Council Summary June 2018

Engineers and Geoscientists BC’s Council of elected members and government representatives meets throughout the year to conduct the business of association governance. The following are the highlights of the June 15, 2018 meeting.

Fraser Valley Regional District Geo-Hazard Assurance Statement and Guide

Council has approved the Guide to Geo-Hazard Assurance Statement for Development Approvals and Geo-Hazard Assurance Statement for Development Approvals. These documents were developed jointly by Engineers and Geoscientists BC and the Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD) and are intended to create a more efficient process for geo-hazard assurance and development approvals in the FVRD. The assurance Engineers and Geoscientists BC statement merges and streamlines the expectations of both organizations into one process.

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Revisions to BC Building Code Letters of Assurance Endorsed

Council endorsed revisions to the BC Building Code Letters of Assurance. The revisions are in response to changes to the BC Building Code at the beginning of the year to introduce the BC Energy Step Code, and included updates to Letters of Assurance, specifically Schedule B and Schedule C-A.

The 2018 BC Building Code Letters of Assurance will now undergo a final legal and editorial review prior to publication.

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Building and Space Planning

The Engineers and Geoscientists BC’s office building is close to full capacity and can accommodate the organization’s operational needs for another 3–5 years. Council approved the Terms of Reference for a Building and Space Planning Task Force that will provide advice and guidance to Council for developing options to address the anticipated space needs of the association over the next 20–30 years. The group will comprise members, staff and non-members with architectural, space planning, structural engineering, real estate expertise, and council experience.

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30 by 30 Champion Group Terms of Reference Approved

Engineers and Geoscientists BC endorses Engineers Canada’s goal to raise the percentage of newly licensed engineers who are women to 30% by 2030. To support the association’s efforts towards this goal, Council has created a 30 by 30 Champion Group to support association efforts in this area. Council approved the Terms of Reference for the 30 by 30 Champion Group. The group includes volunteer representatives from Engineers and Geoscientists BC Branches and Divisions.

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2019 Vote on AGM Special Rule

At its April meeting, Council approved the Governance Committee’s recommendation to introduce an AGM Special Rule to require that AGM motions from members be submitted at least 30 days ahead of the AGM. This would allow for more background information to be made available to members, supporting more informed discussion and decision making.

Council has decided that the proposed AGM Special Rule will be put to a vote concurrent with the 2019 Council election, and approved a process and timeline for implementation pending ratification of the AGM Special Rule, as well as a proposed guideline for the evaluation of member-approved AGM motions.

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Update to Discipline Committee Compensation Policy

Engineers and Geoscientists BC’s Discipline Committee serves a key role in the association’s duty to protect the public. Council has approved an update to the current honoraria policy for members of the Discipline Committee who sit on an inquiry panel. Updates were made to account for inflation and to ensure our policy is more closely aligned with the association’s counterparts in other provinces.

Providing honoraria to member of the Discipline Committee is intended to incentivize members to participate, and encourage diversity by enabling a wider range of members to serve on the Discipline Committee and inquiry panels

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Council Receives Recommendations on Nominations and Election Process

Council received a report of the Nomination and Election Review Task Force with 28 recommendations on how to improve the association’s election process.

Council directed that further review of recommendations related to governance and nomination processes will be conducted by the Governance Committee in concert with the Professional Standards Authority Report and the results of the Professional Reliance Review.

Staff will develop a work plan in support of the recommendations that relate to cultivating leaders for board governance, providing voting rights for members-in-training, and election processes.

Additionally, Council endorsed a number of recommendations affirming existing practices, subject to Governance Committee’s review of governance and nomination processes:

A summary of the report will be published shortly.

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Corporate Practice Recommendations and Next Steps

In April 2017, the Advisory Task Force on Corporate Practice presented its first set of recommendations to Council on whether the association should pursue regulatory authority over corporate practice of professional engineering and professional geoscience in BC. The task force recommended that Council pursue this authority, and provided direction on which types of organizations should be regulated. Council accepted the recommendations of the task force, and directed that it proceed to the second phase of its work to consider the regulatory model needed, as well as a more in-depth evaluation of the regulatory coverage required.

