“The OIQ has committed to deploying the necessary means to ensure that thorough inquiries are carried out and that the engineers who have committed potentially reprehensible acts are judged by their Disciplinary Council. The complaints announced today show that the OIQ intends to respect its commitment to the public and its 60,000 members,” stated Daniel Lebel, Eng., FIC, PMP, President of the OIQ.
Most of the complaints announced today are connected to the Charbonneau Commission’s activities. However, some complaints are related to exclusive information obtained by the Office of Syndic. In light of this information, complaints can be filed against engineers who were not associated with the testimonials heard by the Charbonneau Commission.
It should be noted that while the Office of the Syndic opens inquiries based on the testimonials heard by the Charbonneau Commission, it is not legally allowed to use their content before the Disciplinary Council. It has to conduct its own inquiry and gather its own evidence before it can file a complaint.
This is a complex task for the Office of the Syndic. It is currently conducting around one hundred other inquiries in connection with the collusion and corruption schemes. There are also approximately 350 active inquiries involving cases of illegal political contributions.
“Like the public and OIQ members, we hope the penalties imposed on the professionals who violated their Code of Ethics or the Professional Code send a message and are proportional to the acts they committed and the harm they have caused society as a whole,” explained Mr. Lebel. It should be noted that the Disciplinary Council is responsible for determining the penalties that will be imposed on the engineers who are found guilty.
Next step: the Disciplinary Council
The Disciplinary Council has 15 members: the Chair, an attorney designated by the Québec government, and 14 engineers appointed by the Board of Directors of the OIQ. When a hearing is held, three people examine the complaint: the Chair of the Disciplinary Council and two engineers. All hearings are public.
The penalties that will be imposed are set out in the Professional Code and may include permanently striking an engineer's name from the roll or revoking his or her permit.
Except in the case of an acquittal, the decisions of the Disciplinary Council concerning the complaints announced today will be made available on the OIQ’s Web site
. Furthermore, these decisions may be appealed with the Professions Tribunal or subjected to judicial review.
Parallel to the inquiries that it conducts, the Office of the Syndic team has developed prevention measures aimed at members and the general public, such as the 1 877 ÉTHIQUE hotline, which was set up to answer questions about ethics and professional conduct from engineers, their clients and the general public.
This hotline handled over 1,100 calls in 2012-2013, and some of them led to the opening of disciplinary inquiries.
for the Appendix: Names of the engineers charged and their alleged offences
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.