Looking back on 2021, we at OSPE are reflecting on the complexities that we’ve navigated both as an organization and through our members who work together to advocate on behalf of all of Ontario’s engineers. As we’ve continued to ride the ups and downs of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve been active on a number of fronts throughout 2021, both in our advocacy efforts and in our focus on creating opportunities to foster professional excellence for engineers at every stage of their careers.
Through it all, we’re thankful to have the continued support of our members. While we have a number of achievements to celebrate through 2021, here are a few that stand out.
1. We scored a victory for internationally educated engineering graduates
OSPE has long advocated to remove the barriers to licensure that keep many talented international engineering graduates (IEGs) from contributing to the profession in Ontario and Canada. From OSPE’s perspective, these barriers represent lost opportunities for both innovation and economic progress in Ontario. They also work at counter-purposes to OSPE’s efforts to support a more diverse, inclusive and equitable profession.
Last October, we were pleased to see the Ontario government announce new proposed legislation that would eliminate Canadian work experience requirements for professional licensing and registration, streamline language proficiency testing, and reduce the timeframes for registration and licensing processes. If passed, these measures will enable internationally trained engineers to get working in their desired fields more quickly, especially in roles where skill shortages exist.
Read more about the proposed changes and our advocacy efforts.
2. We spoke up for Ontario’s engineers at Queen’s Park
In November, OSPE addressed the Ontario Legislative Assembly on two bills of critical importance to Ontario’s engineers.
We advocated for revisions to the Professional Engineers Act, calling for urgency on regulatory transformation based on OSPE’s past recommendations to reduce the administrative burden for consulting engineering companies, backstop the PEO’s accountability and eliminate non-regulatory member service programs.
We also expressed support for Bill 27, the Working for Workers Act, on the basis of two key recommendations that negatively impact international applicants: implementing time limits for license application processing and eliminating the 12 months requirement for Canadian experience for licensure.
OSPE’s presence at Queen’s Park this fall stands out as just one example of our commitment to advocating issues that matter to the engineering profession at large. Read more about the speeches at Queen’s Park.
3. We welcomed more than 2,000 registrants at our virtual Engineering Conference
One of OSPE’s keystone events is our annual Engineering Conference, which is Canada’s largest engineering, diversity and recruitment event. In 2021 we chose Engineering the Future as our theme and shared a value-packed lineup of speakers focused on key issues like the future of the workplace after COVID-19 and building a more diverse, inclusive and equitable profession.
More than 2,000 people from across the industry logged in over the course of our two-day virtual conference, and shared positive feedback on the event. Watch our conference highlights video.
Our call for speakers is now open for the 2022 conference. If you’re an experienced, engaging speaker with expertise that speaks to the future of the engineering profession, please consider applying.
Key dates for 2022
While we hope that 2022 will bring safe, in-person gatherings and a ‘new normal’, one thing that won’t change is our commitment to serving the interests of our members. Here are a few dates to note for your calendar in 2022:
January 28: Nomination deadline for OSPE’s 2022 Board Elections
Early February: Virtual Member Consultations regarding OSPE’s New Strategic Plan (dates to be announced)
March 30: All Candidates Virtual Town Hall for OSPE’s Board Elections
March 28 – April 15: Voting period for OSPE’s board elections
May 9: OSPE’s Annual General Meeting
May 18: OSPE’s Golf Tournament at Angus Glen Golf Club
November 3: The Engineering Conference
On behalf of everyone at OSPE, we wish you a happy and safe holiday season! We look forward to continuing our important work together 2022, raising awareness about the vital role that engineers play in Ontario, Canada and around the world.