Consulting Engineers of Ontario responded quickly last week to the release of the Elliot Lake Inquiry report into the partial collapse of the Algo Centre Mall roof.
In a statement on October 16, Barry Steinberg, chief executive officer of CEO, said that if enacted, many of the 71 recommendations in the October 15 report would significantly strengthen the regulation of Ontario’s engineering profession.
Steinberg said: “We are anticipating that Commissioner Bélanger’s report will have considerable impact on Ontario’s engineering profession. Ultimately, the significance of these recommendations hinge on what the Government of Ontario chooses to adopt. Attorney General Meilleur has immediately committed to an advisory panel to consult with stakeholders on how to move forward on these proposals. CEO is looking forward to being intimately engaged in this process.”
Steinberg continued, “Of particular importance for engineers are the commission’s recommendations calling for: establishing a system of continuing professional education for professional engineering license holders; developing a new performance standard for structural inspections of existing buildings; a requirement for a Structural Adequacy Report of existing buildings, prepared and sealed by a professional engineer certified as a structural engineering specialist, and; providing additional information about professional engineering license holders that have been disciplined for professional misconduct.
“If enacted, these recommendations represent a net benefit for all concerned. They will strengthen our profession’s fiduciary responsibility to serve and protect the public interest, as stipulated in the Professional Engineers Act. Going forward the real burden will be on the province and municipalities. There are new responsibilities for Chief Building Officials, and new requirements requiring changes to the Ontario Building Code impacting record keeping and reporting for the province and municipalities.”
He concluded: “Success will be defined by what effective enforcement looks like. It will be interesting to see to what recommendations are adopted.”