INNOVATION January-February 2017
As the official publication of Engineers and Geoscientists British Columbia, Innovation is circulated to almost 34,000 BC-registered professional engineers and geoscientists, other professionals, industry and government representatives, educational institutions and the general public. The magazine is published six times each year on a bi-monthly basis.
The Privilege of Self-Regulation • Human Rights and Diversity Initiatives • Seeking Council Nominations
JOURNAL OF THE ASSOCIATION OF PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS AND GEOSCIENTISTS OF BC
BC Know-How Makes Global Impact
New Paper Positions APEGBC and Members to Respond to Climate Change
Check our website regularly for possible career opportunities
JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2 017 [ volume 21 number 1)
fea tures 12
Perspective – Self-Regulation: A Privilege, Not a Right Dr. Ralph Sultan, P.Eng., MLA Perspective – Expanding the Context of the Code of Ethics Bowinn Ma , P . Eng.
15 Positioning APEGBC and Its Members to Respond to Climate Change The APEGBC Climate Change Advisory Group – Mark Porter, P.Eng., Struct.Eng., Dr. Conor Reynolds, P.Eng., Dr. Malcolm Shield, P.Eng., Dr. Brian Menounos, P.Geo., Brent Burton, P.Eng., Glen Parker, P.Eng., Glen Shkurhan, P.Eng., Sean Marte, P.Eng., Susan Hayes, P.Eng., Dr. Johanna Wolf 18 Wastewater Goes Green: The Sechelt Water Resource Centre Tom Ruffen 22 Verifying the Past; Improving the Future: BC Geoscientists and Engineers Are Donating Their Time and Expertise to Projects around the World Robin J. Miller 27 Mercury Rising: By Improving the Economics of Artisanal Mining in Developing Countries, BC Engineers and Geoscientists Work Towards Reducing a Global Pollution Problem Kylie Williams 31 Insight – Taking the Next Career Step: A Shortlist of Leadership Books Karen Chan, P . Eng. news 6 News APEGBC Geoscientists Recognised 7 Association Notes APEGBC Is Recruiting Members for 2017/2018 Council; Consultation Opportunity: How Can APEGBC Support You in a Changing Climate?; Seeking Presenters for APEGBC’s 2017 Annual Conference; New Government Appointees Join Council; Nominations Now Open for APEGBC Awards; March Is National Engineering and Geoscience Month; Council Report
ON THE COVER: With funding from Geoscientists Without Borders, a team of engineers and geoscientists spent two weeks in Kenya’s Turkana desert identifying potential freshwater well sites. S tory , page 22. photo : P aul B auman , p . eng .
depar tment s
The Sechelt Water Resource Centre incorporates new wastewater treatment technologies. P hoto : M aple R einders I nc . 18
4 Viewpoint Balancing Requirements and Input 32 Professional Services 35 Community Survey Results Track Salary Shifts for BC Engineers and Geoscientists 36 Classifieds 36 APEGBC Affinity Program 36 Display Advertisers Index 37 Practice Human Rights and Diversity Guidelines Now Available; Declare Your CPD Hours for 2016 37 Membership 38 Registration Accredited Employer Member-in- Training Pilot Program Sees Steady Growth 38 Organisational Quality Managemen t 39 APEGBC Continuing Professional Development
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JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017 VOLUME 21 NUMBER 1
When I take on an engineering project, I draw on many resources. I consider the project’s scope and my deliverables in relationship to the project’s deliverables, plus I review all pertinent documentation. I consult with my client, the other project teammembers and the appropriate stakeholders. I also review all pertinent regulations, codes and practice guidelines, and all available technologies or equipment, including their delivery times and costs. I rely on my education, training, and experience as an electrical engineer, plus I consult and work with colleagues who provide additional insight based on their own training and experience. I always keep public safety and the public interest in mind. All of these considerations combine to guide me in how I approach and implement a project. Yet, in the end, once client acceptance as been obtained, when the time comes for me to determine the drawings required and specify the design elements and materials, I inevitably weight some considerations more heavily than others, for the project must conform to legislation, codes, best practices, and protect the public. The client’s needs must also be addressed within those overarching requirements and technical limitations. Risks must be either designed out or mitigated. Every engineer and geoscientist undertakes similar processes when starting or undertaking a project, be it designing electrical systems, developing mines, creating biomedical devices, constructing highway interchanges, devising flood protection plans, or developing software. It is our role and our responsibility as professionals. Council, too, follows a similar process. During my years on Council, we have deliberated complex issues and considered diverse inputs and resources, including regular feedback from members. At Council’s direction, APEGBC engages with members through surveys, webinars, seminars, and consultation meetings across BC. Members also contribute input via committees and divisions, on APEGBC’s social media sites, and by contacting Council or branch executive members directly. Nominating candidates for Council, voting in APEGBC’s elections, and participating in our annual general meetings also present opportunities for members to express their views to Council. The Council draws on all member input when considering issues and decisions. In the end, however, Council must balance that feedback against input from other sources. Sometimes that other input must take precedence. For example, APEGBC must always satisfy—and be seen to satisfy—government and the public that the association puts the public interest first, before all other considerations. This is our duty as the regulator of the engineering and geoscience professions in BC. Neglecting this duty puts our professions’ authority to self-regulate at risk. Once that overarching requirement is met, we—your elected Council—strive hard to address members’ concerns and needs. As your elected president of APEGBC for the next nine months, I encourage all members to make their views known and help better inform Council’s decision-making process. Opportunities include ongoing consultation on possible regulation of corporate practice in BC, connecting with branch executives and councillors at meetings and events, and a survey on climate change (See page 8). You can also email me at any time to discuss any issue or concern. Please speak up. Be heard. Contribute to our decision-making processes.
Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC Suite 200 - 4010 Regent Street, Burnaby, BC Canada V5C 6N2 Tel: 604.430.8035 Fax: 604.430.8085 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Internet: apeg.bc.ca Toll free: 1.888.430.8035 APEGBC COUNCIL 2016/2017 P resident B ob S tewart , P.E ng . V ice -P resident D r . E d C asas , P.E ng . I mmediate P ast P resident D r . M ichael W rinch , P.E ng ., FEC, FGC (H on .) COUNCILLORS C.J.A. Andrewes, P.Eng.; S. Cheema, CA, CPA R. Farbridge, P.Eng.; C. Hall, P.Eng./P.Geo. S. Hayes, P.Eng.; K. Laloge, CPA, CA, TEP; S. Martin, P.Eng. C. Moser, P.Eng.; R.B. Nanson, P.Eng. S.R. Rettie, P.Eng., FEC; L. Spence, P.Eng. K.Tarnai-Lokhorst, P.Eng., FEC; J. Turner, P.Ag. (ret); D. Wells, JD ASSOCIATION STAFF A.J. English, P.Eng. C hief E xecutive O fficer and R egistrar T.M.Y. Chong, P.Eng. C hief R egulatory O fficer and D eputy R egistrar J.Y. Sinclair C hief O perating O fficer M.L. Archibald D irector , C ommunications and S takeholder E ngagement J. Cho, CGA D irector , F inance and A dministration D. Gamble D irector , I nformation S ystems P.R. Mitchell, P.Eng. D irector , P rofessional P ractice , S tandards and D evelopment D. Olychick D irector , M ember S ervices G.M. Pichler, P.Eng. D irector , R egistration
Balancing Requirements and Inputs
Bob Stewart, P.Eng. President
E. Swartz, LLB D irector , L egislation , E thics and C ompliance V. Lai, CGA A ssociate D irector , F inance and A dministration M.A. Rigolo P.Eng., A ssociate D irector , E ngineering A dmissions M onique K eiran , M anaging E ditor
APEGBC EDITORIAL BOARD J. Bracho, P.Eng.; E.A. Brown, P.Eng.; K.C. Chan, P.Eng., CPA; S. Chiu, P.Eng.; T. George, P.Eng.; H. Ghalibafian, P.Eng. G. Grill, P.Eng.; R. Gupta, P.Eng.; M.A. Klippenstein, P.Eng.; R. Ord, P.Eng.; A.M. Westin, GIT; M.J. Zieleman, EIT
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Innovation is published six times a year by the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia. As the official publication of the association, Innovation is circulated to members of the engineering and geoscience professions, architects, contractors and industry executives. The views expressed in any article contained herein do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the Council or membership of this association. Submission Guidelines: Innovation encourages unsolicited articles and photos. By submitting material to Innovation , you grant APEGBC a royalty-free, worldwide licence to publish the material; and you warrant that you have the authority to grant such rights and have obtained waivers of all associated moral rights. Innovation reserves the right to edit material for length, clarity and conformity with our editorial guidelines (apeg.bc.ca/innovation-editorial) and is under no obligation to publish any or all submissions or any portion thereof, including credits. All material is copyright. Please contact the Managing Editor for reprint permission.
