New National Position Statement on engineers’ role in building a safe and resilient Canada

Jul 27, 2022 12:00 AM

At the Spring Meetings and Annual Meeting of Members, the Engineers Canada Board approved a new National Position Statement about the role of engineers in building a safe and resilient Canada.  

Engineers play an important role in building safe and resilient communities across Canada in their day-to-day work as they apply technology in creative ways for the benefit of society. Engineers strengthen the safety and resiliency of communities across Canada by providing innovative solutions to proactively address complex problems, protect federal, provincial, and territorial assets, connect communities, and drive national economic recovery, all while managing risks. In fact, public health and safety are threatened when professional engineers are not directly involved in the planning, design, implementation, review, and maintenance of projects and initiatives that require the application of engineering principles. 

Professional engineers have continuously proven their ability to build and maintain a safe and resilient Canada across federal jurisdictions. For example, engineers have been involved in designing personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic to mitigate public health risks. Engineers provide unbiased climate adaptation and mitigation expertise to safeguard public infrastructure. Engineers connect communities through sustainable broadband technology. They collaborate with Indigenous leaders to strengthen infrastructure within First Nations communities.  

It is therefore crucial that the federal government coordinate and collaborate with the engineering profession to ensure a safe and resilient Canada. Engineers possess the skills and knowledge to respond and advise the federal government on current and future challenges. The application of engineering principles and expertise spans across every federal department, from providing insight to strengthen Canada’s innovative output, protecting structural integrity of physical infrastructure, protecting the natural environment, strengthening diversity and inclusion initiatives, providing input for national educational initiatives and programming, and protecting the national economy. Engineering expertise is essential in supporting federal projects and initiatives that protect and strengthen Canadian communities. 

The National Position Statement therefore makes two recommendations to government. The federal government should: 

  • Ensure that any legislation or regulations that refer to engineering work require the involvement of a professional engineer, licensed in accordance with provincial and territorial engineering acts.  
  • Adopt a government-wide policy to ensure that engineering work is performed by individuals who are licensed to do so, thereby encouraging compliance with professional regulatory legislation that holds those so licensed professionally accountable for their engineering work. 

Engineers Canada’s National Position Statements are consensus positions of the provincial and territorial engineering regulators on key issues that relate to the public interest. They are not only meant to provide information about the issue to members of the engineering profession, but are also meant to facilitate discussion with government and influence public policy. 

Read the full National Position Statement on Engineers Canada’s website.