Canadian Consulting Engineer

Consulting Engineers of Ontario votes in favour of a new name

At its annual meeting on Thursday, June 5, members of Consulting Engineers of Ontario voted to go ahead to change t...

June 9, 2008   Canadian Consulting Engineer

At its annual meeting on Thursday, June 5, members of Consulting Engineers of Ontario voted to go ahead to change the name of the association. Despite urgings from the CEO president to raise questions and issues, there was very little debate. With a ratio of about 5 to 1, the members in attendance voted in a ballot in favour of dropping the use of “consulting” in the name. Instead, the new title will emphasize that the association repersents engineering “companies.”John Gamble, P.Eng., president of CEO, says the association now has a mandate to proceed on the proposal to change the name to the Association of Canadian Engineering Companies of Ontario. The abbreviated form will be ACEC-Ontario.Gamble says that they will move forward in a carefully staged way, ensuring they stay in consultation with sister associations in other provinces. He suggests, “It’s important that we consult with each other to have a consistent message.” One of the chief arguments in favour of a name change is that it will help the association distinguish itself as an industry association lobbying for engineering companies, rather than representing individuals. Also, in Ontario there is sometimes confusion because the title “consulting engineer” is regulated by the licensing body, Professional Engineers of Ontario.Those who support the name change to “ACEC” would like it to be adopted as a national “brand” name across the country. They say it would help the associations leverage a national identity and they could share resources.Consulting Engineers of Ontario’s decision follows the renaming of the national association last year. What was formerly the Association of Consulting Engineers of Canada (ACEC), l’association des ingenieurs-conseils du Canada, is now the Association of Canadian Engineering Companies, l’association des firmes d’ingenierie du Canada. The equivalent organization in the U.S. is called the American Council of Engineering Companies.So far one other provincial association has changed its name along the lines of CEO. In April, the Association of Consulting Engineers of New Brunswick agreed by around an 80% majority to change its name to the Association of Canadian Engineering Companies of New Brunswick, or ACEC-New Brunswick for short.Most of the other provincial associations are still debating the issue, or have deferred it. However, Consulting Engineers of B.C. is set to vote on the name change later this month. The Association of Consulting Engineers of Quebec has decided not to change its name at this time.Gamble says there are several legal and business formalities to go through in order to adopt the new name ACEC-Ontario. The steps necessary include bylaw changes, corporate registrations, and obtaining permission from Engineers Canada to use the reserved term “engineering.”

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