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APEGBC Geoscientists Recognised
Mission: Innovation As APEGBC’s official publication, Innovation aims to publish information that is of interest and relevance to the professions, is balanced, objective and impartial, affects the conduct of members, and showcases innovative engineering and geoscience work of members. A secondary aim is to provide a forum for the exchange of views among APEGBC members through the publication of letters to the editor. In January, the Association for Mineral Exploration recognised six APEGBC geoscientists for their leadership, resilience and innovation in exploration and mineral development. The association presented the awards January 25 during the AME Roundup 2017 conference. Carl Edmunds, P.Geo., and colleagues receive the H.H. “Spud” Huestis Award for excellence in prospecting and mineral exploration for their discovery and resource definition of AuRico Metals Inc.’s Kemess East deposit in BC. The E.A. Scholz Award for excellence in mine development in BC and the Yukon goes to APEGBC member Steve Robertson, P.Geo., and a colleague for their role in advancing Imperial Metals Corporation’s Red Chris copper–gold project in BC from development to commercial production. JoAnne Nelson, P.Geo., a 30-year veteran of the BC Geological Survey, receives a Special Tribute for her distinguished career in geoscience work, which focuses on the tectonics, structural geology, and metallogeny of the Northern Cordillera spanning BC, the Yukon, and Alaska. Susan Craig, P.Geo., receives the Gold Pan Award for her service to the mineral exploration community through the Association for Mineral Exploration. Frank Woodside Past Presidents and Past Chairs Awards go to Barb Caelles, P.Geo., and Alex Christopher, P.Geo., for distinguished service to the association and contributions to the mineral industry.
BCIT is pleased to announce that Dave Rutherford has been appointed Associate Dean, Natural Resources and Engineering within the School of Construction and the Environment. Dave has worked in the BCIT Geomatics department for 18 years, both as an instructor and as Program Head since 2010. Dave is a British Columbia Land Surveyor and a Canada Lands Surveyor. He has over 19 years of experience in small/medium enterprise, business management and development. He also brings a strong leadership background having served as President, Vice-President and Board Member of the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of British Columbia.
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APEGBC Is Recruiting Members for 2017/2018 Council
British Columbia’s engineers and geoscientists play an essential role in the province. Through the nomination process, we are seeking visionary members to provide strong leadership for APEGBC.
APEGBC invites members who wish to run in the fall 2017 Council election to contact the Nominating Committee to express their interest in becoming candidates. Why Get Involved? Engineers and geoscientists enjoy the privilege of self- regulation. This means they are responsible for determining and maintaining the standards of admission and practice for their professions. As an organisation, APEGBC relies on members’ participation to carry out its regulatory functions. Members of the association’s Council provide leadership and strategic direction to APEGBC, establishing its priorities and policies under provincial legislation, the Engineers and Geoscientists Act. Professional engineers, professional geoscientists and licensees in good standing are eligible for office. Councillors are generally elected for a two-year term, commencing October 21, 2017. The President and Vice President are elected for a one-year term. Our Process APEGBC is governed by a Council of elected members and government appointees. Each year, members have the opportunity to elect a President, Vice President, and a minimum of five councillors. Candidates may be nominated either by the Nominating Committee or as a write-in candidate with the support of 25 members. The election will be held during September and October 2017. Those elected will take office at the Annual General Meeting on October 21, 2017. APEGBC’s Nominating Committee will meet from December 2016 to April 2017 to select a list of candidates. These nominees will be selected based on their qualifications, experience and expertise. Members are encouraged to submit referrals or expressions of interest to this committee for consideration, by contacting Nominating Committee Chair Dr. Michael Wrinch, P.Eng., FEC, FGC (Hon.), at email@example.com, by Thursday, February 23, 2017. Members may also submit nominations of candidates for election, with the support of 25 members in good standing, directly to the Registrar. This requires a nomination form signed by the members making the nomination and the written consent of the nominee. The deadline for submitting nomination forms is Wednesday, June 28, 2017, at 5:00 pm. Detailed information, including nomination forms and Nominating Committee candidate criteria, can be found online at apeg.bc.ca/Nominations-2017-18 .
Interested in Running for Office? Here’s what the Nominating Committee is looking for: All nominees for councillor must be members or licensees (P.Eng., P.Geo., Eng.L., Geo.L.) in good standing. Of candidates referred directly to the Nominating Committee, candidates for the office of President must have served on Council for at least two years, and candidates for the office of Vice President must have served one year. Previous experience on Council is not required for members nominated by 25 members. Desirable skills and experience include: • Financial fluency, such as relating to financial statements, cash flow, budgeting, financial planning, investing, and risk management • Familiarity with governance structures of corporations and/or large organisations • A minimum of five years of professional practice as an APEGBC member. • Leadership roles, including strategic thinking and public speaking. Experience with service on boards of companies or voluntary, professional or community organisations. For more detailed information on the Nominating Committee’s criteria, see apeg.bc.ca/Nominations-2017-18. Nominating Committee The Nominating Committee ensures that a list of nominees is put forward for election in consideration of criteria vital to strong and balanced leadership of the association. This includes management and professional practice experience, financial fluency, diversity, and more. The Nominating Committee is composed of eight professional members or licensees representing APEGBC regional branches and five professional members or licensees appointed by Council. The committee is chaired by the current past president. For information about the Nominating Committee, see apeg.bc.ca/Nominations-2017-18.
