The Town of Peace River, Stewart Weir & Co. Ltd., freely and voluntarily admitted and agreed with the attached facts and findings presented by the Investigative Committee.

Since Stewart Weir & Co. Ltd. has admitted to conduct that constitutes unprofessional conduct, there is no need to refer the matter to the Discipline Committee for a formal hearing. In accordance with Section 52 of the Engineering, Geological and Geophysical Professions Act, APEGGA's Investigative Committee is recommending the attached orders that it considers appropriate.

As the case manager designated by the Discipline Committee to review the matter, I agree with those orders. During my discussion of the orders with Mr. Pearse, responsible member and contact for Stewart Weir & Co. Ltd. he confirmed that he, also, agrees with the orders.

Therefore, in accordance with Section 52 of the Engineering, Geological and Geophysical Professions Act, the orders have the same force and effect as if they had been made by the Discipline Committee following a formal hearing.

Dated this 22nd day of June, 2004 at Edmonton, Alberta.

Robert Swift, P.Eng.
Case Manager, Discipline Committee


TAKE NOTICE that the Investigative Committee of The Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists and Geophysicists of Alberta has concluded an investigation into the conduct with respect to services provided relating to municipal projects for the Town of Peace River.

AS A RESULT of its investigation and based on the evidence and information that has come to the attention of the Investigative Committee, the Investigative Committee proposes the following findings:


1. At all material times Stewart Weir & Co. Ltd. (“Stewart Weir”) was a permit holder registered in good standing with APEGGA.

2. In April or May 2002 the Town of Peace River (“Peace River”) issued requests for proposals for engineering services (“RFP’s”) for about five engineering projects. The RFP’s asked for “Total Engineering Upset Fees for completion of the Project.”

3. Stewart Weir responded to three of the RFP’s, including “Main Street Rehabilitation” and “102 Street Upgrade”. Included in the proposals are the following:

• “After having carefully reviewed the Terms of Reference for the project and discussed the scope of work with Town officials, we are confident that Stewart, Weir & Co. Ltd. has the qualified personnel, training and resources to ensure that the project is completed on time and within budget”.
• “Stewart Weir & Co. Ltd. will provide inspection services as required.”
• [Main Street Rehabilitation] “Fees for Inspection Services “have been based on an assumed construction period of 20 working days at 10 hours per day. Should the actual scope of work be expanded or reduced at the request of the client, the costs will be adjusted accordingly.”
• [102 Street Upgrade] “Fees for Inspection Services “have been based on an assumed construction period of 15 working days at 10 hours per day. Should the actual scope of work be expanded or reduced at the request of the client, the costs will be adjusted accordingly.”

4. In June 2002 Peace River awarded Stewart Weir the Main Street Rehabilitation and the 102 Street Upgrade. The two projects became “Part A” and “Part B” respectively of an agreement for engineering services which provided that the “total amount payable under this agreement shall not exceed $67,540.00".

5. Stewart Weir completed the design and tendered the combined project in August 2002. One bid was received, $1.601M, $0.434M above Stewart Weir’s estimate of $1.167M. After negotiations Peace River awarded the construction contract for Part A in 2002 and postponed Part B to 2003.

6. In October 2002, based on the contractor’s construction schedule for Part A, Stewart Weir requested additional fees of $24,750 to cover inspection time in excess of that covered by the proposal “fee estimate” (additional 30 days, approximately).

7. Peace River expressed displeasure with this request but granted it saying:
“ Under no circumstances is the additional resident engineering to exceed $24,750 for this project, including the surface improvements to be undertaken in 2003.”

Peace River’s letter did not state whether “this project” referred to Part A only; or to the entire contract, Part A plus Part B.

8. Part B was re-tendered in March 2003, and the construction contract was awarded to the same contractor. A construction schedule was submitted at the end of May.

9. On 4 June Stewart Weir requested additional fees of $27,400 for Part B: $3,000 to cover adjusting the tender documents and drawings, advertising, tendering, and recommendation, and $24,400 to cover “unanticipated construction inspection” based on the construction schedule. On 12 June it reiterated the request. There was no favourable response. On 1 July Stewart Weir wrote to Peace River “we feel that we are not in the position to bear the financial burden of providing inspection services for a duration of construction beyond our control and outside the scope of our approved fees”, and advised that without a fee increase to cover the ongoing cost of inspection, Stewart Weir would provide inspection services “until July 16 in order to give the Town adequate time to retain another consultant”.

10. Stewart Weir left the construction site on 16 July and handed over relevant contract documentation to the Town of Peace River. At that time, construction was not complete. Stewart Weir continued to maintain some contact with the contractor and the project, providing design clarifications as needed.

11. On 18 July Stewart Weir proposed arbitration to Peace River as a way to resolve the impasse. In the arbitration proposal Stewart Weir offered to resume inspection duties following the decision, regardless of outcome.
12. On 30 July 2003 Peace River laid a complaint with APEGGA alleging that Stewart Weir was guilty of unprofessional and unethical conduct.
13. On 18 August Peace River rejected Stewart Weir’s arbitration proposal.
14. It is acknowledged that Stewart Weir was cordial and businesslike throughout its dealings with Peace River, and terminated its project inspection services only after repeated attempts to re-negotiate its contract and only after reasonable notice.


1. The conduct of Stewart Weir & Co. Ltd. constitutes unprofessional conduct and a violation of APEGGA Code of Ethics Rule of Conduct #3 in that Stewart Weir & Co. Ltd. prematurely terminated its resident engineering services and left the project site, notwithstanding the assurances it had given in its proposal and the further fact that it had agreed to complete the projects under an “upset fee” style of contract.


1. Stewart Weir & Co. Ltd. be reprimanded.

This decision is published in accordance with an APEGGA
Council policy that requires publication in The PEGG of
all discipline decisions.

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