RETURN TO Engineering Position Papers



PEO deserves and needs the best available leadership. The President is a crucial part of this leadership as with our system (s)he has considerable control over the rest of Council. In a contentious situation the majority of Council will tend to vote WITH the President’s wishes.

Even with 68,000 members, there are a limited number of those who can spare the time to be President on a volunteer basis and there is an even small number who have the ability to do a good job representing us. Without getting into details, there are instances in the past where we could have been better served.

The recent suggestion that we limit the ability of people to offer to stand for election is counter to what we actually require. There are typically half a dozen or less Councillors going off Council annually. At least half of these leave because of the pressure of their day-job. Some others leave because of frustration and yet others leave as Councillor is as high as they think their ability can go.

The position of President is time consuming, if done properly, taking perhaps the equivalent of 200 days a year in the main year and possibly half of that in the Elect and Past years. This time commitment should be well known to anyone considering the position.

In addition to time the second requirement is knowledge. Having some knowledge of our organization does not seem to prevent us from studying the same things every five years or co\\so. We are a complex organization with around 30 sub groups and literally no one can know in total what is going on. With increased use of Sharepoint it is theoretically possible for a person to bring themselves up to speed in a quite short period of time. Subject of course to the Sharepoint system being fully used and comprehensive.

I the past I have spoken against the practice of “parachute” candidates for President Elect arguing that more immediate familiarity with Council is desired.  However, because of our lack of success with direct succession candidates I am rethinking that position. If they could be persuaded to run there are likely senior engineers with corporate and management experience who could within weeks assimilate all they needed to know to run the PEO board effectively, even with NO prior Council experience. The one year of President Elect status would give ample time to be fully in the loop. For someone running for Vice President I would keep the prior Council requirement because that one year position would not have the pre-training year. . Do we need a minimum experience requirement? Do we need recall provisions? I suggest these could be looked at by a small group. If we are fortunate to have a competent, well-performing President it is unfortunate that he is immediately ineligible for reelection due to the five year clause. As arguably our best pool of people with the knowledge to run the Association we must level the playing field for these people also. At some point we must give the membership credit for the ability to vote for the best candidate and vote out any that would seem to have limited abilities or availabilities.


My proposal then is to enable any P.Eng. to present himself for election. Obviously the time requirement and the scope of the position would need to be spelled out, as it should be already somewhere in our Governance paper-jam. We may also want to spell out full membership in the event that Council may designate more types of membership or license.


 That Council delete Article 7 (1) of Regulation 941.

That Council replace, or renumber, by a statement that any full member shall be eligible to stand for the President-Elect position.

That Council delete Article 11 of Regulation 941.


That the Registrar be instructed to bring back to Council  in ………. 2007 details of any adverse  implications of an open contest for the President-Elect/ President position and to place this item on the list of changes to Regulations currently being worked on..

  RETURN TO Engineering Position Papers