APEGA Election 2020 | Q3: As the regulator of engineering and geoscience, what challenges does APEGA face?

Logo for APEGA Council Election in front of rows of seats

Each candidate in the APEGA Election 2020 answered the same 4 important questions about APEGA, which have been presented together so you, as a voter, can easily contrast each candidate's answers. Thank you for being a savvy voter!

Polls are open from February 3 to March 5, 2020.

See the other questions:

*recommended by the APEGA Nominating Committee

Incoming President

John Van der Put, P.Eng., FEC, FGC (Hon.)*
APEGA faces very challenging times today. Self-regulated professional associations across Canada face pressure from provincial governments to demonstrate that they can protect the public by ensuring that their members are practising competently, ethically, and professionally. At the same time, APEGA’s members face increasingly uncertain prospects regarding the sustained demand for their professional services.

Executive Candidates

Lisa Doig, P.Eng.*
Alberta engineers and geoscientists are recognized the world over for their expertise. As technology and innovation continues to evolve, new engineering and geoscience fields and skill sets will be required. APEGA needs to respond proactively to these changes to ensure its members remain qualified and competent and that regulatory oversight continues to adapt to ensure our members and industries continue to be held in high regard. 

Jennifer Enns, P.Eng.*
With the economic shift in Alberta, there is the risk of declining membership dues revenues at a time when more resources are required to meet increasing regulatory requirements. Recent incidents in Canada are eroding public trust of self-regulation professions, and there is a perception that self-regulation is self-serving.  APEGA needs to be a stronger regulator, but this must be done without adding undue costs to members and permit holders so they can remain competitive in the global market place.

Brian Pearse, P.Eng.*
APEGA is faced with two significant and overarching challenges: ensuring regulatory excellence and providing member support. APEGA must ensure that all licensure applicants, both Canadian and International, are assessed in a timely, fair and transparent manner. APEGA must continually monitor professional practice effectively and efficiently. We must provide unemployed and underemployed members with opportunities to seek professional support through professional development, career guidance, and networking opportunities.

Council Candidates

Muyiwa Akinyosoye, P.Eng.
(a) Needed enhancement to the pursuit of diversity and inclusiveness in our profession. (b) Tackling the unemployment issues many members are burdened with since the turndown in Alberta’s economy.

Margaret Allan, P.Eng., P.Geo.*
In addition to the technical and business challenges of regulating many engineers and geoscientists, APEGA will be facing demographic changes as baby boomers retire. However, this can be viewed as an opportunity to capitalize on the ideas and energy of younger and more diverse members who can redefine the way APEGA regulates practice into the future.

Joseph Amalraj, P.Eng.*
Enforcement of APEGA regulations, sustaining self-regulation, legislative act revision/ review, time taken for applicants review, collaboration with ASET, maintaining membership in the current economic downturn are some of the current challenges of APEGA.

John Duhault, P.Geo.
The biggest challenge APEGA faces is staying relevant to the current economic situation impacting its membership in all disciplines. APEGA needs to have realistic adjustments and flexibility on fees for underemployed or unemployed members, better understanding of the current employment environment in Alberta for new grads, potential MITs and professional APEGA members, keeping the experience of non-Canadian graduates and professionals in mind, better understanding on the small one-person professional consulting practices, and understanding the impact of AI and data analytics as new “engineering” professions.

Darren Hardy, P.Eng.*
There has been a trend in some parts of Canada to replace professional self-regulation with public oversight as some provincial governments respond to gaps in professional practices. In my view, it is important that APEGA maintains its right to self-regulation. Given the current difficulty in Alberta’s economy, Council needs to ensure APEGA meets these requirements without unduly increasing the financial burden on its members.

Lorna Harron, P.Eng.*
APEGA is facing challenging times. With the economic downturn, some professionals find themselves unemployed or underemployed. APEGA risks losing professionals who either cannot or choose not to renew registration to maintain professional status. When the economy improves, getting these folks back into the professions could prove administratively challenging. The downturn has impacted new graduates finding work, which could impact the retention of these individuals in the professions. APEGA also faces challenges in maintaining a diverse organization that reflects society in representative gender and culture.