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Nominations Now Open for APEGBC Awards Nominations are now being accepted for APEGBC’s President’s Awards, Environmental Award, Sustainability Award, and Mentor of the Year Award. The awards will be presented at APEGBC's 2017 Annual Conference, October 19–21, in Whistler, BC. Find award terms of reference and nomination procedures at apeg.bc.ca/For-Members/Awards. APEGBC President’s Awards Nominations close Friday, April 14, 2017 APEGBC needs your help to identify deserving professionals within the engineering and geoscience community who serve as role models, excel at what they do, and inspire others. The President’s Awards are British Columbia’s top honours for professional engineers, professional geoscientists, and licensees. The awards recognise the exemplary and outstanding professional, technical and community contributions of APEGBC members, and allow the association to showcase the professions to the public. Award winners are selected by a committee of APEGBC members, based on nominations submitted by their peers and the public. Members can be nominated for the award categories of meritorious achievement, community service, professional service, and teaching at the post-secondary level. A fifth award, the Young Professional Award, recognises an individual not older than 35 years of age who combines professional achievement, community service and professional service early in their career. The R.A. McLachlan Memorial Award and the C.J. Westerman Memorial Award are APEGBC’s premier awards for engineering and geoscience, respectively, and recognise those who have made significant contributions to their profession throughout their careers. Direct questions about the President’s Awards to Warren Mirko, APEGBC Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org or 604.588.6648. APEGBC Sustainability Award Nominations close Friday, March 10, 2017 From designing innovative processes that do more with less to implementing adaptive measures that address an uncertain climate future, APEGBC engineers and geoscientists practise at the leading edge of sustainability.
APEGBC recognises these leaders through the annual Sustainability Award as a means to celebrate and share their positive contributions to a sustainable future. Any project that demonstrates a commitment to, and understanding of, the concept of sustainability and/or has applied one or more of APEGBC’s sustainability guidelines is eligible. Direct questions to Harshan Radhakrishnan, P.Eng., APEGBC Professional Practice, email@example.com or 604.412.6054. APEGBC Environmental Award Nominations close Friday, March 10, 2017 APEGBC's Division of Environmental Professionals encourages submissions for the Environmental Award, highlighting professional engineers’ and geoscientists’ roles in responsible environmental management, environmental protection, and sustainable development. Direct questions to Amit Plaha, APEGBC Member Services, aplaha@ apeg.bc.ca or 604.412.4885. APEGBC’s Mentor of the Year Award recognises excellence among mentors in BC’s engineering and geoscience community. Mentorship plays a key role in supporting a successful career in engineering and geoscience. Nominees must be a mentor in the APEGBC Mentoring Program. Direct questions about the Mentor of the Year Award to Amit Plaha, APEGBC Member Services, firstname.lastname@example.org or 604.412.4885. APEGBC / ABCFP Forest Engineering Award of Excellence Nominations accepted throughout the year The Forest Engineering Award of Excellence, sponsored jointly by APEGBC and the Association of BC Forest Professionals (ABCFP), recognises excellence, cooperation and leadership in forest engineering. The award is presented annually and alternates between associations. APEGBC will present the 2017 award. Nominees may be individuals, organisations or associations responsible for projects that demonstrate outstanding accomplishments in forest engineering. See apeg.bc.ca/ For-Members/Awards. APEGBC Mentor of the Year Award Nominations close Friday, April 14, 2017
March Is National Engineering and Geoscience Month National Engineering and Geoscience Month geoscience to every-day life. Events and activities include
the ways APEGBC promotes the professions within the community and works to ensure there are enough engineers and geoscientists to protect public safety in BC in future decades. For the most current information on NEGM, visit apeg.bc.ca/NEGM and look for us on Twitter @APEGBC.
the APEGBC Science Games, popsicle stick bridge building competitions, and a drawing contest. Invite your family and friends to participate in the fun. Captivating British Columbians with science and encouraging today’s students to consider careers in engineering and geoscience is one of
(NEGM) 2017 kicks off on March 1. The month-long event promotes awareness of engineering and geoscience, celebrates our members and their achievements, explains the diverse fields within the professions, and reminds the public of the relevance and importance of engineering and
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APEGBC’s Council of elected members and government appointees meets throughout the year to conduct the business of association governance. Council open agenda packages, minutes of the open sessions and previous council meeting summaries can be viewed at apeg.bc.ca/Council-Summary-November-2016.
