Councillor Candidate

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L.B. (Larry) Spence, P.Eng. | Trail, BC

This candidate has been nominated by the Nominating Committee.

I am honoured to be nominated for Council re-election, and ask your support for the continued opportunity to give back to my chosen profession.

Based on my past two years on Council, as well as time spent on Governance, Professional Practice and Registration committees, I better appreciate the hard work of staff and the many volunteers that ensure our Association functions effectively. I can assure you that our collective focus is on maintaining the privilege of self-regulation. I believe this privilege benefits all Association members.

My hope is to continue working on key initiatives such as;

  • Following up on external & Government audits of the Association
  • Establishing Corporate regulation
  • Continuing to improve transparency of Council & Association activities
  • Ensuring appropriate staff support increases are deliberated & budgeted
  • Improving gender & ethnic diversity
  • Increasing rights for MIT’s
  • Improving access to professional development for those outside the lower mainland
  • Maintaining strong governance of the Association

If re-elected I will continue to stay connected with my local branches, and continue to listen to the membership as a whole. I will also continue to be well prepared and ask challenging questions at the Council table when needed, always with the best interests of our stakeholders and members in mind.

Our Association and Council needs to continue to work diligently on improving delivery of our mandate, particularly focusing on Government relations & Public trust as they relate to Professional Engineering and Geoscience.

I urge you to stay informed, hold Council accountable and help us ensure our professions stay respected & valued.

Education

B.A.Sc. (Mechanical Engineering), University of British Columbia, 1983

Professional History

Senior Project Manager, Wood Canada Ltd., 2000–present
Customer Service Representative, Ahlstrom Services, 1998–2000
Sales Manager, Kvaerner Pulping, 1994–1998
Engineering Superintendent, Fletcher Challenge Canada, 1989–1994
Project Engineer, BC Forest Products, 1984–1989

Engineers and Geoscientists BC Activities

Member of Council, 2016–present
Member, Governance Committee, 2017–2018
Member, Professional Practice Committee, 2016–2018
Member, Registration Committee, 2016–2017

Related Professional Activities

PMP, Project Management Institute (PMI), 2014–present
Corporate Representative, ACEC-BC, 2011–present
Member, CIM, 2006–2012 and Paptac, 1986–2001

Community Involvement

Billet Family, Trail Smoke Eaters Hockey Club, 2007–2016
Member, Mackenzie Volunteer Fire Department, 1988–1994


Q&A with Candidates

Engineers and Geoscientists BC is the regulatory authority charged with protecting the public interest with respect to the practice of engineering and geoscience in the province of BC. What is the key challenge facing Engineers and Geoscientists BC?

Maintaining the privilege of self-regulation.

The Association exists via the Engineer’s and Geoscientist’s Act, and operates at the pleasure of Government with the primary objective to uphold and protect the public interest. At the 2016 AGM, MLA Ralph Sultan, P.Eng. warned that Government can act quickly should public trust falter.

The recent Professional Reliance review report commissioned by the Ministry of Environment is a prime example of this. In it there are recommendations for governance of our Association that have the potential to significantly impact future generations of engineers and geoscientists. Not all the recommendations are necessarily bad, as many are in line with previous Council recommendations to Government.

I am particularly concerned with the recommendation “to take over some or all of the duties of a professional organization if necessary, to protect the public interest”, as well as the appointment of all Council members as opposed to the current election process.

Senior Association representatives are actively participating in stakeholder consultations to better understand the Government’s intentions.

An external audit report on the Association’s legislation and governance is also being shared with Government. It states that our Association meets seven of nine prescribed Standards of Good Regulation, with actions already initiated pre-audit to meet the other two.

I urge you to review both reports for yourself (available through the Association website), and share your opinions, both positive and negative with staff, Council and/or your MLA.

What are the key issues facing the engineering and/or geoscience professions?

Continuing to promote the benefits and value of being a member of Engineers and Geoscientists BC to our own members, as well as to the public. We all must recognize that our primary mandate as a professional is to uphold and protect the public interest. While recent public surveys identify the professions of engineering and geoscience as trustworthy, there is always room for improvement.

We also rely on the public to influence Government who ultimately control how our Association operates. All members must be advocates for our professions and Association if the privilege of self-regulation is to continue.

Over the past two years, participating in new member induction ceremonies around the province has reminded me of the pride I felt in receiving my P.Eng. over 30 years ago. I ask you to reflect on how you felt in achieving your own professional designation, and if the privilege of self-regulation is important to you.

Assuming it is, please get involved however you are able to. Support the Association as we help demonstrate to the public & Government that our professions are every bit as trustworthy and valuable as any other.

Looking five years ahead, what is your vision for Engineers and Geoscientists BC as a professional regulatory body in BC?

In five years’ time I hope for:

  • Continued privilege of self-regulation.
  • Further improvement in public perception of engineers and geoscientists as professional contributors to society.
  • Established value added processes for regulation of corporate practice.
  • Increased trust in our Council and Association staff.
  • Increased engagement of our membership.

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