Councillor Candidate

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R.B. (Brock) Nanson, P.Eng. | Kamloops, BC

This candidate has been nominated by 25 members of the Association.

I’m running for a second term because I believe there is still very important work to be done. And more specifically, that I’m able to contribute in a meaningful way to get it done.

The Professional Reliance Report is a shot across our bow. The recommendations within are extremely concerning as they threaten to erode or eliminate our ability to govern ourselves. If the CPD bylaw of 2015 caused members to open one sleepy eye, the Report should snap them fully awake.

I’ve now seen two groups of newly-elected councillors join council. In reality, it takes much of the first year for a new councillor to get up to speed with the details of current issues and history and become effective in their role. Perhaps a term should be 3 years instead of 2, but that’s an issue for another day.

I believe I was elected in 2016 largely due to my concern about the circumstances that lead to the failed 2015 CPD vote and aftermath. I soon learned that the CPD committee was unusual as it didn’t include a council representative. To me, this was a failing! I arranged to attend CPD meetings as an observer and my report back to council resulted in the committee being modified to include two council members. And yes, I’m one.

I challenged the committee to step back and reassess the problem. And council experience allowed me to explain how other EGBC endeavors (Corporate Practice and OQM) could connect. I now envision a solution that is more surgical, much less onerous and much more practical. And I expect it will be truly supported by employers if/when Corporate Practice becomes reality.

Demonstrating we’re on track as an Association is vital. I’m respectfully asking the membership for another two years to help move us in the right direction.

Education

B.A.Sc. (Civil Engineering), University of British Columbia, 1989

Professional History

Director, Engineering & Construction Services, TRU, 2018–present
Project Manager, CTQ Consultants / Certes Applied and Natural Sciences Ltd., 2008–2018
Project Engineer, TRUE Consulting Group, 1991–2008

Engineers and Geoscientists BC Activities

Member of Council, 2016–present
Member, Registration Committee, 2016–present
Member, Continuing Professional Development Committee, 2017–present

Community Involvement

Member, Steering Committee, BC Sustainable Energy Association, Kamloops Chapter, 2016–present
Member, Strata Council, Settler’s Crossing, Sun Peaks BC, 2016–present
Vice President/Co-Founder, Tesla Owners Club of BC, 2016–present
Director, Kamloops Gymnastics and Trampoline Centre, 2011–2017


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?

My answer to this question in 2016 has turned out to be perhaps somewhat prescient: “APEGBC self-determination.” And, “…the next term will shape the Association for years to come. Crucially, our ability to govern ourselves.”

It’s now July 2018, we’ve rebranded as Engineers and Geoscientists British Columbia and the recently-released Professional Reliance Report has made some very concerning recommendations that threaten to impact our ability to govern ourselves. Anyone who hasn’t already seen the June 28th news posting on the Association website discussing the report absolutely should read it! I believe it’s safe to say that there’s never been a bigger potential threat to our professions than this!

I ran in 2016 because I was quite sure the Association was in for some big challenges – mostly driven by the CPD issue - and I wanted to help the Association find its way. However, I must admit that I didn’t appreciate the challenges could be quite this significant! It’s turned out that the divisive views on CPD were just the tip of the iceberg and rather trivial compared to what we’re now facing.

I’m running again because I believe the two years I’ve spend on council have prepared me to help the Association navigate the turbulent waters ahead. With the challenges we now must accept we are facing, I can’t, in good conscience, NOT run for re-election when I know I have useful experience and still have plenty of ideas and energy to contribute.

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

The issues aren’t issues so much as they are objectives of the Association. I’m referring to the end goals of the Corporate Practice task force, the CPD committee, and to some extent, the values of the OQM program.

The failed CPD vote of 2015 triggered my decision to run in 2016. I wasn’t convinced that the CPD bylaw had been designed to satisfactorily address the knowledge and ethics gaps of members that lead to disciplinary actions and – worse – public safety failures. I saw the bylaw as a big stick to be swung somewhat blindly, in the hope that it would somehow connect with the problem. This wasn’t the way I believed engineers and geoscientists should operate. I therefore had to vote against the bylaw.

The Corporate Practice task force has done an incredible job of examining the effects of regulating companies and organizations (employers). I can see how corporate regulation could include a CPD component developed in-house by each employer, tailored to address the specifics of the employed professional’s practice and level of risk to the public. The result would typically be a far less onerous CPD program that is both relevant to the professional and supported by the employer.

The Professional Reliance report indicates that a CPD program of some sort will be required, whether desired by members or not. Better we build one that is supported by other EGBC objectives, is attractive to government and confirms we are capable of governing ourselves, than settle for the alternative.

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

My vision for the next five years is derived from the challenges the Professional Reliance (PR) Report will undoubtedly trigger.

It’s been said that challenges are also opportunities. What I’ve seen in my term to date is a picture that is comprised of the Corporate Practice task force recommendations, CPD committee findings and the OQM program melding into a new regulatory model for EGBC. But to implement a new model would require – essentially – an Act rewrite. Such a rewrite is always at the pleasure of government and until now, seemed highly unlikely to be of interest to government.

Our act is essentially 100 years old and many of today’s disciplines and modern realities weren’t even imaginable at that time it was written. A rewrite now makes sense and the PR report may be the way to encourage it to happen. It follows that my five year vision for EGBC is of a process to protect the Association from the potential threat of the recommendations made in the PR Report while renewing the relevance of our Act, with the primary objective of retaining our ability to responsibly govern ourselves. Given the current political climate, this will be a delicate process, requiring us to balance our desire to govern ourselves with the renewal and greater accountability the government is looking for. The next five years will redefine the Association. It’s up to us to ensure the redefinition suitably reflects who we are.

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