NOVEMBER 25, 2016 Motions from the 2016 AGM Reviewed Council considered the three motions from the floor of the Annual General Meeting in Victoria, on October 22, 2016, that were debated and carried by the membership. Motion 1: That Council consider developing a proactive guideline that will require all members to take into consideration options to achieve net zero emissions in their professional practice. The Climate Change Advisory Group will report to Council at their April 2017 meeting to confirmwhat current activities are being undertaken related to guideline development in this area. This report will also include the committee’s advice regarding additional considerations relating to this motion. Motion 2: That Council consider reporting the results of membership voting by branch, which then would be aggregated to the total returns. Council has referred the motion to the Director of Member Services to provide an analysis of what information is obtainable. The analysis and recommendations will be reported to Council at the February 2017 meeting. Motion 3: That, in the interest of improved openness and transparency with the membership and the public, Council consider implementing a policy of publishing, both in Innovation and by broadcasting to the membership by email, any received written request signed by 25 members [pursuant to section 12(7) of the Engineers and Geoscientists Act ] at the earliest possible opportunity. Council has referred this motion to Executive Committee to review. The
committee will present their analysis to Council at the February 2017 meeting. 2017/2018 Budget Guidelines Approved Council approved guidelines for the creation of APEGBC’s 2017/2018 budget. This budget will be the first in a three-year budgeting cycle that aligns with the 2017–2020 Strategic Plan . The budget guidelines emphasise APEGBC’s commitment to sustainable financial management and the intent to strive for no more than a two percent increase to the annual professional member fee during 2018–2020. Dam Safety Review Guideline Revisions Approved Council has approved revisions to the APEGBC Professional Practice Guidelines – Legislated Dam Safety Reviews in BC for final editorial and legal review prior to publication. These revisions stem from recommendations APEGBC received from the Chief Inspector of Mines’ 2014 investigation report on the Mount Polley Mine tailings storage facility breach and the Auditor General’s 2016 report on compliance and enforcement of the mining sector. The updated guidelines clarify and update the definition of Engineer of Record in regards to dam safety. Election and Nomination Processes Review Task Force Appointed Council has approved the creation of a task force to review APEGBC’s nomination and election processes, as well as the associated Bylaw 3 from the Engineers and Geoscientists Act. The task force will review Council- experience requirements for presidential and vice-presidential candidates, as well as the
election process used by other engineering and geoscience regulatory bodies in Canada.
Agreement Renewed with Iranian Engineers of BC
Council approved the renewal of APEGBC’s Memorandum of Agreement with the Iranian Engineers of British Columbia Association (IEBCA). The IEBCA is an organisation that supports engineers of Iranian background working or residing in BC by providing networking, professional development, job search assistance, and career counselling. APEGBC supports IEBCA’s objectives, and the agreement represents a commitment by both organisations to collaborate in areas of mutual interest. Investigation and Discipline Update Council received a report from the Investigation and Discipline committees on their progress in the current fiscal year. From July 1, 2016, to October 31, 2016, APEGBC opened 21 investigation files and is currently conducting one investigation for the Registration Committee. National Energy Board Modernisation Council discussed APEGBC‘s December presentation to the National Energy Board Modernisation Expert Panel regarding environmental assessment processes. The association has previously provided feedback on the panel’s draft terms of reference. It is anticipated that input from a professional association’s perspective will assist the panel in making recommendations that will strengthen and enhance the clarity of the regulatory process to make evidence-based assessments in the public interest.
