ACEC Communiqué -- July 1999

In this issue:

  1. NEW @ ACEC.CA: A web-based member forum
  2. ACEC Documents on the Web: PDF vs. Word-processed
  3. Design/Build
  4. An Evening of Canadian Engineering Excellence
  5. Infrastructure
  6. Welcome to new ACEC members
  7. Clarification
  8. B.C. Engineer Heads CCPE
  9. Mutual Recognition of Professional Engineers within Canada
  10. Federal Cabinet Shuffle
  11. Subsidy for entry-level employees
  12. Changes to National Construction Codes

NEW @ ACEC.CA: A web-based member forum

ACEC is pleased to announce the creation and launch of its new web-based discussion board, the ACEC Exchange. We suggest printing this announcement for future reference.

This new member service is accessible to anyone with a web browser. Go to the ACEC web site at www.acec.ca and follow the links from the home page. You will be greeted by a multi-lingual message that informs users about the purpose and features of the ACEC Exchange, as well as a link to the gateway for the discussion zones.

Timely Discussion Topics

To introduce the service and give members a taste of its usefulness and benefits, ACEC has opened discussions on three current issues: the Y2K problem as it relates to the industry, the push for a national infrastructure strategy and, international trade barriers. Links at the top of some discussion pages allow users to download or view relevant ACEC documentation.

The first discussion is open to the public, therefore to clients, suppliers and associates of our industry. The second and third are for members only, in view of the ongoing campaign to create a national infrastructure policy and the upcoming WTO talks on Trade in Services.

Simple and Efficient

The ACEC Exchange is a moderated discussion board, which is to say that posted messages must first be examined by a moderator. This is to enable the selection of postings that merit translation, the prevention of "spam", the elimination of offensive language and/or the editing of long-winded messages.

The Exchange operates on two frames: one to navigate and get instructions, the other to view the topics and posted messages. The gateway lists the discussion zones and related topics. They are, in order, the Public Zone (universal access), the Members' Zones (password protected - see below) and the ACEC Committee Zones (for Association business).

Clicking on a Zone link brings you to one or more discussions. Generally, each discussion is prefaced by a short text outlining the context of the issue and key questions associated with the topic. As you scroll down the page, you will see posted messages, the most recent being at the top, and a message-posting window at the bottom. Use the latter to make your contribution to the discussion thread.

The Exchange is equipped with detailed instructions under "Documentation" and a handy registration utility under "Participation" in the navigation tree. Should you find yourself in difficulty or at an impasse, you will also find email links to the moderators under "Contact". We encourage you to use these links freely and extensively BEFORE entering the Exchange.

Accessing the Zones

The Public Zone is open to anyone, members and non-members alike. The Members' Zones are entered using a global password available by contacting the ACEC Association Services Department. Once inside, follow the instructions and make your opinions known to your peers and to your National Association.

A Fluid Communications Vehicle

The ACEC Exchange is designed to grow and evolve over time, through its usage by members and their peers, and the changing nature of the industry. Members should bookmark it, return regularly to follow the discussions and use it to inform their peers about anything that benefits the growth of business.

ACEC Documents on the Web: PDF vs. Word-processed

Many of you have already taken advantage of the new ACEC service on the web, whereby members can download ACEC documents free of charge. For everyone's protection, the documents contain a watermark to demonstrate to you and your clients that the definitions and conditions of contract remain unchanged from the original version. The documents are produced in PDF format to prevent tampering. Some ACEC members have asked ACEC to consider a system that would allow for copyright protection while allowing member firms to type (from their PC) specifics of an agreement directly into the text of the document before printing. Software with such a feature has been quoted to ACEC at $35,000. If you know of a more affordable method or have comments on the issue, please contact the National Office. If warranted, a members-only discussion topic will be set up on the ACEC Exchange at www.acec.ca/prediscus.html

Design/Build

As reported in the June edition of Communiqué, ACEC believes a solution has been found to the 2-year stalemate between CCA and ACEC over the role attributed to the consultant in Doc. 14 (Owner-Design/Builder Contract) and in the draft Doc. 15 (Design/Builder-Consultant Contract).

On July 20, six representatives from ACEC, CCA and RAIC met to review and make the appropriate drafting changes to Doc. 14 & 15. A draft pre-bid agreement prepared by ACEC was also presented for consideration. CCA acknowledged the need for a pre-bid agreement and agreed that it would be preferable to have all 3 documents (Doc. 14, Doc. 15 and the pre-bid agreement) endorsed by the CCDC constituent members at the same time.

Redrafts of the 3 documents are expected this month and will be submitted to the ACEC Design/Build Task Force and joint industry committee on Design/Build for further review. Until Doc. 14 is revised so as to warrant its endorsement, ACEC continues to warn members about the use of CCA/CSC/RAIC Doc. 14.

Watch the ACEC Exchange for a members-only discussion on this issue.

