September 1999

NEWS FLASHES!

In Memoriam

Theodore (Ted) Rey, P.Eng.

ACEC was saddened to learn of the sudden passing, on October 9th, 1999, of Ted Rey, a long-time member of the profession and the association. Most recently, Ted worked as the Executive Director of the Consulting Engineers of Saskatchewan, a post he accepted in 1989.

After 26 years of work with the Saskatchewan Department of Agriculture and Environment, Ted retired from the Sask. Water Corporation in 1987. He followed his "retirement" by launching his own consulting engineering firm, Aqua Groundwater Engineering, until he was offered the helm of the Saskatchewan Association.

Ted was always a staunch supporter of the small consulting firm, and this showed in his work towards the improvement of his constituency's business conditions in Saskatchewan and abroad. He will be sorely missed.

New @ acec.ca

Search the Members' Area!

ACEC has now activated its search engine for the "Members" area of its web site. The process is simple, but the results are better than adequate!
The search engine allows visitors to type in one or more keywords and scans all the files stored under the member directories. The results of the search appear as a list of links to the pages where a keyword match was found. A simple click on the links takes the visitor directly to the page(s), which are listed using the member firm's ACEC member I.D. number and name. Visit the ACEC web site and click on the purple buttons.

October 20th - Westin Harbour Castle - Toronto. The event is near. A few of the 500 tickets are still available and can be purchased online at the ACEC E-Shoppe - www.acec.ca/pubs_order/ - first come, first served ! Contact the ACEC National Office for special seat orders or to confirm engineering student guests.

This is ACEC's premier showcase event of the year. It serves to promote the industry. Invite your clients and enjoy an exciting evening of fine food, entertainment and mystery.

The event, organized by ACEC and by Consulting Engineers of Ontario in conjunction with Canadian Consulting Engineer magazine, is the best opportunity for member firms to invite and mingle with clients, suppliers, political figures, media and industry peers in a light-hearted social environment to celebrate engineering excellence.

In addition to profiling this year's award participants in a dynamic multi-media presentation, the evening also features the Second City comedy group performing skits designed specifically for our audience.

Remember: the date is near. Don't miss it.

Increasing political support for Infrastructure

The 500 letters from ACEC members to elected officials are proving to be successful. Not only is awareness over the issue increasing, elected officials are speaking up in favor of investment in infrastructure:

  • Marlene Catterall, MP, Ottawa West - Nepean, recognizes that "infrastructure investment is important not only to our quality of life, but also that of our environment and our economy".
  • John Duncan, MP, Vancouver Island North, sees infrastructure as a necessity for competitiveness.
  • Maurizio Belivacqua, MP, Vaughan-King-Aurora, considers the issue as one of productivity.
  • Grant Hill, MP, Macleod, agrees with our comments on infrastructure and particularly as they relate to safety.
  • Svend Robinson, MP, Burnaby-Douglas, states that infrastructure is a "Key component to the NDP's strategy for putting Canadians back to work" and is strongly supportive to government spending in the area of highway and other infrastructure.
  • Deepak Obhrai (MP, Calgary East), Lou Sekora (MP, Port Moody-Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam), Peter Adams (MP, Peterborough), Gary Steward (MPP, Peterborough), Dan McTeague (MP, Pickering-Ajax-Uxbridge) and John Reynolds also support our recommendations for investment in infrastructure and believe investment in infrastructure is overdue.
  • Ted White, MP, North Vancouver, states that the Reform Party agrees with our position that deteriorating roads and highways are responsible for numerous problems and supports any initiative by the Government to modernize the highway system. The official Reform policy states that it "supports upgrading transportation and increasing port facilities so that Canada may capitalize on burgeoning export trade opportunities."
  • Val Meredith, MP, South Surrey-White Rock-Langley, is a strong supporter and an active participant on committees for the planning and implementation of sound intermodal transportation systems as part of vital corridors connecting communities in both Canada and the US.