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APPOINTMENTS Advisory Task Force on Corporate Practice Patricia Chong, P.Eng. David Chwaklinski, P.Eng. Susan Craig, P.Geo. Mike Currie, P.Eng. (Chair) Dr. Michael Davies, P.Eng., P.Geo. Catherine Fritter, P.Eng. Kathleen Groves, P.Eng. K. Adrian Gygax, P.Eng., Struct.Eng. Scott Martin, P.Eng. Andrew Mill, P.Eng., Struct.Eng. Eduards Miska, P.Eng. Dirk Nyland, P.Eng. Julius Pataky, P.Eng. Greg Scott, P.Eng. Colin Smith, P.Eng., FEC, FGC (Hon.) John Turner, P.Ag. (ret.) Selena Wilson, P.Eng. APEGBC Editorial Board Julio Bracho, P.Eng. Lisa Brown, P.Eng. Roger Ord, P.Eng. Building Codes Committee Mark Lawton, P.Eng., FEC J. Wesley Lim, P.Eng. Board of Examiners Martin Bollo, P.Eng. Taco Niet, P.Eng. Consulting Practice Committee Randall Hillaby, P.Eng. Ivan Lee, P.Eng. Discipline Committee Chris Arthur, P.Eng. Jaswinder Bansal, P.Eng. Frank Denton, P.Eng., FEC, FGC (Hon.) John Haythorne, P.Eng., FEC, FGC (Hon.) Colin Smith, P.Eng., FEC, FGC (Hon. Geoscience Committee Delbert Ferguson, P.Geo., Eng.L. Investigation Committee Lindsay Bottomer, P.Geo., FGC, FEC (Hon.) Jeffrey Corbett, P.Eng., Struct.Eng., FEC Clint Low, P.Eng., Struct.Eng., FEC Andrew Mill, P.Eng., Struct.Eng., FEC Mehrdad Roozbahani, P.Eng., FEC Gregory Smith, P.Eng., Struct.Eng. Nominating Committee Emily Cheung, P.Eng., FEC Dr. John Clague, P.Geo., FGC, FEC (Hon.). Frank Denton, P.Eng., FEC, FGC (Hon.) Nathan Ozog, P.Eng. Tim Smith, P.Geo., Eng.L., FGC
Practice Review Committee Charlotte-Ann Huffman, P.Eng., FEC Randall Kovacs, P.Eng., FEC Alexander McGowan, P.Eng. Antonio Melo, P.Eng., FEC Ken Newbert, P.Eng. Professional Practice Committee Karen Savage, P.Eng., FEC
Registration Committee Shiloh Carlson, P.Eng. David Harvey, P.Eng., Struct.Eng., FEC Dr. Martin Fandrich, P.Eng. Standing Awards Committee David Harvey, P.Eng., Struct.Eng., FEC Sabina Russell, P.Eng.
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Self-Regulation: A Privilege, Not a Right
Dr. Ralph Sultan, P.Eng., MLA Although governments recognise that the functioning of our society is completely reliant on the excellence and diligence in the engineering and geoscience professions, in order for us to maintain our self-regulation privilege, it is imperative that we show leadership and take the appropriate steps to hold ourselves to the highest of standards. If we do not, recent examples demonstrate the government may intercede to ensure the public interest is protected. Engineers and geoscientists are significant contributors to our provincial economy and the well- being of our society. The engineering and geoscience professions have a responsibility and great need to live
up to the trust placed in them by the public. While our professions have had some inspiring accomplishments, like any other profession, we are not perfect. When issues arise, society’s faith in us wavers. To assume that we are free to make all of the rules that apply to us and that we, through APEGBC, are the final collective judge for what is in the public interest is simply not true. When the public trust falters, the government can act quite swiftly and authoritatively. We have seen this with the BC Real Estate Council. In announcing the end of self-regulation by the province’s real estate industry, Premier Christy Clark stated that, “The point of regulation is to protect people.” She further added
that, “It’s granted on behalf of the public by government to professions that say they can do the job and prove they can do the job.” The public and government lost confidence in the council’s ability to self-regulate after alleged ethical and legal wrongdoings which led to government intervention. In Quebec, the Ordre des Ingénieurs du Québec , Quebec’s professional regulatory body for engineers, was placed under trusteeship of the provincial government this summer. This followed a recommendation from the Office des Professions , the authority that oversees all of the province’s professional regulatory bodies. In making that recommendation, it questioned the ability of the OIQ to carry out its primary mission of public protection. All said, APEGBC is doing a wonderful job, but we must remain focused on, and vigilant to, our duty to protect the public interest. Professional self-regulation requires us to adhere to the highest of safety, legal, and ethical standards and any breach to these standards may lead to the government, and the public, asking hard questions about our ability to self-regulate. We need to be aware that government may have a different view of what is best for the public and, when push comes to shove, the government will prevail. As an engineer for over 50 years, I am committed to the betterment of our industry and to ensuring that the community around us trusts our ability to deliver. I also believe that we as professionals are up to the challenge of regulating our own affairs. But to continue to maintain this privilege, we need to ensure we are demonstrating to the public and government we take seriously our number one responsibility to protect the public interest. v Dr. Sultan, P.Eng., MLA, is a long-time engineer. As an MLA, he represents the BC provincial riding of West Vancouver–Capilano.
