Canadian Consulting Engineer

Feature

Quebec Act delayed

PROFESSIONAmendments to the Quebec Engineering Act were all set to go before the Quebec National Assembly for a vote in the fall, but have now been delayed while the government consults further with i...


PROFESSION

Amendments to the Quebec Engineering Act were all set to go before the Quebec National Assembly for a vote in the fall, but have now been delayed while the government consults further with interested groups.

The Ordre des ingnieurs de Quebec (OIQ) is anxious to have new legislation. In the words of president Roger Nicolet, ing., the existing Act is badly outdated and “archaic.” The main problem is that it has not kept pace with the radically changed scope of engineering and is too vague in many areas. Last revised in the late 1970s, the legislation is still based on engineers’ traditional roles and focused on physical structures. Hence it is particularly grey and muddy in high tech areas such as electronics and computer technology and does not afford the OIQ an adequate tool to ensure that engineering work is being done by qualified professionals.

The OIQ also was not happy with the current Act because it affords the Order no rights to regulate the corporate practice of engineering. Hence, according to Nicolet, it leaves open the possibility of firms doing work at cut rates, for example, which endangers the public. The proposed revisions to the Act as first tabled would have given the Order more powers in this area. However, even the OIQ feels that the revisions go too far in allowing the association to interfere in corporate boardrooms, so the government is reconsidering the question.