The first 5 years of advocacy at OSPE


Over the past 15 years, OSPE has made great strides in a range of policy areas to promote the interests of the engineering profession in Ontario. OSPE would like to thank our members, volunteers, and all those who have contributed and continue to contribute to the success of OSPE’s initiatives. The following is a timeline of what we accomplished in 2000-2005.

When you are finished reading, take a look at highlights from 2006-2010 and 2011-today.

2000: OSPE is born
  • Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) referendum: 80% of members that voted approve the creation of a new advocacy body for the engineering profession
2001: OSPE advocates new definition of Qualified Persons under the Brownfields Statute Law Amendment Act
  • New definition should include only practitioners held accountable for their actions publicly
  • These individuals, including engineers, should not be subject to further certification
  • This position was upheld by the government


2002: OSPE testifies before Walkerton Inquiry
  • OSPE lobbies government, testifies at hearing, and speaks to media
  • “Our major input was to ask the [Walkerton Inquiry] to ensure the involvement of professional engineers in the design, building, and operation of public water supplies. Our position is that waterworks is engineering and the Professional Engineers Act requires that professional engineers must be involved in all engineering works in Ontario,” explains Robert Goodings, former OSPE Board member
  • Widely accepted by Inquiry Chair, the Honourable Dennis R. O’Connor and Provincial Parliamentary Committee
  • The same submission was made to the Ontario all-party Provincial Committee drafting the Clean Water Act 2006
OSPE creates advocacy plan
  • With input from over 100 engineers from across the province, OSPE creates its first Advocacy Plan for Ontario’s engineers


2003: OSPE champions use of Qualifications Based Selection (QBS) in the engineering services sector
  • OSPE advocates for use of QBS in engineering services selection process over low-fee biding structures
  • With PEO and Consulting Engineers Ontario (CEO), OSPE champions increased interest in this approach among all levels of government, including a successful pilot project in London, Ontario
OSPE releases results of its first Employer Compensation Survey
  • OSPE provides a comprehensive picture of hiring trends and salary levels across all categories and disciplines
  • Survey conducted with Ontario’s engineers for over 50 years, originally by PEO
PEO’s Women in Engineering Advisory Committee (WEAC) moves to OSPE
  • WEAC works toward a more progressive and diverse profession by encouraging the full participation of women
  • WEAC encourages more Ontario women to study engineering at the post-secondary level, consider engineering as a career, pursue licensure and to take on leadership roles in the workplace
  • WEAC holds two annual forums to network, learn and engage with others in the engineering community


2004: Premier Dalton McGuinty provides keynote address at OSPE’s first major conference, “Engineering the Healthy City”
  • Panel of experts discuss how engineers are “Powering the Healthy City”
  • Other speakers: John Beck, P.Eng., President and CEO of Aecon Group Inc., representatives from the Independent Electricity Market Operator, Ontario Power Generation, Canadian Nuclear Association, Ontario Growth Secretariat, and the Ministry of Transportation
OSPE presents recommendations on Bill 100, the Electricity Restructuring Act, 2004
  • Spearheaded by Chris Cragg, MBA, P.Eng., OSPE Vice Chair and Chair of OSPE’s Energy Working Group
  • Presents recommendations to the provincial government’s Standing Committee on Social Policy
  • Emphasizes the assignment of forecasting responsibilities, creation of the Ontario Power Authority, need for predictable electricity rates, establishment of a Conservation Bureau and expert advisory committees, and that professional engineers be officially named in regulations as mandatory participants on the proposed advisory committees
2005: OSPE successfully consults with Ministry of Education to keep calculus in Ontario’s high schools
  • Ministry of Education proposes removing 25% of original calculus content
  • After consultation with various groups including OSPE, the Ministry relented, realizing that mathematics is central to a successful career in a range of sectors
  • Danny Young, OSPE President and Chair, explains that “Keeping Calculus provides the opportunity for students to embark not only on an engineering career but also the opportunity to pursue scientific studies and research for the betterment of society.”

Were you involved in any of OSPE’s work from 2000-2005? Tell us about your experience!

Check out our posts on advocacy wins from 2006-2010 and 2011-today.

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