For the second time in OSPE’s history, on Saturday, May 8, 2021, our Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held virtually. The morning began with OSPE’s President and Chair, Réjeanne Aimey, P.Eng., and CEO Sandro Perruzza describing the many successes OSPE accomplished with regards to the Strategic Plan’s Lead, Care and Unite pillars.
“2020 was the year we positioned engineers as leaders – rising to the challenge of addressing the impacts of COVID-19,” Aimey said.
“My proudest accomplishment as President was bringing OSPE members together to create a COVID-19 Economic Recovery Working Group. This was a historic opportunity to showcase our skills that can solve many of society’s challenges.”
Aimey and Perruzza rhymed off only some of OSPE’s major accomplishments in 2020:
- Submitted short, medium and long-term recommendations to provincial and federal governments to support engineers and spur economic growth to get Canada back on track
- Worked with the Ministries of Infrastructure, Labour & Skills Development, Municipal Affairs & Housing, Transportation and the Attorney General’s Office to convene a COVID-19 Infrastructure Working Group, creating new health and safety protocols to protect workers and sort through project delays and disruptions
- Presented to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs regarding the impacts of COVID-19 on the engineering sector in Ontario
- Conducted industry-wide research in partnership with U of T to manage future pandemics in Ontario’s construction sector
- Called on government to focus efforts on dealing with the airborne transmission of COVID-19
- Hosted roundtable on Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems and released Growing the Drone Industry report
- Hosted How to Change the World, a two-day experiential education program bringing engineers together to brainstorm solutions to the world’s biggest challenges
- Launched the Ontario Engineering Academy to help engineers pursue lifelong learning
- Transitioned E3s to Virtual Engineering Employment Events (VE3s)
- Introduced ENGTalks, a video series featuring OSPE members and partners presenting topics of interest for engineers
- Hosted three virtual Town Halls with OSPE’s President & Chair
- Hosted virtual Trivia Nights and ENGgames for engineers to meet peers and complete puzzles together
- Hosted annual Diversity & Inclusion virtual conference with more than 1,500 attendees online
- Launched ENGage Forum, a members-only discussion platform where you can post your work and share messages with your fellow OSPE members online
- Consulted with members around the misuse of an engineer’s seal, resulting in a CBC news investigation that uncovered forged engineering documents for 12 large scale construction projects across southern Ontario
- Released detailed analysis of year-end data from IESO and OPG, finding that the province wasted enough electricity to power 720,000 homes in 2019, resulting in more than 100 news stories across the country
- Launched Engineering for Change, a campaign to solidify OSPE’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, and a four-point action plan (details can be found at engineeringforchange.ca)
- Met with the federal department of Women and Gender Equality Canada to highlight funding opportunities and points of collaboration
- Hosted a women in engineering virtual panel with U of T and SpinMaster and the OSPE Exchange Hubs
- Continued work on OSPE’s DiversifySTEM app, adding 16 new lessons (visit diversifySTEM.ca for the latest)
- OSPE was awarded more than $600,000 in government funding to support research and programs for engineers in 2020
- Funding from NSERC and SSHRC to better understand barriers to leadership for engineers
- Funding from the Ministry of Labour to help International Engineering Graduates improve communication skills, adapt to the Canadian workforce – specifically for jobs in the Environmental Sector – and get ready for professional practice exams;
- And funds from the Ministry of Environment to create a scientific report and a best practices document on Excess Soil management, to name a few.
- Through OSPE’s magazine, blog, videos, social media channels and more, we continued to celebrate the impressive achievements of the engineering community throughout 2020
- Recorded a series of video testimonials from our members, new and old, about the value that they receive through membership
“I would like to thank all of you – OSPE’s dedicated members and ambassadors – who contribute your time and expertise,” Perruzza said. “The knowledge and camaraderie you bring is what makes this community so welcoming and special. And while the list of activities that Réjeanne and I just rhymed off was a long one, it was not exhaustive. We have a LOT going on at OSPE, and we hope you’ll continue to be engaged by sharing your voice.”
The Nominations Committee announced that according to nomination and election procedures, the following professional engineers shall be Directors of the Society, to hold office for three-year terms, effective immediately following the close of the meeting:
And the following professional engineer shall be a Director of the Society to hold office for a one-year term:
The members then accepted the financial statements of the Society for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020 as presented by the Treasurer, Ron Clifton, P.Eng. and approved the appointment of the auditors, BDO Canada, LLP for 2021.
OSPE was pleased to announce the recipients of the President’s Volunteer Award, three individuals who have gone above and beyond in effecting positive change for the engineering profession in Ontario. The 2021 President’s Volunteer Award winners are:
- Emily Thorn Corthay, P.Eng. – Chair of OSPE’s Energy Task Force
- Emanuel Corthay, P.Eng. – Member of OSPE’s Research & Innovation Task Force
- Vanessa Raponi, EIT – former member of OSPE’s Diversity & Inclusion Task Force
Stay tuned for blogs on each of these winners in the weeks following the AGM.