CSC Opposes Changes to Ontario Engineering Act
What is the issue? top
The removal of the exemption for natural sciences from the definition of the practice of professional engineering — which is one component of the currently-proposed revisions to the Ontario Engineering Act, within the Omnibus Act (Bill 68) — could make it impossible for many, if not most, natural scientists (physicists, chemists, biologists, computer scientists, etc.) to practise their professions, in industry, government, and universities. This could clearly have a major negative impact on Ontario, as well as on the professions concerned.
What is the CSC doing to address the issue? top
The CSC is working closely with other national and provincial societies to bring this issue to the immediate attention of the Ontario Attorney-General.
A letter detailing the issue was sent from Mario Pinto, President of the Canadian Society for Chemistry (CSC), to the Ontario Attorney-General.
The CSC also encouraged their membership and other concerned parties to write to key individuals in support of opposing the proposed changes. The Attorney-General’s office received more than 600 letters within just a few days, prompting the A-G’s office to raise the matter directly with the Professional Engineers of Ontario (PEO).
What is the outcome so far? top
On September 2, 2010, a CAP-led team of representatives from the Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP), the Association of the Chemical Profession of Ontario (ACPO), the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (CMOS), the Canadian Organization of Medical Physicists (COMP) and the Canadian Society for Chemistry (CSC), on behalf of the natural scientists, met with the PEO’s President, Diane Freeman, and CEO/Registrar, Kim Allen, to discuss this matter.
As a result of this discussion, an agreement in principle was reached between our societies and the PEO to introduce an exemption for natural scientists by modifying the Regulations in the Professional Engineers Act. These modifications will define a class of persons—“Natural Scientists”—that are exempt from being prevented by the Act from carrying out any act (including management) that requires the application of scientific principles, competently performed.
The authorization for recognition of individuals that are in the category of “Natural Scientists” will reside with the respective scientific societies covered under this agreement. This agreement must still be ratified by the Councils of the various parties. Implementation of these procedures will be worked out by our respective societies as soon as possible. The Attorney General's Office of Ontario will be monitoring developments in this matter until an agreement is concluded to the satisfaction of all parties.
Further details will be provided as the memorandum of agreement between the PEO and our societies is finalized.
Although this issue is particular to the province of Ontario, it is potentially precedent-setting, with implications across Canada.JOIN NOW