PEO Council Elections 2021

Professional Engineers Ontario’s (PEO) 2021 Council Elections are upon us, and every OSPE Professional member and Profession 65+ member is eligible to vote from now until February 19. Please check out PEO’s instructional video or visit PEO’s website for information on how to vote.

PEO Council is responsible for determining the direction of PEO, setting and maintaining high standards for professional engineering practice, and upholding PEO’s duty to protect the public interest. OSPE has long been advocating for PEO to re-focus on its sole regulatory function – to regulate the practice of professional engineering – and encourages OSPE members to review the various candidate statements and vote for candidates who will support the path PEO is taking to implement the recommendations of its Independent Regulatory Review.  

OSPE reached out to all candidates to provide their responses to the following questions:

  1. In your view, what is OSPE’s role within the engineering profession alongside PEO?
  2. If elected, how will you work with OSPE as a PEO representative?
  3. Are you an OSPE member? If yes, why? If no, why not?

Below are answers from the candidates who responded, as well as links to all candidate statements. Don’t forget to vote before Friday, February 19, at 4 p.m. EST.

President-Elect Candidates

peo 2021 election

  1. In your view, what is OSPE’s role within the engineering profession alongside PEO?

Currently serving on the Joint Relations Committee (JRC), the roles are clear to me. PEO is the regulator and OPSE is the advocacy body on issues not related to regulation.  The ideal relationship is cooperative and it’s really important that the messages to the public aren’t confusing the public, but enhancing the P.Eng. brand.

  1. If elected, how will you work with OSPE as a PEO representative?

I will continue to work with OSPE with a spirit of cooperation.  We are on the same team, but our positions on the team are different.  To use sports terminology, OSPE is on the offensive, sharing the good news stories and getting the goals.  PEO in on the defensive, defending our profession, our right to practise and serving and protecting in the public interest.

  1. Are you an OSPE member? If yes, why? If no, why not?

I am an OSPE member because it shouldn’t be optional.  All Ontario P.Eng.s should be members of OSPE.

Read her full Candidate Statement here. 

peo 2021 election

  1. In your view, what is OSPE’s role within the engineering profession alongside PEO?

OSPE was created to advocate on behalf of engineers and the engineering profession.  PEO and OSPE need to support each other in order to succeed and thrive. 

  1. If elected, how will you work with OSPE as a PEO representative?

As President-Elect I will request that the joint relations committee meet often and promote cooperation between the two organizations.  Every P.Eng. should see the benefit of OSPE membership. 

  1. Are you an OSPE member? If yes, why? If no, why not?

Yes I’ve been a member since it’s creation.  I believe in advocating for engineers. 

Read his full Candidate Statement here. 


peo 2021 election

  1. In your view, what is OSPE’s role within the engineering profession alongside PEO?

OSPE’s role is to defend, represent, and advance Professional Engineers’ interests, while the PEO’s role is to regulate the engineering profession. These are complementing roles. In the Venn-diagram of public-interest and personal-interest, there is certainly overlap. That overlap represents common ground where PEO and OSPE can and should focus our mutual efforts.

  1. If elected, how will you work with OSPE as a PEO representative?

I will work with OSPE to find common ground between the two organisations. One place I already know we have common ground is a belief that Professional Engineers’ engagement in the governance and matters impacting the profession is vital to the profession’s health. This is where PEO and OSPE can help each other. I hope that OSPE can help announce the many changes that are coming to the PEO. As PEO President I will ensure that OSPE is a vital stakeholder. There will be many changes coming to the PEO’s licensing, discipline & enforcement, and standards of practice. OSPE can play a vital role in helping to understand the impact these changes will have on industry and professionals. PEO can help OSPE by encouraging OSPE membership and helping people who wish to volunteer to find a place within one of the two organisations. Both organizations have a role in communicating to the public at large the reason for and meaning of the P.Eng.

  1. Are you an OSPE member? If yes, why? If no, why not?

Yes, I have been a member of OSPE since shortly after becoming P.Eng. licensed because OSPE plays a vital role maintaining the strength of engineering in the Province of Ontario. I have been a member of OSPE’s infrastructure taskforce since 2016, and I have been honoured to participate in many OSPE initiatives such as legislation change consultations, industry scans, and publications.

Read his full Candidate Statement here. 

 

Vice Presidential Candidates

peo 2021 election

  1. In your view, what is OSPE’s role within the engineering profession alongside PEO?

PEO works in the Public Interest and therefore should allocate its resources to activities solely connected to outcomes which protect the public interest as it relates to the practice of professional engineering. PEO is not a self-interest association but a regulator of engineering practice in the public interest.

