News for Title Violators,
Good News for Foreign-Trained Pros
AGM Vote Sends Two Act and Reg Changes to Government
BY GEORGE LEE
Legislative wordings that better protect APEGGA’s three main titles are off to the provincial government for consideration. Also sent to government is a new way to help foreign-trained practitioners gain their Canadian experience.
Council looked at final wordings of the proposed changes April 23, and then members approved them by large majorities the next day at the Annual General Meeting in Edmonton.
The two actions are separate from the controversial inclusivity initiative, which Council reaffirmed but brought to the annual meeting for discussion only. After town hall meetings and strong, sometimes angry opposition, APEGGA has entered a consultation and communications phase on inclusivity. The proposed new category will be refined and go to a membership mail-in vote. See front-page story.
Nailing Title Violators
A blatant title violation that the courts failed to end prompted Council to recommend a statutory amendment. In November 2003 an Edmonton man won his appeal to keep calling himself a “systems engineer” or “systems engineer representative,” even though he is not an APEGGA member and is not a professional engineer.
APEGGA contends that Raymond Merhej misleads the public when he uses the titles, and it filed an injunction to stop him. But the Court of Queen’s Bench did not see it APEGGA’s way and the Court of Appeal upheld the decision. That’s when Council decided the time had come to toughen up the Engineering, Geological and Geophysical Professions Act to give APEGGA staff more legislative backbone when going after title violators.
The APEGGA Act, Regulations and Bylaws Committee looked east for guidance, buoyed by the success in the courts of Quebec’s more strongly worded act. Council’s public members felt strongly enough about the legislative shortfall that they wrote a letter to the Hon. Clint Dunford, Minister of Human Resources and Employment, in support of the changes.
The new Provisional Licensee category, meanwhile, is designed to end the Catch 22 many foreign-trained professionals face when they try to work in Canada. They discover that they can’t find work in Canada because they aren’t members, but they can’t become members until they find work.
The category is for those practitioners who meet all but one of the academic, experience and other requirements for registration – they still need their one year of Canadian or North American-equivalent experience to become full engineers, geologists or geophysicists.
Otherwise, they are trained and experienced professionals, and they are legally permitted to work in Canada.
Under the new category, the licensees have two years to complete the required one year of experience. During that time, their work would be under the supervision and control of a professional member, R.P.T. or licensee. They would not be able to independently stamp documents, take professional responsibility for their work, vote in APEGGA elections or run for office. They would, however, have access to Association member benefits.
The Provisional Licensee category requires amendments to the EGGP Act General Regulation. The title changes require amendments to the statute itself.
To view the actual legislative wording
change and new Provision Licensee regulation
sent to the Alberta Government,