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Bowinn Ma, P.Eng. Expanding the Context of the Code of Ethics
movement, transportation patterns can be influenced by the cost of gas. It should come as no surprise to any of us then that governance creates similar influences on public behavior. From environmental regulations and building codes to the distribution of social funding and the issue of poverty, governances determine the fundamental framework within which companies operate and within which people live, work, suffer, or succeed. Does it not then follow that civic engagement, if not participation and advocacy, is a necessary part of our roles as engineers and geoscientists, and part of our commitment to society? A professional’s ability to safeguard the public, after all, is only as good as the strength of our democracy and political will, through which society roots its judgments of right and wrong. We cannot be content to leave politics to the politicians. The engineering and geoscience communities can and must apply our sense of duty to increasingly greater contexts for the betterment of humanity. Our duty begins with recognising the extent to which our lives are interconnected and being willing to understand varying perspectives on the issues that matter. It transitions into making political engagement a normal part of our lives and evolves into finding the courage to speak out against injustice. How this might manifest in each of us will vary. I have personally reached a tipping point that has led me to run directly for political office. Whatever the expansion of the APEGBC Code of Ethics means for you, at its core must be an understanding that we are collectively responsible for the world we leave behind to future generations. v Bowinn Ma, P.Eng., manages capital construction projects for the Vancouver Airport Authority. In her personal life, she is an advocate, organiser, and critic on policies related to issues of civil rights, civil liberties, social justice, wealth distribution, and the environment. Bowinn is a candidate for Member of the Legislative Assembly in the 2017 Provincial Election.
As is the case with almost every engineer, geoscientist and other professional in this country, my professional designation was granted to me on condition that I know and abide by a code of ethics. In BC, the APEGBC Code of Ethics governing professional engineers and geoscientists includes an obligation to the public, requiring that we “safeguard” and “hold paramount” human life, public welfare, and the environment. A simple concept, it would seem, and yet when you dig deeper, it begs further consideration. If I create a machine that is perfectly safe, but is then used to displace thousands of workers, leaving them unemployed and impoverished, did I hold paramount the welfare of the public? If I develop a new energy source that is then weaponised and used against innocent civilians, did I hold paramount human life? If we believe that professionals play roles in our world critical enough to warrant regulation and codes of ethics, then our collective obligation to the public does not, and should not, end with our fingertips upon a calculator. It is not possible to truly hold paramount the safety and welfare of the public without looking beyond the narrow scope of our immediate work. These are highly complex and political issues that do not disappear simply because we’ve applied the correct factor of safety to our designs. If I know the environmental regulation regarding the discharge of a certain chemical into a local lake is inadequate, but my company insists that I do the bare minimum required to keep the operation legal, have I met my ethical obligation? If I appropriately design my project, but do not advocate for the correction of that regulation, have I truly safeguarded the environment? Something being legal is not the same as something being ethical or moral—so just how far does my responsibility to society go? It can be difficult to see the forest for the trees. As engineers and geoscientists, we recognise the value of influencing human behavior through design and availability and cost of resources: the layout of a building can create predictable patterns of pedestrian
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fea t ure s Positioning APEGBC and Its Members to Respond to Climate Change T he APEGBC C limate C hange A dvisory G roup – Mark Porter, P.Eng., Struct.Eng., Dr. Conor Reynolds, P.Eng., Dr. Malcolm Shield, P.Eng., Dr. Brian Menounos, P.Geo., Brent Burton, P.Eng., Glen Parker, P.Eng., Glen Shkurhan, P.Eng., Sean Marte, P.Eng., Susan Hayes, P.Eng. ( C ouncil appointee ), Dr. Johanna Wolf ( BC M inistry of E nvironment representative )
Climate change is one of the most critical issues British Columbians will face this century. Impacts will include changes to precipitation patterns, rising average temperatures, increased frequency of extreme weather events, and sea-level rise—all of which will pose significant challenges to the way we live and work. Many engineers and geoscientists are already planning for climate change in their work. APEGBC’s most recent position paper identifies reduction of greenhouse gases as an important climate change mitigation strategy. The APEGBC Position Paper: Human-Induced Climate Change incorporates input provided during extensive consultation with nine APEGBC committees and divisions, and declares the following positions: • APEGBC accepts that there is strong evidence that human activities, in particular activities that emit greenhouse gases, are contributing to global climate change.