CONVERSELY……

OSPE should work solely in the self-interest of Engineers and the profession – P.Eng.’s only – a quasi-union/member interest association who….
• Advocates for exclusive rights of practice (ex, removal of the industrial exemption), creating more jobs for Engineers.
• Provides advisory services when a P.Eng. or EIT is having issues with PEO, the regulator. (ex, advocating for a simplified and shorter licensing process, confirmation that PEO’s processes are not biased, legal support/referrals to qualified counsel when an engineer is complained or disciplined against by the regulator)
• Advocates for fair salaries for Engineers and publishes meaningful unbiased P.Eng. salary surveys which verified to be license holder salaries and not mixed in with engineering graduate salaries. Perhaps work with PEO to survey their practitioner salaries to understand salaries based on specific areas of practice also? A pediatric heart surgeon or a experienced plastic surgeon does not make the same $$ as a general practitioner.
• Builds awareness amongst the business community, who hire engineers and engineering companies, to refer to the PEO directory to confirm CofA status, licence status and PEAK profile of the parties before they engage with them. If irregularities are found, OSPE should guide on next steps to be taken.
• Make participation in PEAK a requirement to run for OSPE elections or for any volunteer or staff of OSPE
• Work to reduce the oversupply of engineering graduates to stop salary erosion and the chronic underemployment of engineers both domestic and internationally educated.
• Partners with PEO where appropriate, ex. when it is good for both Engineers and the Public
• Liaises with the Ontario Government with respect to changes in legislation and policy areas that benefit engineers, not undermine the profession.
• Holds conferences/events specifically for engineers related to minimums and future trends in professional practice and ethics (not industry specific) but practitioner specific – ex, https://www.engineersdeclare.com/ or https://engineerscanada.ca/publications/national-guideline-on-sustainable-development-and-environmental-stewardship
• Works with ACEC-Ontario and other employers who provide engineering experience to EITs to verify Engineering Internship programs are bias free.
• Work with ACEC-Ontario and other stakeholders to report diversity metrics publicly, perhaps even via a third party audit by OSPE, and celebrate those who are making progress
• Works with other industry associations where there is advocacy to be done on behalf of engineers and the practice of professional engineering
• Provides whistleblowing protection, advice, etc. to engineers and EIT members throughout their careers to maintain integrity in the profession.
• Nominate engineers and EITs who are OSPE members for awards with other organizations or sponsor specific engineer awards at existing awards banquets. (Order of Canada, Immigrant Awards, Women’s Awards, Board of Trades, Chamber of Commerces, Industry Associations, etc.) Build on what others have done, no need to create new.
• Provide discounts to OSPE members for Continuing Professional Development courses (Rotman, EPIC, ICD, Ivey, etc.)
• Provide affinity programs to its members, ex. liability insurance, life, auto, indemnity, venngo, etc.
• Puts limits on EIT OSPE members, if you are an EIT for 10 years and have not got your license, should you still be an OSPE member? Should engineering graduates even be allowed to be OSPE members, if they have never become an EIT?

  1. If elected, how will you work with OSPE as a PEO representative?

Elected representatives to PEO Council have no duty or obligation to work with OSPE, our only duty is to PEO as an organization as a Public Interest Regulator

  1. Are you an OSPE member? If yes, why? If no, why not?

Yes, I have been a member since it was first formed. However I am considering not continuing as OSPE has drifted to advocate for all things Engineering – the engineering community. Would you see the Advocacy body for Lawyers or Physicians or Surgeons advocate for those who are not licensed in their fields of practice? Much of OSPE’s current work, has little to do with the profession. What does electricity pricing have to do with the practice of professional engineering? How does advocating for more jobs in manufacturing help engineers when they have no exclusive rights of practice there due to the industrial exception? Very little of my above wish list has been addressed and advocated for by OSPE in it’s 20 years of existence. Some positives though, being the Engineering Management Professional (EMBoK) designation “go to” organization, establishment of a P.Eng. Day (but then the commitment legislators were asked to sign did not specify the P.Eng.), the engineering underemployment report, holding PEO accountable to unacceptable complaint handling timelines for engineers and earlier advocacy work to clearly define the meaning of “qualified person” used in legislation which affects work of engineers.

Read her full Candidate Statement here. 

peo 2021 election

  1. In your view, what is OSPE’s role within the engineering profession alongside PEO?

The roles of the two organizations are considerably different yet can be considered complimentary. PEO is clearly a licensing body bound to fulfill the obligations provided by the PEO Act all in an effort to ensure quality Engineering for the protection of the public interest – and should maintain its focus of that mission. OSPE is an organization with the primary aim of serving the interests of its members – Professional Engineers; remembering that all licensed professional engineers are bound to hold the public interest as paramount. So if both fulfill their mandates, the public interest would be truly protected and the interests of practicing engineers would also be enhanced.

