“The current legal framework no longer adequately reflects engineering practice. Bill 49 could not have come at a better time, now that the profession is experiencing a confidence crisis. It shows Minister St-Arnaud’s support for the OIQ and the OIQ’s efforts to better fulfill its mission of protecting the public. To fully ensure that the public is protected, we ask the Minister and all MNAs to adopt the bill by the end of the year," stated Daniel Lebel, Eng., FEC, PMP, President of the OIQ.
A more inclusive and flexible law
The OIQ is satisfied with the bill. In its amended version, the new Engineers Act is more inclusive of candidates who practice the profession in fields not included in the current version of the law. In fact, the fields of engineering practice have not been reviewed since the Act was adopted in 1964. The current Act does not reflect the developments in scientific knowledge that have occurred or the many fields of engineering that have emerged in recent decades, such as aerospace, software, biomedical, environmental, automated production and logistical engineering.
The OIQ also appreciates the evolving and general wording chosen by the government to describe engineering, an approach that makes it possible to include constantly evolving fields of practice and recognize these fields as part of the engineering profession. The public will only be better protected as a result.
Supervision of engineering works: an anomaly that has finally been corrected
In the brief it presented to the National Assembly’s Committee on Institutions, the OIQ also makes 14 recommendations, the most important of which concern the supervision of engineering works (verifying whether engineering works meet the requirements set out in plans, specifications and other engineering documents). At this time, supervision of these works is not mandatory, which means that an engineering structure can be built differently than set out in the plans and specifications of its designers, without any suitable controls being performed.
“This is a real anomaly when you consider the fact that practically all manufactured products, even the cheapest ones, are subject to very strict quality controls. This is a particularly big risk for society. Several events have reminded us of this, tragically in some cases," stressed the President of the OIQ when speaking to the MNAs.
For that reason, the OIQ is pleased to see that the government is taking action in response to its request for mandatory supervision of engineering works. Nevertheless, the OIQ believes that it should be stipulated as a requirement in the Engineers Act, and not just in the Civil Code, so that the OIQ can fully perform its duty of protecting the public.
To read all of the OIQ’s recommendations in its brief, click here.
About the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec
Founded in 1920, the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec has a membership of more than 60,000 engineering professionals in all fields, except forest engineering. The mission of the OIQ is to ensure the protection of the public by supervising the practice of the profession within the framework of its constituent laws and regulations and ensure that the profession serves the public interest.