The Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec had filed penal proceedings against Microsoft Canada Co. for having knowingly, through authorization or encouragement, caused a person who is not a member of the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec to use the designation "engineer," thereby committing an offence under section 188.1 of the Professional Code, R.S.Q., c. C-26.
In the dispute between the OIQ and Microsoft Canada Co., Judge Cohen of Québec Superior Court had already rejected the multinational's appeal. As the result of the decision by Judge Louise Mailhot of the Court of Appeal, the judgment in the first instance, rendered by Judge Claude Millette on April 5, 2004, becomes enforceable. With the guilty judgment upheld, Microsoft must now pay the fine imposed ($1,000).
The dispute dates back to 2001. After pressure had been applied by groups that included the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers and the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec, Microsoft Corporation announced in May 2001 its intention to stop using the term engineer in Canada in the title Microsoft Certified System Engineers - MCSE. However, in July 2002, Microsoft Canada reversed its position and notified the 35,000 people it had certified in Canada that they could "continue to use the title engineer as part of the title Microsoft Certified System Engineer." In response, the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec publicly stated its objection to the position expressed by Microsoft Canada.
As part of its campaign against unlawful practice, and in particular the unlawful use of the title of engineer, the OIQ then began the inquiry that led to these penal proceedings The trial judgment was in favor of the OIQ and the multinational appealed that judgment.
As Gaétan Samson, Eng., President of the OIQ confirmed, "the OIQ is very satisfied with the result of its actions. The court's refusal to grant the multinational leave to appeal is very important for the professional system because it sets a precedent. It has been clearly demonstrated that the title of engineer, alone or with descriptors, is reserved exclusively for members of the OIQ."
Parallel to its action against Microsoft Canada Co., the OIQ is continuing to fight the unlawful use of the title of engineer by individuals who are not members of the OIQ, pursuant to section 22 of the Engineers Act and section 32 of the Professional Code professions.
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.