B.C. engineers make historic decision to merge with technologists
June 16, 2003
By Canadian Consulting Engineer
Professional engineers in British Columbia have voted strongly in favour of merging their professional interests wi...
Professional engineers in British Columbia have voted strongly in favour of merging their professional interests with technologists in the province. The move overturns the traditional guarded suspicion and professional jealousy that has often existed between the two groups.
In early May the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of B.C. (APEGBC) finished counting the results of a ballot of members in a special referendum. The ballot posed the question: "Do you support or oppose the proposal to integrate engineering and geoscience technology practice under amended APEGBC legislation?" The results were that 72% of respondents supported the proposal and 28% opposed it. A similar referendum undertaken simultaneously by the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC produced a 91% support rate among voting ASTTBC members.
The referendum generated a return rate of almost 31% with 5,948 returned ballots out of 19,354 eligible voters. By comparison, a ballot last year on fees generated a 26% return rate.
At the APEGBC Council meeting on June 6, the organization affirmed the proposal and agreed to ask the provincial government to amend the Engineers and Geoscientists Act to permit the merger of ASTTBC with APEGBC. The prospects of success are good, as government leaders have been receptive to the concept of having one Act and one association to regulate the practices of engineering, engineering technology, geoscience and geoscience technology. A formal request is to be made to the government asking that amendments be introduced for legislative consideration in the spring of 2004.
The two associations are also taking steps to plan the practical aspects of the transition, including working out financing and due diligence issues.