The Professional Governance Act has received Royal Assent in the BC Legislature. This Act will be replacing the Engineers and Geoscientists Act once fully implemented. There are several areas of concern about the Act that have been raised by Engineers and Geoscientists BC. As the UBC Engineering Undergraduate Society, we represent future professional engineers, and have decided to stand with Engineers and Geoscientists BC and support the advocacy they are performing on behalf of the profession.
Engineers and Geoscientists BC have identified several key concerns about the new legislation stemming as a result of the government’s Professional Reliance Review and resulting report. The concerns addressed in this statement are those that the EUS believes impacts students the greatest, and do not speak to those concerns in ongoing consultation. The report focused heavily on the natural resources sector and suggested eliminating functions that support the development of the profession (such as student outreach and diversity initiatives).
The emphasis placed on the natural resource sector in the review raises concerns for to the EUS as only “20% of [Engineers and Geoscientists BC’s] members work in the natural resource sector” . The review does not exhibit a holistic view of the profession and the proposed reforms would apply to all engineers and geoscientists in BC, regardless of area of practice. We are concerned about the unintended consequences for the majority of professionals who are working outside the natural resource sector.
The recommendations made in the Professional Reliance Review that suggested eliminating functions such as career and student outreach, awards, and recognition/initiatives to promote diversity within the profession are a major concern to the EUS. UBC Engineering has a partnership with Engineers and Geoscientists BC, whereby all students qualify for the Student Membership through our student fees. Student members have access to networking opportunities through industry nights, as well as financial benefits and professional development resources. We believe the professional development opportunities given to students by Engineers and Geoscientists BC are an important part of the student experience and should not be eliminated.
The recommendation made to “[eliminate] awards and recognition and initiatives to promote diversity within the profession”  is another point of contention. UBC Engineering has made huge strides to promote diversity and youth outreach; it would be detrimental to the community and the profession for Engineers and Geoscientists BC to cease to support those activities. We are against eliminating the initiatives that promote diversity within the profession.
The EUS Board of Directors recognizes the importance of the consultation being done by the provincial government on the Professional Governance Act and the active role that Engineers and Geoscientists BC have taken in ongoing advocacy on behalf of the profession. We stand with Engineers and Geoscientists BC in their efforts and we hope that the government will hear our concerns about the review.
On behalf of the UBC Engineering Undergraduate Society,
EUS Board of Directors — 2018-2019
Kate Burnham — EUS President 2018-19
Bryan Starick — AMS Representative 2018-19
Tyra Phillips — EUS VP Academic 2018-19