Contents from a Mount Polley mine tailings pond happening the Hazeltine Creek into Quesnel Lake.

JONATHAN HAYWARD / THE CANADIAN PRESS

At occasions, even probably the most well-intentioned efforts by authorities to control will be outweighed by the unintended penalties of haste, resulting in coverage suggestions that threaten the general public’s finest curiosity.

At occasions, even probably the most well-intentioned efforts by authorities to control will be outweighed by the unintended penalties of haste, resulting in coverage suggestions that threaten the general public’s finest curiosity.

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Such is the case with the provincial authorities’s just lately proposed modifications to B.C.’s skilled reliance mannequin, a critically essential framework meant to make sure that engineering professionals deal with pure sources in one of the best curiosity of each the general public and the setting.

Whereas the federal government’s overview {of professional} reliance is well timed, its lack of session with the very group it seeks to control has led to puzzling coverage suggestions at odds with the career of engineering — one which has lengthy loved belief and excessive regard internationally for its monitor document of innovation and excellence.

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The provincial authorities’s suggestions would take key governance and disciplinary decision-making away from engineering professionals and place them within the palms of presidency bureaucrats, leaving folks with out the mandatory background data or specialised abilities to set requirements and decide skilled apply in a extremely technical business.

Not solely do these suggestions categorical a regarding lack of belief in engineers — eradicating their potential to self-govern and oversee disciplinary processes — they apply a one-size-fits-all strategy to an unlimited and extremely numerous business, evidently the results of a session course of that was carried out nearly fully with professionals from the useful resource sector and almost with none enter from nearly all of engineers working towards in different fields.

Within the absence of significant session with engineers, the federal government has as a substitute defaulted to regulation and red-tape by its proposed creation of an “oversight regulatory physique,” a completely pointless group that will add complexity, prices, delays and confusion to tasks with none assure of elevated public security or higher environmental stewardship.

Not solely would this new regulator undermine the sound decision-making processes which have grounded the career for many years — placing the general public’s finest curiosity in jeopardy — it could add one other layer of forms and purple tape to the business, making what must be goal and empirically based mostly choices political ones.

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This isn’t to recommend that ACEC-BC isn’t supportive of the spirit of the overview. We assist the federal government’s dedication to public security and environmental safety however consider {that a} two-way dialogue is required for the skilled reliance mannequin to be improved to the advantage of most of the people, the setting and the engineering business — an consequence that may be achieved by alterations to present laws, quite than a slew of recent rules.

The significance of this concern and its long-term ramifications on the general public, the setting and the governance of engineers calls for a radical session with the certified professionals at its helm. But the NDP authorities appears to be railroading this overview by in a fashion that doesn’t permit for thorough and knowledgeable enter.

The NDP campaigned on guarantees of considerate session and evidence-based policy-making, but each have been lacking from the federal government’s overview {of professional} reliance, which begs the query: What’s the frenzy?

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The federal government is correct to overview skilled reliance but when it cares about enacting the simplest — not probably the most expedient — laws, it ought to sluggish its course of and correctly weigh all choices earlier than pushing by a scheme with doubtlessly grave implications on the long-term finest curiosity of the general public, the setting and the career of engineering.

Keith Sashaw is president of the Affiliation of Consulting Engineering Corporations of B.C., the business group that represents the enterprise pursuits of over 80 corporations that present consulting companies to private- and public-sector shoppers. Collectively, the members of ACEC-BC make use of greater than 9,000 folks, 3,000 of whom are skilled engineers.


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