Welcome to the Fall 2023 CEO Update! With the many changes to our team and the world over the last few years, we are renewing our effort to keep you informed through this blog and our new digital newsletter, The NAPEG Circuit, on a quarterly basis.
As you’ve heard, or perhaps experienced yourself, Yellowknife was under an evacuation order due to wildfires this past August and September. The NAPEG office was closed but we were fortunate to be able to work remotely, with special thanks to the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) for opening up their offices to us and their great hospitality.
We were also fortunate as a team to have returned to Yellowknife to intact homes and our nice office. Our thoughts are with our fellow NWT residents who weren’t so fortunate and suffered losses due to the wild fires. It was a heartbreaking drive through Enterprise on our return home.
We are now back in our office and our regular operations have resumed. We appreciate everyone’s patience during this time.
Board and Committee Updates
There have been several changes in personnel to the Board and NAPEG committees over this past year.
- NAPEG’s Outreach Committee became active again this year following a hiatus due to COVID, with Phil Lewis, P.Eng. taking on the role of Chair.
- NAPEG Board’s 2nd Vice President Kamran Ata, P.Eng. left the North to pursue a new career opportunity working on Calgary’s LRT extension project. NAPEG Council would like to thank Kam for his service to the organization and wish him well in this exciting new opportunity.
- Dinah Elliott, P.Geo. has assumed the role of 2nd Vice President for NAPEG’s board for the remainder of the term ending at the next AGM.
- Sudhir Jha, P.Eng., is returning for another term as the Engineers Canada Director for NAPEG. Sudhir was also instrumental in organizing the first post-pandemic Kids’ Coding Event with the Outreach Committee last April.
Bill 93 Passed!
Bill 93, Practice of Engineering Geoscience and Applied Science Technology Act was passed by the Northwest Territories Legislature on October 3rd, 2023. This was the culmination of many years of work since 2015 from NAPEG volunteers to submit a renewed Act.
Their hard work resulted in a submission to the Government of the NWT (GNWT) in 2018. Shortly thereafter, the GNWT transferred responsibility for our Act from the Department of Justice to the Department of Infrastructure, which resulted in a delay. The Department of Infrastructure was in the middle of a heavy legislative agenda at the time, but they worked with NAPEG to move the file forward and dedicated a lot of resources to it once they were able.
Fast forward to the last year and a half, NAPEG and the GNWT put considerable work into modernizing the Act. NAPEG was given the opportunity to meaningfully engage in the process and provide important input and recommendations, culminating in the final draft of Bill 93, which passed.
The new Act will require significant work drafting Bylaws and new policies over the next year or two. This will concentrate on the new legislated requirements for Continuing Professional Development, the publishing of the Disciplinary findings and the new ability to issue Limited Licenses for Engineers and Geoscientists, along with the registration of Engineering and Geoscience Applied Science Technologists.
More to come from us as we roll out these changes!
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
September 30th marked the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The NAPEG team reflected both on our personal and professional commitments to learning and taking action to address historical and ongoing injustices to Indigenous communities in Canada.
Part of that commitment included learning from the “Empowering Indigenous voices in engineering: Guidance for meaningful consultation and engagement” webinar hosted by Engineers Canada on October 4th. Here are a few key takeaways from the session:
- Engagement with Indigenous communities must start before a project has started and carry on through the entire process. Too often, consultation is viewed as a “box to check” and occurs at a stage in the process where it is too late to meaningfully implement feedback.
- Consultation is embedded in relationships and those relationships last much longer than the project itself. Consultation goes better when relationships and trust have already been built.
- Seeking to better understand Indigenous worldviews is important. When a community talks about “all our relations,” that includes the trees, water, minerals and more.
- Engagement plans should be community-specific and require a deep understanding of the people you are working with. It cannot be a cookie-cutter check-list.
To learn more, take a look at Engineers Canada’s Guideline in Indigenous Consultation and Engagement.
Upcoming Events + Initiatives
Future of Engineering Accreditation (FEA)
NAPEG Executive Members and the Executive Director will be meeting with Engineers Canada staff to discuss their FEA project report and recommendations. This will take place on November 2nd and will include volunteers and staff from Engineers Yukon and the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta.
In addition, we will have the opportunity at this time to observe APEGA’s Review and Executive Review Committee in action. These APEGA committees serve as NAPEG’s Board of Examiners.
NAPEGG Education Foundation
The application period for the NAPEGG Education Foundation student scholarships has closed for 2023 and the NAPEGG Education Foundation Committee will be reviewing them in the coming weeks. Thank you to all applicants!
Yellowknife Geoscience Forum
The 51st Yellowknife Geoscience Forum will take place November 15th – 17th, 2023. The Craig Finnigan Memorial Scholarships will again be awarded on behalf of the NAPEGG Education Foundation by the Geoscience Selection Committee. NAPEG is also proud to once again sponsor the annual Charles Camsell Talk. You can register to attend here.
Volunteer Christmas Social
In December, NAPEG will once again host its annual Volunteer Christmas Social to thank our many volunteers for their hard work and dedication over the year and also to present awards that we weren’t able to celebrate in person due to COVID restrictions. More information on this is coming soon.
Thanks for reading!
CEO and Registrar, NAPEG