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I have had the privilege and pleasure of serving on Council since 2017. During this time, the government initiated and undertook the Professional Reliance Review and then drafted the new Professional Governance Act (PGA) using the recommendations from the report. Engineers and Geoscientists BC is in a unique position to help shape the supporting regulations that will impact the practices of engineering and geoscience in BC. The correct and thoughtful implementation of key legislated items are critical to meeting our mandate of protecting the public interest.
Furthermore, my aim is to limit additional administrative and cost burdens that could be passed onto the membership resulting from the PGA. One example is the cost associated with the formation of the Office of the Superintendent of Professional Governance. This is a new, additional regulatory layer and it is my belief that our membership should not be made to share the costs of this Office.
As a Professional Geoscientist who has worked in the mining industry since 2005, I represent a segment of the membership that is directly impacted by the PGA. I am experienced in regulation through my role on Council and as a Qualified Person. At the corporate level, I have designed and implemented company-wide governance processes focusing on risk management and auditing, and I have experience with strategic planning initiatives and other management roles. Through this experience I feel I bring a strong and diverse skill set to Council.
I am passionate about the work the association does on behalf of its membership and I am grateful for your support to continue being able to give back to our professions.
Applied Geostatistics Citation, University of Alberta, 2015
B.Sc. Hons. (Earth and Ocean Science), University of Victoria, 2005
Manager, Production and Development Geology, Capstone Mining Corp., 2013–2018
Senior Geologist, Silver Standard Resources Inc., 2011–2013
Consultant, Snowden Mining Industry Consultants, 2008–2011
Member of Council, 2017–present
Member, Geoscience Experience Review Panel, 2016–present
Mentor, Mentoring Program, 2016–present
Member, Mineral Exploration Roundup Organizing Committee, Association for Mineral Exploration BC (AMEBC), 2010–2015
Member, 100th Anniversary Organizing Committee, AMEBC, 2012
Director, SEOS Alumni Bursary Committee, University of Victoria, 2013–2016
Mentor, Tri-Mentoring Program, University of British Columbia, 2008–2014
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 the association?
The principal challenge facing the association is the effective implementation of the new Professional Governance Act (PGA) that will replace the Engineers and Geoscientists Act. The PGA contains several new pieces of legislation that are meant to strengthen the regulation of the professions. Examples include mechanisms to regulate companies and continuous professional development, and the requirement to file competence and conflict-of-interest declarations.
The items listed above are not straightforward to implement. In fact, the association has previously grappled with some of these. Proper implementation entails the correct balance of oversight to protect the public interest, while also avoiding the placement of excessive regulatory or administrative burdens on working professionals and companies. This requires a strong and collaborative engagement by EGBC with government.
Lastly, the speed at which the new PGA is enacted may present an additional challenge. A quick implementation leaves the opportunity for unintended consequences. The association must work with government to ensure the legislation is rolled out in a timely fashion, while ensuring that sufficient work has been done to identify and manage any pit falls that could jeopardize the public interest or our professional integrity.
What are the key issues facing the engineering and/or geoscience professions?
A key issue facing the professions is the continual rapid advancement of technology. It is leading to new and emerging subdisciplines of engineering and geoscience and it is important that we foster their growth in order to remain competitive in today’s markets. Being proactive, understanding education and training requirements, and ensuring a “right touch” approach to regulation are all important steps the association can take to safeguard the public and the environment.
In addition, I stated here in 2017 that maintaining the public’s trust of engineering and geoscience is crucial to sustaining our professions and leaving them in a stable position for future generations. This has not changed. I believe we must continue to practise in a manner that meets or exceeds our professional and ethical standards, as the ability of self regulate remains a privilege, not a right.
Looking five years ahead, what is your vision for Engineers and Geoscientists BC as a professional regulatory body in BC?
Looking ahead five years, my vision for the association as a professional regulatory body is bright. From an outreach perspective, I see the great efforts put into the 30-by-30 initiative starting to bear fruit and improve gender balance within the engineering professions. I see other similar initiatives being spun out from this as we continue to build an association of professionals that is diverse and inclusive. I also see the association continuing to focus on outreach to schools, with programs promoting the professions to keen and enthusiastic youth looking to be tomorrow’s professional engineers and geoscientists.
From a regulatory standpoint, I see the association working diligently to continue being a strong regulator that 1) upholds high professional and ethical standards to enter and work in the professions, 2) fairly disciplines members who do not conform to these standards, 3) strives to follow “right touch” regulation principles, and 4) stays current by providing effective regulation to emerging sub-disciplines within engineering and geoscience.
For Council to achieve its goals and meet its fiduciary responsibilities, Council has identified the need for diverse voices on Council, with a blend of the following skills and competences: leadership, financial literacy, risk management, human resources, strategy, regulatory understanding, governance and technical proficiency. Please highlight the areas of strength you bring to the role.
The following are brief examples that highlight my experience for each of the skills and competencies listed above:
- Governance, risk management, strategy and leadership: I have generated and implemented company-wide mineral resource and reserve governance processes. Successful implementation required demonstrated leadership to generate buy-in, motivation, and momentum from corporate and site-based operations management and staff. This included early involvement and collaboration, regular communication, extensive travel to site to build and maintain relationships, and education and training strategies linking strong governance processes to improved mine production results.
- Regulatory understanding: As a Qualified Person in the heavily regulated mining industry, I am familiar with legislation. Examples include public disclosure (e.g., NI 43-101), environmental permitting, labour, as well as conformance with recognized best practice guidelines.
- Financial Literacy: I sit on association’s Audit Committee. It is responsible for overseeing the management of the risk register and annual financial audits.
- Human resources: My previous roles have involved some or all of the following aspects of HR: staff recruitment, wage evaluation, team and individual goal setting, performance management and review, staff engagement, and HR policies (e.g., confidentiality, discrimination, etc.)
- Technical proficiency: I am a Professional Geoscientist with over 13 years of experience in mineral exploration and mining, specializing in geological modelling and mineral resource estimation. I am currently pursuing my M.Sc. in Mining Engineering (expected completion in 2020) to further my expertise in applied geostatistics and mining.
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