Chris C. D. Kuntz
SLS, P. Surv., ALS
President’s Message to the Membership
Well it’s hard to believe a year has nearly gone by. I’m sure anyone who has served a term as President can you tell you what a great experience personally and professionally it is, after this last year I couldn’t agree more. Looking back over the last year there were a number of issues that were front and center within our own association and across the country. Two of the main ones were:
- Unauthorized Practise. This continues to be a problem, within our province and across the country. When the situation arises within our province, council is notified of unlicensed practise typically from someone who sees an ad and realize the person is not a Saskatchewan Land Surveyor. We send a letter to the person, explain which parts of the Land Surveyors Act they are in contravention of and asked them to cease and contact our association if they have any questions or concerns. Most of the time the response we receive is that they were unaware of the Act. They usually change their advertisement and as far as we know everything is solved. Do they actually stop the unlicensed practice? We don’t know, the only way we find out is if something goes wrong and a member for the public contacts us.
- Lack of communication between Land Surveyors and government. I think nearly every presidents forum that I attended, someone always had a story of their government making changes directly affecting Land Surveyors and the Land Surveying community not being involved in the discussion. I’m not naive enough to think that we’ll be at the table for every policy change, however it would be nice to know about it before it’s announced to the public. Perhaps there is something we could have added to protect the public’s best interest.
There is no doubt that these issues are not new, they’ve been around forever. They’re never going to go away, however perhaps we can lessen their occurrence. In my discussions with surveyors from across the country, so many of these problems are due to the fact that the public and governments don’t really know what we do. We need to educate the public and government as to what we do. At our AGM, PSC will give their yearly update to our members. Public awareness has become their number one issue this year. They are working on creating a national ad campaign to tell the Canadian public our story. I think this is the first step, the remaining steps will be up to each and everyone one of us to promote what we do.
Lately, one of the bigger issues that has arisen is the Association of British Columbia Land Surveyors accepting BCIT grads who have an average of 70%, with no course less than 60% into articles without a CBEP’s Certificate of Completion. Council had sent a letter to the ABCLS stating our concerns. At the ALS AGM in April, presidents from all the provinces had a meeting with the CBEP’s board to try and understand the process to obtaining a Certificate of Completion and also the process of accrediting post-secondary institutions. In my opinion we need to support CBEP’s, there may be some things that need to be updated or changed slightly, but the concept of having a Canada wide accrediting program is too important to the Land Surveying profession for provincial associations to start doing their own thing. Currently Ontario and Quebec have their own accrediting board, perhaps one day we can create one truly Canadian Board.
To finish up my last newsletter article I would like to thank everyone who has helped me over the last year, past presidents, other surveyors, council and Carla. To say this was one of the best learning experiences of my life would be an understatement. In saying that, if you’re asked to run as a councillor or for VP, if your personal life allows it, say yes, you won’t regret it.
See you in Saskatoon.