I hope everyone has had a restful and refreshing summer, despite the weather! As Council has taken a break over the summer, I’ve had the opportunity to attend a number of events across the province. Two events of note were organized by the Canadian Forces Liaison Council (CFLC): one was an outing on the HMCS Toronto frigate out of Toronto harbour, and the other was observing the army operations course at CFB Kingston. The CFLC liaises between the Canadian Armed Forces Reservists and their employers, or educational institutions, to help support the reservists and their need for accommodation in serving in the Forces. There, I met a number of reservists who are also members of PEO. They not only see their licence as a key part of their civilian life, but they also see the value it brings to their service in the military. I see opportunities to further strengthen the links between licensure and those serving in the military—both reservists and full-time personnel.
As the summer winds down, it’s time to look towards the new Council year. The first full Council meeting occurred on June 23 (see Engineering Dimensions, July/August 2017, p. 49). I was pleased that Council approved the Council Term Limits Task Force’s (CTLTF) revised recommendations for term limits and succession planning. The task force was created by Council in support of members’ motions at the 2015 Annual General Meeting. Among the recommendations are: a single term limit on president, and a six-year limit on serving as a councillor, after which a six-year hiatus is required before being eligible to serve on Council again, unless the member runs for the vice president or president-elect positions. Council plans to have these limits enacted in regulation in time for the 2019 Council elections.
I have often spoken for the need for change and renewal to be a core value of PEO’s leadership so this implementation of term limits is, in my opinion, a healthy first step. Having senior leaders, in all levels of PEO, including Council, committees and chapters, step aside after their time is due allows a new generation of leadership to step forward. As much as I’d like to think I’ve provided some value in my service as a volunteer over many years, I don’t believe for one instant that PEO can’t cope without me! In fact, isn’t one of the primary responsibilities of any leader to ensure the organization is as healthy, if not healthier, once they have left?
While term limits create opportunities for renewal, Council also recognized that succession planning is an equally important component of such renewal. It struck a Succession Planning Task Force (SPTF), tasked to “develop a detailed implementation plan to implement the recommendations for succession planning,” from the CTLTF. Now, the Human Resources Committee, Central Election and Search Committee, and Regional Election and Search committees all include mandates around succession planning. However, Council agreed with the CTLTF that this issue is “too important to assign to an existing committee.” I look forward to helping the task force fulfill its mandate.
I also urge all members to start thinking about the upcoming 2018 Council elections. The call for nominations was published in the last issue (see Engineering Dimensions, July/August 2017, p. 42). If you know of any member you think would serve the profession well on Council, let them know. Sometimes all it takes is that personal nudge from a colleague. The 2017 election saw a healthy slate of candidates for most of the positions. I believe the large voter turnout—one of the largest in years—was due in part to the variety of candidates and the resulting healthy debate. The bar was set this year; let’s raise it for the next!
IMPORTANCE OF TRANSPARENCY
As the existing Council year unfolds, I’d like to remind members that they can keep up with Council deliberations in a couple of ways. Engineering Dimensions regularly publishes a Council update. As well, the PEO website hosts all the details of each Council meeting, including agendas, minutes, audio, attendance and recorded votes. From the main PEO webpage, click through About PEO→How we Govern Licence and Certificate Holders→PEO Council to get to the Council resource page. Equivalently, the direct URL is http://www.peo.on.ca/index.php?ci_id=1835&la_id=1. The agendas contain all the background material, such as briefing notes and reports, for each agenda item. The minutes contain the final motions and voting results. Occasionally, a recorded vote is called and the votes of individual councillors are shown. While all this information provides a degree of transparency in how Council acts to fulfill PEO’s regulatory mandate for the public, I’m the first to admit it’s not in the most user-friendly format! I hope we can bring more transparency to the workings of Council and the role each councillor plays in fulfilling its mandate. This transparency is important, not just for our own members, but for the public at large on whose behalf we regulate the engineering profession.