2018 ACEC national leadership conference – a resounding success 

Over a hundred leaders and emerging leaders from the consulting engineering sector, along with major clients and stakeholders, gathered in Ottawa from October 21-23 to learn of the latest industry trends, challenges and opportunities, and to network with peers and national decision makers. 

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The first day the business program featured trend forecasts from business experts, discussions on the state of consulting engineering in Canada, panels on the challenges facing the industry and the opportunities available to address them. The Honourable Perrin Beatty, President & CEO, of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce provided the opening keynote by addressing the Canadian economy and the implications of international market forces and what service industry firms need to know to remain competitive. Followed by a day of engaging presentations and panel discussions the day ended with a closing keynote by the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities on the state of infrastructure investments in Canada and how engineers are an essential component for turning these investments into infrastructure that can improve the quality of life of all Canadians.

ACEC’s Parliament Hill Day was in full swing on the second day. The morning kicked off with a morning address by the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Deputy Leader of the Official Opposition, on the importance of connecting the environment with infrastructure followed by informative panel discussions. Throughout the day, delegates made their way to the offices of Members of Parliament to discuss opportunities for the consulting engineering sector. Conference delegates were also treated to a private tour of West Block which will serve as the interim House of Commons during the renovation of Centre Block. The tour included a presentation by one of the project’s lead architects and other senior members of the team.

The conference closed with a celebration of engineering excellence at the 2018 Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards gala. Over the course of the evening, 20 Awards of Excellence and 5 Special Achievement awards were presented, as well as the Beaubien Award and the 2019 Allen D. Williams Scholarship.