The following items were on the agenda or were discussed during the Feb. 4
APEGGA Council meeting in Edmonton
Council was informed that university students will be consulted as APEGGA examines the feasibility of creating a student membership category in the Association. APEGGA Director of Professional Development Len Shrimpton, P.Eng., noted that he already has met with the deans of engineering at the Universities of Calgary and Alberta to discuss the proposal. In addition, a survey of students will seek additional feedback. At its Nov. 26 meeting, Council agreed to spend $25,000 to research and develop a program that would create a student membership category in APEGGA.
President Dan Motyka, P.Eng., told the February meeting: "We all agree students have to become part of the dialogue as we move along on this."
Possible elements of an expanded student program include:
extension of insurance and other member services;
as part of Get Hired Workshops, help for students to have business cards printed;
student newsletter; and
Jobsearch — an enhanced version of the present résumé referral service, geared toward students.
Council has agreed that, starting after the 1999 Annual General Meeting, future APEGGA Presidents will be paid an annual honorarium of $48,000. The decision followed the submission of a report by Executive Director and Registrar Neil Windsor, P.Eng., outlining the approach toward remuneration of a number of other professional associations in Alberta, all of which compensate their president. It was noted that, as APEGGA’s range of activities expands, the President is called upon to spend a considerable amount of time on Association business and related travel. Last year, the president devoted the equivalent of 42 per cent of a normal work year to Association business, and spent 21 per cent of all weekends and 36 per cent of evenings engaged in APEGGA activities or representing the Association.
In additional to the personal sacrifice, time spent on Association business can amount to a financial burden on a self-employed President or, if an employee, upon his or her employer. Council was told of concerns that lost salary and/or demands on time have discouraged promising candidates from presenting themselves for office. Some employers have shown reluctance to give employees time off. Council members seeking office in the upcoming APEGGA elections refrained from participation in the debate or the vote.
Legislative Changes Approved
Council has approved a series of proposed changes to the Engineering, Geological and Geophysical Professions (EGGP) Act, as well as to its Regulations, to accommodate the Defined Scope of Practice for suitably qualified technologists. The changes are still subject to approval by an APEGGA Annual General meeting (AGM) and then by the Alberta Legislature (in the case of Act changes) and Cabinet (in the case of Regulations). The proposed changes arise from the understanding reached last fall by the Alberta Minister of Public Works, Supplies and Services Stan Woloshyn; APEGGA; and the Alberta Society of Engineering Technologists (ASET). That agreement would provide to certain technologists, with appropriate qualifications and experience, an independent and clearly defined scope of practice within the provisions of the EGGP Act.
Generally, the changes involve adding to the existing legislation the words "registered professional technologist" where the words professional, engineer, geologist, geophysicist, licensee or permit holder now are stated.
Provision also is made for the Minister to appoint two registered professional technologists to the APEGGA Board of Examiners.
Subject to acceptance by the membership at the AGM, Council also endorsed bylaw changes to allow "registered professional technologists" full membership in APEGGA, including the right to vote or be elected to Council.
(For more details, see page 6.)
Plain Language Proposals
Coun. Gordon Stewart, P.Eng., chair of the Act, Regulations and Bylaws Committee, presented Council with a series of changes to the Engineering, Geological and Geophysical Professions Act. The changes form part of a wide-ranging initiative by the Alberta government to re-write legislation in clear and more easily understood language without changing the intent of the legislation. Coun. Stewart said that additional input was being sought by the end of February from APEGGA committees.
Fred Otto Thanked For Efforts
Following a motion by 1st Vice-President Darrel Danyluk, P.Eng., Council unanimously recognized the leadership of Past-President Fred Otto, P.Eng., PhD, has provided in bringing the defined scope of practice for technologists to fruition. Dr. Otto said it was "nice to hear the positive debate" which now surrounds the subject.
Draft Code On Ethics Tabled
Pending further input on matters relating to human rights, Council tabled a proposal from a Practice Standards Committee subcommittee for a new Code of Ethics. Charlie Weir, P.Eng., and David Watt, P.Eng., presented Council with a draft of the revised code, based on five fundamental rules.
Geoscience Task Force
Acting on a recommendation by its Geoscience Task Force, Council has agreed to spend $11,000 to $12,000 on a survey to gauge the number of geoscientists practicing in Alberta and how many are members of APEGGA. The survey also would determine the type of work setting in which these geoscientists practice. In reporting to Council, task force member Coun. Elaine Honsberger, P.Geoph., outlined a number of suggestions for changes that emerged from two "Brown Bag" luncheon sessions sponsored by the task force in the fall to obtain feedback from the geoscience community on attitudes toward APEGGA.
Proactive Practice Review
The Practice Review Board reported to Council that in 1998, 21 proactive practice reviews were completed and 13 were in progress. Under a program which began in 1997 and which is scheduled to expand over the next few years, a certain number of practices (beyond those referred for examination for disciplinary reasons) are subject to random review.
Sole Practitioner Defined
Following a submission made by Coun. Mark Lasby, P.Eng., on details of new criteria for Permit holders. Council has agreed on a definition of sole practitioner as an entity where: "substantially (more than 95 per cent, on an annual basis) of the professional work done by the partnership, corporation or other entity is carried out by the sole practitioner."
Subject to endorsement by the 1999 AGM and approval by the Alberta government, this definition of sole practitioner would pave the way for adopting a three-pronged Permit system involving: a) sole practitioners (Type S); b) an operating entity (Type O) — providing services internally; or c)practicing entity (Type P) — offering services to the public and not falling into the Type S or Type O categories.
The 1998 AGM passed motions to modify Regulations and Bylaws allowing Permit fees to be reduced or waived under certain circumstances. The measure was passed subject to the Association obtaining further input from stakeholders. (See also related item Page 6.)
He was a member of the board of the Alberta Housing Corp. and the Alberta Home Mortgage Corp., and a member of the University of Alberta Senate.
Mr. Saunder’s immediate survivors include his wife, Connie; son, Harry; daughter, Connie Janet, and sister Ellenor Henshaw. He was predeceased by a son, William.