Currently, the right to vote in Council elections, bylaw ratifications, and at the association’s Annual General Meetings is restricted to professional members and limited licensees. As part of a recent review of Engineers and Geoscientists BC’s nomination and election processes, Council is recommending the expansion of voting rights to include members-in-training (EITs and GITs).
Voting rights are determined by the governing legislation for Engineers and Geoscientists BC—the Engineers and Geoscientists Act. At the 2017 AGM, members passed a motion that Council consider advocating to have the Act changed to allow members-in-training the right to vote. Council referred this motion to the Nomination and Election Review Task Force.
Member-in-training voting rights vary across Canada. In Alberta, Ontario, and PEI, members-in-training may not vote, while in Manitoba, they may only vote for one position on Council reserved for a member-in-training. In Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, and Nova Scotia, members-in-training may vote, and in some cases, stand for election to Council.
Members-in-training have expressed a desire to be able to participate in voting processes. The task force agreed that this would be a positive change that would enable members entering the profession to have more of a stake in their future, as well as the future of the professions. Voting is also seen by members to be a critical aspect of self-governance.
In September 2018, the task force recommended that Council expand voting rights to members-in-training. Council supported this recommendation, and also asked for member input on this issue.
A change to the Engineers and Geoscientists Act would be required in order to enact the expansion of voting rights. In light of the recent introduction of the Professional Governance Act, support for this provision is unknown, but Council wishes to advance it should the opportunity to do so arise.
Currently, there are just over 6,000 members-in-training registered with Engineers and Geoscientists BC.
Council is seeking member input on this proposed expansion of voting rights. To provide your thoughts on this issue, email [email protected] by January 4, 2019.
Photo: Mike Crane Photography