  1. If elected, how will you work with OSPE as a PEO representative?

I believe that communication and mutual understanding between the two groups would go a long way to ensure no inadvertent negative interaction could tend to reduce the effectiveness of either toward their different yet complimentary missions. 

  1. Are you an OSPE member? If yes, why? If no, why not?

I am a member of OSPE because I believe it is a necessary element to maintain the overall good health of engineering in the province – work that should not necessarily be within the purview of a licensing body.

Read his full Candidate Statement here. 

OSPE has not yet received a reply from Mr. Wowchuk, but you can read his full candidate statement here. 

 


 

Councillor-at-Large Candidates

peo 2021 election

OSPE has not yet received a reply from Mr. Mortazavi, but you can read his full candidate statement here. 

peo 2021 electionOSPE has not yet received a reply from Leila Notash, but you can read her full candidate statement here. 

peo 2021 election

  1. OSPE was established to be an advocate for engineers, complementary to PEO, not a competitor.
  2. I will support OSPE as an advocate and will encourage better cooperation with PEO. Enough of the tossing grenades into PEO`s foxhole.
  3. I was a member until last year. I lost interest when OSPE grew hostile to PEO and decided to restrict candidates for election to its board. 

Read his full Candidate Statement here. 


 

East Central Region Councillor Candidates

peo 2021 election

  1. In your view, what is OSPE’s role within the engineering profession alongside PEO?

In my view, OSPE’s role is very important within PEO. OSPE is essentially the voice of engineers within PEO and advocates for the Engineers and EITs. There are also joint roles in hosting the Ontario Professional Engineers Awards among other seminars. OSPE is Ontario’s representative on the National Women in Engineering Committee and works with PEO on the 30 by 30 initiative. Overall, OSPE is a vital organization that works with PEO.

  1. If elected, how will you work with OSPE as a PEO representative?

If elected I would support OSPE by tabling and echoing the voices of OSPE members to the PEO Council. I would have no hesitation to foster a healthy working relationship with OSPE and support OSPE to my fullest capacity as a Regional Councillor.

  1. Are you an OSPE member? If yes, why? If no, why not?

I am a former OSPE member and recall that my time in OSPE was filled with healthy and warm experiences in a professional environment. Specifically, when I was an EIT, taking the OSPE courses were instrumental and educational to the Engineer I am today. Sadly, I am no longer an OSPE member as I have joined other organizations that are more relevant to my current state in my career. Nonetheless, I point all EITs working on their licence requirements towards OSPE.

Read his full Candidate Statement here. 

peo 2021 election

  1. In your view, what is OSPE’s role within the engineering profession alongside PEO?

 OSPE’s role is ADVOCACY.  OSPE is the entity advocating for the engineering profession and its practitioners in the Province of Ontario.  Its role covers the representation and advancing of the engineering community in Ontario.

PEO is the legally authorized self-regulatory entity of the engineering profession in the Province of Ontario. Its activities include:

  • Licensure: Verifying whether applicants meet academic, experience and ethical requirements;
  • Enforcement: Ensuring that the P. Eng. qualification is used only by those who are licensed;
  • Discipline:  Investigating and sanctioning licensed individuals who commit professional misconduct.
  1. If elected, how will you work with OSPE as a PEO representative?

PEO and OSPE must continue working collaboratively in advancing the engineering profession within their respective roles.  Work is necessary in re-affirming and clarifying the clear separation between PEO’s role as self-regulating entity of the Engineering practice and OSPE as the entity advocating for the profession.

  1. Are you an OSPE member? If yes, why? If no, why not?

Not a member.

Read his full Candidate Statement here. 

peo 2021 electionOSPE has not yet received a reply from Fanny, but you can read her full candidate statement here. 


 

West Central Region Councillor

peo 2021 election

  1. In your view, what is OSPE’s role within the engineering profession alongside PEO?

On a general level, I see the role of OSPE is to is to promote the interests of professional engineers and their profession.  Also, I see the OSPE role is to provide a public policy voice on engineering related issues whose aim is to make Ontario a better place.    

  1. If elected, how will you work with OSPE as a PEO representative?

In terms of cooperating with the PEO, the PEO has a regulatory role that is distinctly separate from the activities of OSPE. However, part of the PEO mandate is to promote the public interest in areas that involve engineering. The PEO could choose to fulfill that mandate by advocating for public interest change/enhancements in legislation/regulation that involves engineering work. Such legislation/regulation could include: the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Building Code, The Safe Drinking Water Act, and the Environmental Protection Act. OSPE could compliment such efforts by focusing on complementary advocacy issues that would be outside of the strictly regulatory role of the PEO. An example of such a public interest area that would be a benefit to the engineering community and Ontario would be for the PEO and OSPE to develop a dynamic program of action for mitigating and adapting to the climate crisis. 