• APEGBC Registrants have the potential to influence greenhouse gas emissions through their professional activities, and are expected to consider the impact of their work on the climate. The paper commits the association to support its members with climate change-related guidelines and materials, work with government on climate change-related issues and processes that affect BC engineers and geoscientists, and encourage members to consider climate change in their work—particularly through climate change mitigation and adaptation. The APEGBC Position Paper: Human-Induced Climate Change follows up on another climate change-related position paper, published in 2014, which recognised that changing climate means evolving responsibilities for the association and its membership.
Floods damaged roads and bridges in BC's South Peace River region in 2016. Changed precipitation patterns and more extreme weather due to climate change are predicted to increase risk to communities and infrastructure. P hoto , BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure cc by nc nd
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The Province of British Columbia recently announced its own climate leadership plan. It identifies actions across sectors of relevance to APEGBC members, including transportation, the built environment, natural gas extraction and use, and renewable electricity generation. Local governments in BC, which employ many BC engineers, are also taking leadership roles in helping to make utility infrastructure and the built environment resilient to climate change. Supporting Climate Change Mitigation The science of climate change is robust (See sidebar). The increasingly active response by different levels of government makes it clear APEGBC and its members will have important roles to play in this area. Climate change can be seen as a risk management issue (See page 16, Innovation July/August 2016), and APEGBC members are already highly experienced with accounting for and managing risk in their work. Furthermore, APEGBC members will need to demonstrate due diligence and the application of best practices with respect to both climate adaptation and mitigation. Reduction of greenhouse gases, specifically carbon dioxide and methane, represents an effective method for mitigating the risks presented by the changing climate system. In this context, APEGBC Council endorsed APEGBC’s position on human-induced climate change. By publishing the position paper, APEGBC: 1. Commits to supporting its members in meeting their obligations under the Engineers and Geoscientists Act by providing climate change-related materials; 2. Identifies the need to provide input into processes at the different levels of government that may have implications to the practice of engineering or geoscience; 3. Encourages members to consider the impact of their work on the climate, especially with respect to projects and professional activities that have associated greenhouse gas emissions; and, 4. Challenges geoscientists and engineers to evolve their professional practice to incorporate climate change adaptation and mitigation as holding paramount the protection of public health and safety is part of our Code of Ethics. Climate mitigation targets in projects and initiatives, whether driven by regulation or a client’s scope of work, provide opportunities for APEGBC members to develop and implement innovative solutions in all areas of their work. Key areas where members are expected to contribute include implementation of energy-efficiency technologies, development of cost-effective renewable energy sources and energy storage, research on carbon capture and storage technology, adoption of low-carbon vehicles and development of intelligent transportation networks, use of technologies that reduce energy use and emissions from new and existing buildings, and energy and resource recovery within waste management. Technological innovations, land-use change, construction of new infrastructure, and behavior change all affect greenhouse gas emissions, both in the near term and in the decades ahead. Many APEGBC members already know how to increase energy efficiency and encourage use of renewable energy in their work—these efforts will help to reduce emissions and contribute meaningfully to climate mitigation.
What Climate Science Tells Us As applied scientists, APEGBC members can look to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for the best available summary of climate change science. The IPCC synthesises peer-reviewed research from thousands of scientists about the climate system and how it is likely to change in the future. Contributing scientists range from theoretical physicists to economists, and include many engineers and geoscientists. Three working groups form the core of the IPCC. The first working group summarises knowledge about the climate system, based on theoretical premises, observation, and modeling. The second group describes on how climate change will affect humans and the environment in which they live. The third group explores policy options for lessening the likelihood of climate change. Atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) continues to rise, because the rate at which humans add CO 2 to the atmosphere via fossil fuel combustion substantially exceeds the rate at which natural sinks such as oceans and forests can remove it. Unlike nitrogen—the atmosphere’s most plentiful gas— atmospheric CO 2 is a greenhouse gas, and increasing its atmospheric concentration leads to a radiative imbalance. An increase in Earth’s surface temperature is a direct result of this imbalance. The IPCC’s Summary for Policymakers from its Climate Change 2014 Synthesis Report states: Continued emission of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and long-lasting changes in all components of the climate system, increasing the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems. Limiting climate change would require substantial and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions which, together with adaptation, can limit climate change risks.
Building Momentum: Context From local to global scales, momentum has been building to take action on climate change. Delegates to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change met in Paris last December at the 21 st Conference of Parties (COP21). Policy makers reached a landmark agreement to maintain global temperature rise in this century below 2 o Celsius. The agreement signifies global recognition of climate change challenges, and identifies the need to accelerate and intensify the actions and investments needed for a sustainable, low-carbon future. Canada’s government is developing a pan-Canadian framework for combatting climate change, which will involve the provinces’ and territories’ participation.
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