Zaki Ghavitian, Eng., president of the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec, declared the Order's distress at this exceptional event and the circumstances surrounding it. "We are saddened for the victims, those injured and their families, and we would like to extend our heartfelt sympathy to them."
Mr. Ghavitian was also anxious to emphasize the extraordinary work that had been carried out, under extremely difficult conditions, by all the members, including engineers, of the rescue teams whose operations enabled the clearing of the two vehicles from the debris the night of the collapse. "I wish to salute their courage and professionalism."
Although it is premature to draw any conclusions about the causes of this disaster, many questions certainly must be considered. Mr. Ghavitian explained that "The Order will, of course, do its work very thoroughly, within the framework of the laws governing us. We will rely on the public inquiry ordered today by the Québec government, the coroner's inquest and the findings of the investigations that will be conducted to clarify the circumstances around this event."
As concerns the work of the Order in a situation like the one that has now arisen, it should be remembered that if the Order's syndic has reason to believe that an engineer has violated the Code of Ethics, a disciplinary process is set in motion with the initiation of an investigation. An engineer's work is guided by the Engineers' Code of Ethics, as well as the various regulations contained within the Engineers Act and the Professional Code, and the Order must see to it that all engineers respect their provisions.
As engineers' field of practice involves structures like that of the De la Concorde overpass, the Order can consider a number of avenues, particularly in relation to the illegal practice of engineering, the checking of qualifications and ethical behaviour.
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 ensure that the profession serves the public interest.