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Congratulations to those who sent in letters. To those who have not written yet, please do so. It's not too late. Consulting engineers are perceived as knowledgeable and well-informed parties with respect to infrastructure (as acknowledged by Grant McNally, MP, Dewdney-Alouette, BC). As such, you can influence change.

1999 National Business Survey

The 1999 survey questionnaire was mailed out to member firms on September 27. Please take the 10-15 minutes required to complete the questionnaire and send it back by mail (postage pre-paid envelope included) or by fax (1-613-238-7678) to Compas by October 30. This year, questionnaires will not be completed by phone. So please take the initiative to complete the survey on your own. Your participation is essential for the success of the exercise.

Risks associated with copyright infringement

ACEC and CCDC Standard forms of contracts are written in a way that provides a reasonable balance between the interests of both parties and allows frequent users to familiarize themselves with the terms and conditions of the contract. Additions or deletions are to be signaled in the supplementary conditions. This allows the parties to quickly review changes to the document and alleviates the need for a careful proofreading.

As consulting engineers often assist the Owner in the preparation of the contract with the Contractor, they must be very careful when drafting provisions. "A contract rule of interpretation that underscores the importance of clear and unambiguous language in the drafting of contract is the rule of contra proferentem. Simply put, the rule provides that where a contract is ambiguous, it will be construed or interpreted against the party that drafted the provision. It provides a convenient basis upon which to attack a poorly drafted and ambiguous document." (Law for Professional Engineers, Marston, 1996).

In order to encourage Members to use standard documents and as a service to the membership, ACEC is now providing free to Members electronic copies of its documents on the Web. However, CCDC documents remain available at a cost. Please use proper standard documents, for your own safety and that of your Clients.

General Commercial Liability Insurance under CCDC 2

Did you know that while CCDC 2 provides for the Contractor's General Commercial Liability Insurance Policy to be in the joint names of the Contractor, the Owner, and the Consultant, common practice is for the Owner and Consultant to only be named as an "additional insured". As such, the Consultant and Owner are only covered for claims arising out of the Contractor's actions causing damage or injury to a third party. That is to say, if a brick falls off a beam and breaks a car windshield, the Contractor, Consultant and Owner may all be named in a lawsuit. If the person responsible for the brick falling is an employee of the Contractor, then the insurance policy will cover it. If the culprit is anyone but the Contractor, then the Contractor's General Commercial Liability insurance will not cover the claim. For your actions to be covered for general commercial liability, you need to get coverage of your own or be added as "full named insured" on the Contractor's policy. The latter is not very common as the Contractor may need to transfer the additional cost to you and the Contractor's insurance company may not accept this type of arrangement.

Y2K Contract provisions

A Y2K provision included in Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) and Defence Construction Canada (DCC) contracts required the Consultant to warrant services and deliverables under contract for performance prior to, during and after the year 2000. ACEC raised a concern to PWGSC because this provision, and any other express warrantee clause, is uninsurable and the Consultant is being made responsible for another party's product or services. In working with ENCON, DPIC, PWGSC and DCC, the clause has now been modified and is insurable. Kudos to ACEC's Procurement Task Force.

Congratulations to new FIDIC President, Wayne Bowes

Wayne Bowes of Delcan became the new President of FIDIC at the recently held 1999 General Annual Meeting and Conference in Le Hague, Netherlands. Wayne is the first Canadian to be the head of our international organization. In his acceptance speech to delegates, Wayne said that his priorities would be to promote integrity within the industry, campaign for QBS, promote sustainability and be proactive to make FIDIC more representative and accessible to member countries. He challenged those assembled by saying that "if you don't want to change, you should move aside".
A total of 21 Canadians attended the 1999 FIDIC Conference including a majority of the ACEC Executive Committee. Pierre Patry of Dessau-Soprin and Ben Novak of Stantec were conference speakers on sustainable development and on quality management, respectively. Next year's Annual Conference will be held in Hawaii in early September. Under Wayne's leadership, FIDIC's Executive Committee has decided to meet in Niagara Falls next May at the time of ACEC's National Convention.