Ontario government decides to keep controversial “industrial exemption”
Professional Engineers Ontario and Engineers Canada are condemning the Government of Ontario for deciding to permanently maintain the “industrial exemption” as part of the province’s Professional Engineers Act.
Ontario is the only province that allows employees in industrial plants who are not professional engineers to perform work on equipment where the work would normally require an engineer’s stamp.
Kim Allen, P.Eng., chief executive officer of Engineers Canada, said in a statement that the government’s decision to maintain the industrial exemption “does a disservice to Ontario workers, placing their health and safety in the workplace at risk, and reduces the protection afforded to Canadians.”
Allen said the decision leaves Ontario lagging behind the rest of Canada, adding: “I struggle to understand why Ontario should have a lower standard than the rest of the country.”
In its Fall Economic Statement, the government said it had decided to permanently maintain the industrial exemption, which is section 12(3)(a) of the Professional Engineers Act. In 2010 the government had committed itself to repealing the exemption in its Open for Business Act 2010.
Engineers Canada said the latest decision stands in the way of hopes of establishing interprovincial mobility among engineers. Having different licensing rules in different provinces makes it more difficult for an engineer in one province to obtain a licence in another.
In contrast: “A level playing field makes it easier for engineers to move within Canada, allowing companies to make the best use of their resources, and engineers to take advantage of career opportunities,” said Allen.
Click here to read the Engineers Canada press release.