april-may 2000





Government Relations

  • Joined others, including the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) in successfully lobbying the federal government for a new National Infrastructure program. ACEC and member efforts were rewarded with a six-year $3.65 billion federal contribution to highways and municipal works beginning in 2000
  • Monitored ACEC's agreement with PWGSC on consultant selection and believe that low-balling has been eliminated through the introduction of a "stepped approach" on the price component of proposals

Business Practices

  • Continued design-build document negotiations with RAIC and CCA -- ACEC is currently at the legal review stage before final approval is considered
  • ACEC created its own Owner's - Owner's Engineer Agreement for D/B works
  • Updated CCDC 4 - Civil Works and ACEC Document 32 - Consultant - Sub-consultant agreements
  • Established a joint working group with FCM to develop a standard agreement between municipal governments and engineers

Human Resources

  • Developed a new Human Resources Management Manual for Design Firms particularly for member firms that don't have full time human resource managers on staff
  • Began a new national outreach program to high-schools and university students to encourage engineering as a study and career choice. Conducted in partnership with HRDC, other engineering bodies, students, guidance councilors and educators

Member Services

  • Proposed a new membership definition and By-law changes for the 2000 AGM to strengthen the relevance and influence of ACEC
  • Produce the 2nd Annual ACEC National Business Survey of Members with a provincial summary prepared for Manitoba. ACEC represents an industry of 600 member firms that generated $6.4 billion in revenue in 1999 and employed 48,000 in Canada and in markets around the world
  • Converted ACEC documents for on-line access and provided them free to member firms


  • Held the 1999 Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards in Toronto for the first time with 400 people in attendance
  • Created a special CD-ROM of the projects submitted to the Awards competition for distribution to domestic and international client groups and to engineering student groups
  • Upgraded the ACEC Website to improve the visibility of the industry and ACEC, and to reduce communications costs -- use of the ACEC Website is continuously on the rise
  • Created engineering trading cards in cooperation with CCPE as part of National Engineering Week
  • ACEC President Tim Page visited with Member Organizations and member firms in every province except one (Newfoundland)


  • Opened membership on ACEC's international committees on April 1, 2000 to all ACEC member firms not just to those paying a special levy
  • Proposed changes to FIDIC's dues and voting formulae were presented to the 1999 FIDIC GAM
  • Proposed a role for Canadian engineering in support of Canada's disaster relief efforts
  • Developed and presented a brief to the federal government on its mandated review of the Export Development Corporation
  • Maintained a position on the FEPAC Executive Committee (FEPAC stands for the Latin American Association of Consultants)


  • 40% of revenue coming from non-dues sources
  • administration costs continue their downward trend
  • third successive year in the black
  • staff changes creating new opportunities at the National Office

Dave Chalcroft, P.Eng., takes the helm of ACEC for 2000-2001

Dave Chalcroft, P.Eng. is Senior Vice-President responsible for UMA's engineering operations in Alberta and British Columbia and has been a Director in the company since 1991. He earned an undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Manitoba in 1964. He is a former President of Consulting Engineers of Alberta and is active in a number of not-for-profit business organizations including the Canadian Dam Association, the Canadian Water Resources Association and the Alberta Roadbuilders and Heavy Construction Association. He is also an Advisory Council member of the University of Calgary Engineering Internship Program.

Dave and his wife Margaret have been married since 1967, live in Calgary and have two children.

Dave's Priorities for 2000

Speaking at the 76th Annual Business Meeting of the Association of Consulting Engineers of Canada, new Chair Dave Chalcroft, P.Eng. of UMA Engineering Ltd., Calgary, provided members with an overview of the key issues that will define his year in office. His personal priorities will be focused on membership renewal efforts as a means to strengthen ACEC's relevance and influence. And he wants ACEC to bring a human face to engineering by supporting Canadian disaster relief efforts and improving highway safety for Canadian travellers.

