Councillor Candidate

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K.P. (Kevin) Turner, P.Eng., FEC, FGC (Hon.) | Kamloops, BC

This candidate has been nominated by the Nominating Committee.

Receiving a professional service award last year inspired me to re-engage with the membership by seeking another term as a Councillor. The recent release of the Haddock’s Professional Reliance Review report will require sober reflection by the Association and indeed by each Member, just as the Closkey Commission report did in 1991 following the Station Square structural collapse. As a minimum, it will require us to provide assurance to the public and verification to the government that we are adequately managing the professions. Equally as important, it could lead to the crafting of a modern legal and regulatory framework to better manage the geoscience and engineering professions in the future. This will require strong leadership and an energized Council, together with attentive engagement with the Members.

I am keenly interested in the opportunity to work once again with fellow Councillors and the many Members who continue to provide an enormous amount of volunteer effort, passion and expertise to the professions. I believe my experience in both the private and public sectors, together with the professional overlap between the geoscience and engineering professions, which I am fortunate enough to have enjoyed in my career, will be a valuable asset to Council. I can draw on my past experience on council, my experience as chair of the Geoscience Committee and other committees and divisions, and my current role as a professional quality assurance manager and mentor.

Education

B.Eng. (Civil Engineering), Technical University of Nova Scotia, 1987

Professional History

Senior Geotechnical Engineer, Westrek Geotechnical Services, 2008–present
Regional Geotechnical Engineer, BC Ministry of Forests & Range, 1996–2008
Project Geotechnical Engineer, Agra Earth & Environmental, 1989–1996

Engineers and Geoscientists BC Activities

Member, Mentoring Committee, 2015–present
Reviewer, Technical and General Practice, 2006–present
Executive Member, South Central Branch, 2005–present
Member, Geoscience Committee, 2006-2014 (Chair, 2007–2014)
Member, Executive Committee, 2009–2010
Member of Council, 2006–2010
Member, Registration Committee, 2006–2008
Member, APEGBC/ABCFP Joint Practice Board, 2005–2006
Executive Member, Division of Engineers and Geoscientists in the Forest Sector, 2001–2003

Related Professional Activities

Guest Lecturer, 1st Year Engineering Program, TRU, 2015–present
Organizing Committee, Popsicle Stick Bridge Building Contest, South Central Branch / TRU, 2006–present

Community Involvement

Volunteer, Cystic Fibrosis Canada, Kamloops Chapter, 2014–2017
Canvasser, Kidney Foundation of Canada, 2003–2004, 2006–2010, 2012–2016
Board Member, Children’s Circle Childcare Centre, Kamloops, 2002–2006

Awards and Honours

D.C. Lambert Professional Service Award, APEGBC, 2017
Honorary Fellowship, Geoscientists Canada, 2014
Fellowship, Engineers Canada, 2011

WEB LINK: https://www.egbc.ca/awards-videos


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?

Haddock’s recommendations to the British Columbia government on professional reliance has some potentially ominous implications to the governance of our professions. While it is focused on the natural resource sector, there are several key messages that should not be overlooked by the other sectors in which our Members operate. The report may reflect the public’s and possibly the government’s broader skepticism towards various professional organizations that are charged with protecting the public interest, as reflected in the extraordinary relinquishment of OIQ’s authority to self-govern the engineering profession in Quebec. Reassuring and/or strengthening the public’s, the government’s, and even our Member’s trust that the Association is managing the profession to the best of its ability given its regulatory framework and available resources, while avoiding the impression of self-interest, is the key challenge.

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

The Association must continue to navigate the balance required to manage its regulatory and advocacy roles. The Haddock report acknowledged the Association’s dual role, but it included a recommendation to create another government body to provide oversight to the professions. This has the potential to be a significant issue in the ability of engineers and geoscientists to manage their own professions. We can build on the nearly 100-year old legacy of managing the professions and the success of past Councils to evolve our profession when needed. For our Association to maintain this role, it will likely require a more modern legal framework to continue to achieve this. In the meantime, Council’s issue will be the careful development and implementation of any initiatives to maintain the public’s trust without increasing unnecessary burden to the Member professionals.

My experience has been that most Members are well aware of the reliance that the public places on their work. Past initiatives like the practice review program, and the success of the OQM program clearly demonstrate that most Members will adopt initiatives that make sense. These programs have included initiatives for maintaining technical competence, but they may have fallen short in increasing the Member’s role and responsibility in caring for the professions. So additional support for Members may have to be considered to meet the objectives and goals of programs like the Practice Review and OQM programs.

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

A new regulatory framework that governs our professions will eventually occur, and optimistically it will include a suite of more modern tools to provide assurance that our Members understand their role and are practicing towards the highest quality standards. This will take an enormous volunteer and corporate effort, but these are the things that will attract the brightest and best to the association. In five years we should have achieved full adoption of competency-based applications for professional licensure, which will help applicants prepare their applications and give them the road map they need for advancing their “in-training” careers. Initiatives like this are essential for the future well-being of our profession but like any initiative they will need to be examined for efficacy. We will continue to take pride in the fact that we are one of the most progressive professional engineer and geoscience associations in Canada.

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