As I have been acclaimed as the Regional Councillor for the West Central Region of the PEO, I am hoping that my colleagues on PEO Council would be receptive to the merits of the PEO advocating for regulatory/legislative changes that would enhance the public interest. If successful, I do hope that both the PEO and OSPE would work together so that they could become two sides of the same coin aiming for complementary action and success in advancing the public interest for the people of Ontario. 

  1. Are you an OSPE member? If yes, why? If no, why not?

I am a proud OSPE member.

Read his full Candidate Statement here. 


 

Western Region Councillor Candidates

peo 2021 election

  1. In your view, what is OSPE’s role within the engineering profession alongside PEO?

I see a great deal of untapped potential in the working relationship between OSPE and the PEO.  PEO is the regulator.  Its role is to ensure public safety through the enforcement of the professional engineer’s act and by supporting and guiding it membership in their practice. OSPE’s role is to provide a unified voice for the professional engineer in matters outside of the enforcement of the act.  These two roles are not mutually exclusive.  For example, I have been saying for a while that one of the biggest issues facing the profession is a lack of perceived value to the engineer’s licence, both within the profession and to the general public.  This is an area where OSPE and PEO can work together to their mutual benefit.  In addition, I see potential with OSPE in matters, such as emerging disciplines and continuous professional development, working with PEO to develop systems and strategies that actually work and reflect the interests of the membership as well as the general public. 

  1. If elected, how will you work with OSPE as a PEO representative?

As a member of council, I have, and will support any reasonable suggestion that OSPE brings forward.  Additionally, if the above envisioned working relationship can be achieved, I would also suggest that certain issues coming to PEO council, relating specifically to member interests be sent to OSPE for review and comment. 

  1. Are you an OSPE member? If yes, why? If no, why not?

No, I am not.  I have been an OSPE member for some time however as a self-employed Engineer, I need to be careful where my money goes and, to be completely honest, I haven’t recently seen enough value in OSPE membership to warrant the investment.  If OSPE’s is able to shift to a mutually supporting relationship with PEO, I can see myself re-evaluating that decision.

Read his full Candidate Statement here. 

peo 2021 election

  1. In your view, what is OSPE’s role within the engineering profession alongside PEO?

Hello OSPE Members: I have been a PEO license holder for 29 years and have seen how the profession has evolved. I understand that the role of OSPE is to advocate for the engineering profession while the role of PEO is to regulate the profession. 

  1. If elected, how will you work with OSPE as a PEO representative?

As a member of PEO Council I would support OSPE’s mission and look for opportunities to work together to strengthen our profession. 

  1. Are you an OSPE member? If yes, why? If no, why not?

If you require any further information please contact me at susan.macfarlane@sympatico.ca. Please vote!

Read her full Candidate Statement here. 


 

Northern Region Councillor

peo 2021 electionOSPE did not receive a response from Mr. Subramanian.


 

Eastern Region Councillor

peo 2021 election

  1. In your view, what is OSPE’s role within the engineering profession alongside PEO?

In my view, OSPE is the voice and representation to the public of the PEO Membership, as PEO’s mandate is to regulate and govern, OSPE’s mandate is to be our public voice and staunchest supporter.

While PEO insures P.Engs have the training to do their jobs, OSPE can make and share the tools to ensure no engineer would face undue pressure from private interests, setup training and standards for members and support all the individuals in their daily struggles.

We need to return Engineering to the great vocation it once was, changes in the last 30 years have changed the entire structure of engineering and we need to show we are relevant and indispensable. 

A lot of work needs to be done with the government to return engineering to where it once was. 

  1. If elected, how will you work with OSPE as a PEO representative?

While PEO and OSPE have different mandates, we both share the common goal to advance the engineering profession. OSPE’s role is to show Ontario and the world the importance of engineers in their daily lives and make the changes necessary to allow engineers to flourish in these trying times. Working towards a common mutually beneficial agenda for the public while disagreements remain as private discussions. Leaders show strength, any issues between entities are handled through proper private channels. 

  1. Are you an OSPE member? If yes, why? If no, why not?

I am an OSPE member, I believe all members of the PEO should be members of OSPE as well, same as other professional groups. Only when working from both sides towards the common center can we achieve the goals and outcomes both groups are working towards…

 

OSPE encourages all of our members who are eligible to vote, to do so. Voting is an important way to exercise your voice and to help shape the future of the profession. For more information on the election, you can visit PEO’s website. 

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