Geoff Kneller, P.Eng.*
The biggest challenges ahead of APEGA this year are regulatory challenges. We have a new Provincial government that has shown it isn’t afraid to hold regulators accountable; one of their first acts imposed timelines for evaluating new applicants on our association. We need to continue to show Albertans that we’re serious about self-regulation by electing an experienced Council.

RaeAnne Leach, P.Eng.*
One of the more significant challenges facing APEGA right now is the threat of the restriction, or loss, of self-regulation; a sub-set to that is the challenge to become a better regulator versus an advocate for our members. APEGA’s first duty of care is to the public and the challenge of regulating out-sourcing/off-shoring while navigating a downturn in the economy without compromising public safety continues. Developing APEGA’s relevance to the public is another challenge faced by APEGA.

Paige Mamer, P.Geo.
Like many, I’ve endured layoffs and office closures. I believe that the biggest challenge facing this Council will be the ongoing effects of the downturn. There are the financial aspects of maintaining membership and keeping existing members engaged and mounting environmental challenges and social expectations faced by APEGA members in their work. APEGA will need to balance these with ongoing modernization efforts.

Bernd Manz, P.Eng.
I believe globalization of engineering and climate change adaptation are evolving issues for the professions to continue to address. Work done by professionals in other parts of the world on designs and equipment that come to Alberta must meet the same standards that exist were it to occur if designed within Alberta. Existing infrastructure was based on design assumptions and risks that didn’t contemplate the increased frequency and severity of climate change related events. Design standards and risk assessments must adapt to changing climate impacts to meet public safety expectations.

Tim Moran, P.Eng.*
Self-regulated professions are at risk of losing the privilege to self-govern, if the professional bodies do not ensure public interest and confidence as paramount. To ensure a continued self-regulated profession, APEGA needs to continue to promote and progress its membership qualification process to ensure highly qualified members, with a fair and inclusive approach. Ensuring continued public trust through transparency, honest public engagement, and increased public involvement.

Ross Plecash, P.Eng.
Alberta is in the midst of a major economic slowdown, which will likely get worse before it gets better. At the same time, the Alberta government is seeking to reduce bureaucracy and streamline professional application processes. This must be accomplished while maintaining and improving the public’s trust in our professions. APEGA will need to become more efficient, both fiscally and in terms of structure and process, and Council will need to work with the staff leadership to ensure that direction is taken.

Jonathan Prill, P.Eng.*
Compliance: ensuring a proper balance between enforcement and assisting companies to become compliant. I believe that APEGA needs to focus on enforcement to ensure that there are meaningful repercussions for non-compliance but maintain the willingness to assist those who ask. Companies who come forward and actively work toward compliance should be assisted and those who are caught must be reprimanded.

Bob Rundle, P.Eng.*
The biggest challenges facing APEGA are the risk of losing the right to self-regulate and our relationship with ASET. The best way for APEGA to ensure continued self-regulation is to continue to enhance our ability to ensure all APEGA members are practicing in a professional manner that protects the public safety. We are now at the forefront of Canadian associations in this regard, but we must continue to improve to become a world leader. Our relationship with ASET is another challenge that needs some new ideas on how best to regulate both APEGA and ASET members in the best interest of public safety.

Theresa Watson, P.Eng.*
I believe there are three main challenges facing APEGA. The first, resisting pressure to reduce requirements for training and education for licensees; second, retaining independence and; third, maintaining relevance for the membership. 

Lian Zhao, P.Eng.
The challenges are maintaining competency among the various roles, especially technical, engaging with low oil price economics worldwide, and navigating challenging conditions to strengthen both sides of a professional’s creative critical thinking and integrated decision-making strategies. Also, reducing risk probability and creating effective ways to reduce costs also stick out. Promoting a higher engagement level among members is essential to secure and develop this self-regulated association.

Polls are open from February 3 to March 5, 2020.

See the other questions:

See more about the 2020 candidates


Top Articles