Candidate for Councillor, Jason Vanderzwaag, P.Eng., MASc, FEC, PMP
- Civil engineer with 20 years of experience, focused on community infrastructure and development, project management, technical leadership, and mentorship
- Team leader for disaster response and recovery following the 2016 wildfire and 2020 flood in Fort McMurray; recipient of awards from Consulting Engineers of Alberta and the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies for recovery works
- APEGA councillor since 2017, with service on Audit (current chair), Governance, Policies & Standards, and Strategic Planning committees; additional APEGA experience includes Fort McMurray Branch, Legislative Renewal, and mentoring
I am a civil engineer with 20 years of experience, focused on community infrastructure, project management, technical leadership, and mentorship. I am the manager for Associated Engineering in Fort McMurray, where I have lived for the past 11 years. Over this time, I was twice called upon to apply my engineering and leadership skills for disaster response and recovery efforts following the 2016 wildfire and the 2020 flood. In addition to receiving awards from Consulting Engineers of Alberta and the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies, this work highlighted the critical role that engineers play in safeguarding our communities.
As an APEGA councillor for the past six years, I have served on various committees, and I currently chair the Audit Committee, where we provide fiduciary oversight over revenues (i.e., our dues) and expenses, while ensuring our regulatory obligations are still met.
I am seeking re-election to continue to serve the Association as we address ongoing challenges and pressures that impact our professions. I support improvements and modernization of our Continuing Professional Development Program, with a renewed focus on law and ethics awareness (and training) for our members. This will enhance public confidence in our professions and strengthen APEGA’s role as a regulator in meeting our obligations of protecting the public
Get to Know the Candidate in Four Questions
What does self-regulation mean to you as a member of APEGA?
Self-regulation means that we are responsible for providing statutory oversight over ourselves and our peers. As individuals, self-regulation means we have the capacity to determine our area of professional practice, based on competency and experience. As an association, we establish the criteria for new inductees and conduct the investigation and discipline of members that contravene our Code of Ethics or do not meet professional standards. This privilege of self-regulation may be threatened by government intervention or loss of public confidence in our professions.
What would you bring to Council?
I have been on Council for six years, and I have gained a tremendous appreciation for the regulatory framework within which APEGA operates. I am humbled by the insight and leadership provided by all the volunteers that support APEGA’s regulatory functions, including Council and the statutory boards. I believe that I bring to APEGA Council my own leadership and critical-thinking skills, and the courage to ask tough questions.
As the regulator of engineering and geoscience, what challenges does APEGA face?
The pandemic has demonstrated that with globalization and virtual workspaces, more engineering and geoscience work is being outsourced and performed offshore. In order to remain relevant, APEGA needs the tools to regulate (and enforce as necessary) the professional practice that impacts Alberta, regardless of where it occurs. We also need to improve our engagement with our members to support the sustainability of the professions.
What is the value of a professional licence with APEGA?
The value of membership in APEGA is the pride and prestige that comes with the professional engineer or geoscientist title, and the ability to sell one’s service as such. This title conveys confidence to the employer or procurer of services through the professional standard that our members must meet. This confidence is only maintained by upholding responsibilities and statutory obligations through self-regulation.