An Evening of Canadian Engineering Excellence:

The 1999 CCE Awards
Wednesday, October 20, 1999
Westin Harbour Castle, Toronto

Tickets (singles/tables of 10): ACEC National Office; www.acec.ca; Consulting Engineers of Ontario

Infrastructure

ACEC's National Infrastructure campaign is gaining speed. The Premiers' meeting in Quebec City on August 9-12 and the National Caucus meeting in Halifax on August 16-18 are important milestones in the lobbying campaign. Infrastructure must be on the meeting agendas if it is to be a priority and receive budgetary support. ACEC continues to meet and work with partner associations and to disseminate the message to elected officials and public officials as opportunities arise. ACEC encourages you, if you have not already done so, to contact your MP, MPP and elected official in your municipality/ward to make them aware of the importance of investing in infrastructure. Here are a few examples of members' efforts:

We would like also to recognize the proactive role of Schaeffers Consulting Engineers, Barker Terp Gibson Ltd, Boissonnault McGraw and Associates and MCW Consultants in getting the message out. We hope that with your help the ACEC lobbying campaign will continue to gain momentum.

With member feedback, we hope to produce statistics i.e. number of elected officials who put a high priority on infrastructure investment. This could help us gain media attention as well as greater political influence. Please advise ACEC if you have been active on this issue - use the ACEC Exchange to provide details.

Welcome to new ACEC members

ACEC is pleased to count among its members the following firms:

B.C. Engineer Elected CCPE Chair

Richard Hugh Hancock, P.Eng., an engineer from Vancouver, British Columbia, has been elected as Chair of the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers (CCPE). Elected to the Chair’s position June 18, during CCPE’s Annual Meeting in Yellowknife, NWT, Mr. Hancock has served on the Council of CCPE since 1993 and on its Executive Committee since 1997.

Mr. Hancock is currently the Vice-President of Western Operations for Canadian Stebbins Engineering and Manufacturing Co. Ltd., an Ottawa-based company that specializes in the construction, maintenance, and rebuilding of corrosion resistant vessels and structures.

Clarification

In the June Communiqué, ACEC published an erratum in which it incorrectly identified Dillon Consulting Limited, and omitted to specify that the company's head office is located in Ontario, otherwise implying that it operates only in that province. Dillon Consulting Ltd. also has offices in BC, Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, NWT and Nunavut. As well, the firm Smith and Andersen Consulting Engineers did not appear in the list due to a delay in reporting membership renewal, but is in fact a full and active member.

Mutual Recognition of Professional Engineers within Canada

Canada's 12 provincial and territorial regulatory engineering associations signed an agreement that eliminates virtually all inter-provincial barriers to the free movement of licensed engineers between jurisdictions.

Signed in Yellowknife, the "Inter-Association Agreement on Mobility of Professional Engineers Within Canada" ends the requirement for engineers to be licensed for five consecutive years in one provincial or territorial jurisdiction before they can relocate to a second jurisdiction and be fully licensed. It also makes it easier for engineers to hold licenses in more than one province or territory at the same time.

Under the terms of the agreement, licensed engineers in good standing in the provincial or territorial regulatory engineering association in their home jurisdiction can apply for and obtain a license to practice in another jurisdiction. In most cases, the only requirement is that engineers seeking to be licensed in another jurisdiction agree to abide by the continuing competency requirements of that jurisdiction. For more information, contact Terence Davis, CCPE at 613-232-2474.

Federal Cabinet Shuffle

Subsidy for entry-level employees

The Experience Canada program subsidizes hiring and wages of entry level/contract employees from another province/territory for the first 6-month period. Since 1996, HRDC and the Council for Canadian Unity have financed the program which offers to handle all logistics, match your staffing requirements with candidates from their database, and cover the cost of advertising, campus recruiting, transportation and lodging of candidates. Once a final selection has been made, the net cost to the employer is $8500.00/hired candidate for a six-month period. After that period, the employer has the option to offer employment to the candidate and in fact 82% of firms opt to keep the employee. As this net cost is paid out to Experience Canada, as a bursary for the hired candidate, there are no payroll tax or payroll administration costs. Also, a free one-week training is provided on career expectations and the company's office platform.

A few ACEC member firms already have taken advantage of this program. It has however come to the attention of ACEC that in proportion to other industries, consulting engineering firms are not benefiting as much as they should from the program.

For more information on this Canadian Unity project, please call 1-888-234-6618 or if you are in the province of Ontario or Québec call Philippe Hénault at 613-824-2184.

Changes to National Construction Codes

The Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes (CCBFC), under the auspices of the National Research Council (NRC), is responding to a request from code users to make the national model codes more flexible, especially concerning innovation, while keeping them as similar as possible to those they are familiar with.

Objective-based codes are coming to Canada, likely at about the end of 2003. Users will find clearer documents containing specific statements of objectives aimed at easing the introduction of innovative designs based on a common understanding of requirements.

Code users should watch for opportunities to participate in a public consultation of objectives some time in 2000 and on the draft codes in 2002. Further information is available from the Codes Centre at (613) 993-9960 or email: codes@nrc.ca