The task force presented its Phase 2 report to Council in June. The report recommends that the regulatory model be based on three pillars: ethics, quality management and professional development, and that it include all organizations in the private and public sectors that provide products and/or services in BC requiring the practice of professional engineering and professional geoscience. With respect to sole practitioners, Council directed the task force to proceed with consultation with members to further examine the appropriate level of regulatory oversight. 

The task force will be proceeding with the third phase of its work to develop a business plan for a corporate practice program in the Fall. The task force’s full report will be published in the coming months, along with information pertaining to member consultation opportunities. 

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Moving forward on Truth and Reconciliation Recommendations

In response to a 2017 AGM motion, Engineers and Geoscientists BC is exploring how the recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Committee can align with the association’s code of ethics and duties under the Engineers and Geoscientists Act. At its June meeting, Council received a report titled “Truth and Reconciliation – Options for Inclusion Recommendation Report.”

Council approved the report and referred it to the Professional Practice Committee to create an action plan for Council consideration based on the recommendations identified in the report. The plan will identify budgetary and other resources required for implementation of the recommendations.

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Progress Update: 2017 AGM Motion on Recognition of Deceased Members

In response to a 2017 AGM motion, Council approved a procedure for recognition of deceased members at Annual General Meetings. An In Memoriam booklet will be published and made available at the meeting, listing the names of the deceased members, and a moment of silence will be observeded, while a list of names is displayed on the screen. This option was recommended by the Executive Committee based on the size of our membership and alignment with the practices other engineering and geoscience associations across Canada.

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Bylaw Amendments Life, Honorary, and Non-Practising Member Bylaws

Council is proposing amendments to four bylaws that govern Life Membership, honorary membership, and the use of the Non-Practising title. The changes aim to provide more accurate information to the public, provide members with flexibility to manage their license during career transitions, and clarify the professional obligations of those without practice rights.

Members provided feedback through a consultation process in the Spring, and Council updated the proposed bylaws to reflect member input. The bylaws now include a proposal to repeal the bylaw for honorary memberships in the association while vesting (grandfathering) current honorees, provide additional clarification with respect to the obligations of non-practising members and licensees, and allow non-practising members the option to select one of two restricted titles (e.g. P.Eng. (Non-Practising) or P.Eng. (Retired).

Council also approved a non-practising member/license fee for 2019 at 50% of the full member annual fee. This fee will be reconsidered in 2020 taking into account the results of the fall bylaw vote and the uptake of non-practising status. In addition, Council approved the removal of a limit on consecutive years that a member can be on reduced fees.
The bylaws will be presented to members for ratification during the Fall, in conjunction with the Council election.

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Volunteer Appointments Approved

Council approved the following appointments to Engineers and Geoscientists BC committees, boards, and task forces.

Board of Examiners

Dr. Rishi Gupta, P.Eng., FEC
Renata Kay Wood, P.Eng.
Dr. Monica Varga, P.Eng.

Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board

Emily Cheung, P.Eng., FEC

Discipline Committee

Oliver Bonham, P.Geo., FGC
Neil Cumming, P.Eng.
Thomas Leung, P.Eng., Struct.Eng., FEC

Scrutineer for Council Election 2018/2019

John Watson P.Eng., FEC, FGC (Hon)
John Clague, P.Geo., FEC (Hon), FGC
Ken Williams, P.Eng., FEC

Standing Awards Committee

Dr. Brian Guy, P.Geo.
Tomer Curiel, P.Eng.
Rebecca Fan, P.Eng.

Geoscience Committee

Dr. Yaming Chen, P.Geo.

Investigation Committee

Peter Helland, P.Eng.
J. Douglas Joorisity, P.Eng.