Councillor Candidate

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E.J. (Edwin) Zander, Eng.L. | Abbotsford, BC

I am honored to be nominated to serve on the EGBC Council. I believe my 23 year history in the engineering field has prepared me to address some of the key challenges the council will face in the next 5 years. I hope to help shape the future of engineering and technology in British Columbia.

As many may be aware, legislative changes for governance of associations like EGBC are coming into effect in the province of British Columbia. My experience working initially in the technology field and then progressing through to obtaining an Engineering Licensee designation uniquely qualifies me to provide perspective, and to represent members during this transition.

The council’s stated goal is to provide a path to accreditation for all professionals who work in the engineering field (technicians, technologists, licensees and engineers). I will advocate for a framework where a combination of formal training/education, experience, peer review, and continuing education is implemented across all disciplines. In addition to these challenges, I believe that we should continue to promote sustainable practices across the province and will endeavor to strengthen our sustainability resources for all sectors.

I also believe that, above all else, everyone who performs engineering and geoscience work in the province must maintain a strong dedication to public safety (safeguard public interest). My role in council will be to ensure our agenda will remain focused on this critical mandate.

Education

LEED Accredited Professional, 2004
Automatic Sprinkler System Design, Levels 1 & 2, British Columbia Institute of Technology, 1997
Engineering Technology Diploma, Thompson Rivers University, 1996

Professional History

Engineering Licensee, SR Mechanical Design, Williams Engineering, 2013–present
Principal, Stantec Consulting, 2012–2013
Managing Leader, Stantec Consulting, 2010–2012
Associate, Stantec Consulting, 2005–2010
Associate, Keen Engineering, 2004–2005
Project Manager, Keen Engineering, 2001–2004
Design Technologist, Keen Engineering, 1996–2001

RELATED PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES

Member, Canadian Green Building Council (CaGBC), 2005–present
Member, United State Green Building Council (USGBC), 2004–present
Member, ASTTBC, 1994–present

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

President, Abbotsford 1st Elder’s Quorum, 2018–present
Various local and regional positions, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints, 1985–2018
Member, Building Lasting Change Program Committee, CaGBC, 2014–2015
Volunteer, ASTTBC Stol:lo Nation’s Aboriginal Employment & Career Fair, 2013

AWARDS AND HONOURS

President’s Award of Excellence, ASTTBC, 1996
Canada Scholar – Sustained Excellence in Science, Engineering and Technology, 1994–1996

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 the association?

The practice of engineering provides significant value to the public with the creation of public spaces, the development of industry, enabling economic growth, and safeguarding the environment; all while protecting public safety. A key challenge to the association is the need to not only provide accreditation and legislative committee representation on behalf of all members, but to also advance the impact of engineering for the benefit of public interest. This will require professionals who have confidence in the organization; and an organization that works for the betterment of all who practice engineering in the province.

The impact EGBC can have as a regulator will affect how each of us works every day. This could include a unified accreditation process, the support of continuing education programs, the regulation of firms, protection of the individual practice rights of professionals and to encourage innovation in key areas like sustainability, developing clean/renewable energy, responsibly developing our natural resources, and promoting inclusive and equitable practices that demonstrate a strong dedication to operating ethically and responsibly.

In a changing social political environment, EGBC and professionals that make up the organization must provide measured professional services founded on knowledge and honest convection, and safeguarding the public. By clearly presenting engineering and geoscience solutions and possible consequences; if professional decisions or judgements are disregarded, we play a critical role in society by remaining resolute and speaking out for the safety of each person who is impacted by engineering and geoscience.

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

I am fully committed to energy efficiency, environmental friendly design, and sustainability. I strive to include these principles in each of my projects. I was recently reading the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which includes 17 Sustainable Development goals that cover a broad range of Environmental, Social, Governance and Ethics, and Economic (ESG+E) topics. EGBC should update the sustainability resources and guidelines to incorporate the UN SDGs where our members can have the most impact. We should help provide resources to member firms looking to strengthen their commitment to sustainability goals.

Some goals where our members are already contributing within the sphere of their direct influence include:

Goal 6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
Goal 7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
Goal 9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.
Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
Goal 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
Goal 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss.

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

I anticipate that changes under the Professional Governance Act will provide a unique opportunity for the amalgamation of professional associations to provide a single regulating body for all engineering and technology professionals. I fully endorse the published EGBC position that "all work that falls within the definition of the practice of engineering (including engineering technology) should be regulated by a single government-designated regulator whose mandate is to regulate the practice of engineering."

The EGBC council can streamline the process of authorizing independent practice, while maintaining an acceptable level of competence and oversight of authorized professionals.  We will need to be able to be flexible enough to accept/implement change, while maintaining strong control of existing core strengths. We need to provide input to the regulation of our industry that reduces the risk of creating confusion for the public, government, employers, and our clients; by ensuring all who practice engineering or geoscience are subject to the same code of ethics and responsibilities for safeguarding the public interest.

In addition to this crucial time in our history as a profession in the province, EGBC can also provide significant resources for professional and career development, mentoring, entrepreneurship, and embracing diversity and equality among our members.

I believe we all have something to share; after over two decades of working in this province, now is the perfect time for me to share what I have learned with others.

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.

Determining expectations and the appropriate level of risk is part of decision-making on every engineering/geoscience project; many are routine and predictable; but occasionally, a unique situation is presented that requires detailed analysis and determination. I have participated in several personal and industry “firsts” and "customized" designs over my career.  Past personal experience/expertise and detailed research have provided the basis to proceed on.

My entire consulting career has been in the Mechanical building systems design field; a field that is predominantly controlled by regulation; National and Provincial Building and Fire Codes, CSA, ASHRAE, NFPA, etc.; each of which is updated regularly. Similarly, the professional associations that I belong to (EGBC, ASTTBC, USGBC, CaGBC) each has a series of regulations and policies, based on Government laws and regulations. Maintaining a working knowledge of these documents permits me to succeed.

From a leadership perspective, I have held several positions in my career where financial planning and implementation, and strategic planning were required. I am comfortable making decisions and managing human resources (determining who to work with, and/or how to work with people of diverse backgrounds). My involvement in the community has been primarily within my church organization. I have served on many councils; including a four-year term in a regional council role as well as significant contributions to our local congregation in Abbotsford. I have managed budgets and finances, and counselled with individuals and groups; and presently I am serving my second term as the president of our men’s organization.  

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