APEGA Files Appeal in Court Decision on Engineer Title Usage
The Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) filed a notice to appeal on Friday, December 8, to the Alberta Court of Appeal regarding Honourable Justice J.S. Little’s dismissal, on November 9, 2023, of APEGA’s request for an injunction against Getty Images and Jobber Inc. on their use of the title “engineer.”
The court’s interpretation of the Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act has the potential to lead to increased use of the title “engineer,” regardless of whether the title is being used as part of a recognized engineering discipline, and it will significantly undermine APEGA’s ability to effectively regulate the engineering profession. Therefore, APEGA seeks clarity through this appeal on the permissible use of the title “engineer,” citing concerns for public safety and professional integrity.
“Public trust in engineering is built around the title ‘engineer,’ which is associated with a standard of excellence, a commitment to the public interest, and an adherence to a code of ethics. Ensuring titles are not used in a way that is misleading is pivotal in protecting Albertans, which is the driving force behind our decision to appeal,” says Jay Nagendran, P.Eng., APEGA registrar and CEO.
Misuse of the title “engineer” could lead to public confusion and may cause individuals and businesses to unknowingly hire or rely on individuals who are not qualified to practise engineering. This jeopardizes public safety and erodes the trust placed in the engineering profession. In addition, this decision sets a concerning precedent that could affect engineering regulations in other Canadian jurisdictions, and it could have broader implications for other regulated professions, such as the health and legal professions.
Given that the Alberta legislature has passed Bill 7, which addresses the use of the title “software engineer,” APEGA’s appeal is focused on this court decision and its potential to affect the interpretation of unauthorized title provisions more broadly and outside of the technology industry.
As the regulator of engineering and geoscience in Alberta for more than 100 years, APEGA continues to drive the province forward with courage and innovation. We are the largest regulator of self-regulated professionals in Western Canada, with more than 69,000 registrants who safeguard the public welfare and contribute significantly to Alberta’s economic success and quality of life.
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Background on software engineering: https://www.apega.ca/titleprotection
Court decision: https://www.canlii.org/en/ab/abkb/doc/2023/2023abkb635/2023abkb635.html
CONTACT: Andrew MacKendrick The Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) 825-966-5815 [email protected]
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