Other key areas of ACEC activity this year will be in the following areas:


  • conduct ACEC's Annual Business Survey of members - a product that has fast become a valuable source of information on the trends and performance of the Canadian consulting engineering industry;
  • review ACEC's membership dues formula for a fiscal 2001-2002 implementation as appropriate
  • market ACEC's new HR Manual for Design Firms to member firms, non-members and to other design firms
    raise the visibility of engineers in Canada by submitting Beaubien Award winners as nominees to the Order of Canada and stage successful ACEC Awards and National Convention activities;
  • continue Website development to enhance communications capabilities;
  • continue ACEC outreach program to encourage high-school students to study engineering and to identify career paths for engineering graduates


  • develop a standard agreement between municipal governments and engineers in co-operation with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities;
  • establish industry committees based on major sectors of members activity;
  • complete Design-build documents, including pre-bid agreement;
  • initiate a study to illustrate the benefits of outsourcing private and public sector engineering;


  • create a formal role for consulting engineers in Canadian disaster relief efforts;
  • support the creation of the Canadian International Development Fund;
  • integrate international into the core activities of ACEC by 2001-2002
  • lobby CIDA for changes to its development approach with the Canadian private sector
  • support FIDIC's efforts on sustainable development and capacity building
  • lobby the Finance Department for changes to the Tax Act respecting offshore revenues and residency requirements
  • continue efforts with FIDIC to revise their dues and voting formulae
  • develop and begin implementation of a project in Latin America supported by CIDA;


  • lobby the federal government for greater support for National Highway program;
  • develop a pre-federal election strategy with a focus on ACEC core issues;
  • lobby the federal government for changes to the operating practices of PFRA;
  • continue to advocate for Qualifications Based Selection.

New Directors on ACEC Board for 2000-2001

  • Michael Hogan, SGE Group, St. John's, Newfoundland
  • Garry Bolton, SMS Engineering, Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Stefan Simek, Freguson Simek Clark, Yellowknife, NT
  • Pierre Shoiry, Groupe Genivar Inc., Montreal, Québec
  • Scott McDougall, Jacques Whitford, Ottawa, Ontario

ACEC reaches historical milestone at 2000 Convention

Members voted in favour of adopting a bold new direction for ACEC at its 76th National Convention in Niagara Falls in May when it changed its eligibility requirements for membership.

In presenting the case for change to the membership early in his term of office as Chair for the 1999-2000 year, John Boyd, P.Eng., noted that "to remain effective and relevant and to fully represent the increasingly complex nature of our industry, ACEC must be an association that is inclusive and embraces the business interests of all engineering firms" and he said that ACEC's by-laws "reflect the narrower base of yesterday's industry".

Specific changes that were approved at this year's Annual Business meeting are explained below.

  • ACEC's by-laws stipulated that member firms must be Canadian-owned to qualify for membership. This requirement no longer reflects business realities and would result in a number of existing members not qualifying for membership if the by-laws were to be strictly enforced. The General Assembly voted to remove ownership as a requirement of membership.
  • ACEC's by-laws require member firms to be managed by individuals with a P.Eng. Given the diversity of services being offered by members firms in today's market the General Assembly voted to remove this requirement from the by-laws because it neither reflects the reality of many existing members nor does it anticipate the general direction of our industry in the future.
  • The by-laws did not allow subsidiary firms of foreign parents to be eligible for membership. The General Assembly also voted to remove this stipulation.

At last year's Annual Meeting in New Brunswick, members agreed to modify the by-laws to allow the presence of non-P.Eng. as sitting members of the ACEC Board of Directors.

ACEC holds to the belief that a majority of members of the ACEC Board shall be P.Eng., that the Chair of ACEC shall be a P.Eng. and that all Board members must reside in Canada.

To capture the direction of our industry, the General Assembly also approved a change in the definition of a member firm. In drafting the change, ACEC borrowed from FIDIC's new definition, modified it slightly, and resolved the following:

"ACEC is the Association that represents the consulting industry that supplies engineering and other technology-based intellectual services to the built and natural environments".