Canadian Consulting Engineer

READERS RESPOND – on Mandatory Continuing Education in B.C., Windsor-Detroit Crossings

November 16, 2009
By Canadian Consulting Engineer

Following are responses received to articles posted on Canadian Consulting Engineer's Headline News during Oct...

Following are responses received to articles posted on Canadian Consulting Engineer’s Headline News during October.  The responses have been edited for length.

Re. “B.C. Engineers vote not to accept mandatory continuing education,” posted October 15, 2009.

Professional development is a key component of ensuring the integrity of the professional designation. A good question to ask is: would I want a physician performing a vital task on me who took his/her education 30 years ago and who had never taken new information to update [him or herself] with new techniques, information, etc.? I think not! Each professional group has a role in ensuring public and environmental health and safety, client confidentiality, etc., and without maintaining a required “XYZ” quantity of professional development hours per year, a single individual cannot possibly say they are competent — especially so today with how fast our information base is expanding.

Even though I have not paid my dues for this year to maintain my PAg status, and even though the PAg status is not totally required by my company, I still ensure that I maintain my professional development activities.

Knowing that the P.Engs. of BC do not have a required professional development requirement says to me they don’t care. As someone who sat on both levels of my own professional council I know the headaches of trying to get people to maintain their professional development, but making it self regulated and you do it only if you feel like it? That totally erodes away the integrity of the professional association. …

This is a sad day when the laziness of people interferes with the integrity of a professional association and its need to maintain such. As a potential employer of engineers, I would never hire an individual that did NOT have a professional development requirement; I guess I won’t be hiring engineers from B.C.

I think their professional association needs to rethink this decision because not only does it decrease the integrity of the professional association within B.C., but it also decreases the employability of those under their umbrella. If our company as a possible employer had the choice between hiring an individual with a required professional development component v. a self regulated one, the individual with the required professional development component would be the first choice. An employer is always looking for the best bang for their buck.- — Kathleen Cameron, M.Sc., Saskatoon, Sask.

 Re. “Major new parkway to U.S. border announced,” October 26, 2009 [regarding Windsor Essex Parkway and potential new bridge to Detroit]

While this is a positive story for an area that needs some good news, what is the point of promoting some thing that will likely never happen? The State of Michigan legislature does not have a plan for their side of the river. The US Federal Government does not have a plan and will not lead the process about a new bridge. The (private) owner of the Ambassador Bridge says he can add another span to solve delays.

Will Ontario build a road to go nowhere? I do not think Canada is in a position to lead the U.S. in this venture when they are happy with Buy U.S. legislation and our dollar nears par. A more complete story would be more informative. — J. William Birdsell, Architect,  Guelph, Ontario

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