Chris C. D. Kuntz
SLS, P. Surv., ALS
President’s Message to the Membership
I hope everyone had an enjoyable Christmas and best wishes for 2016. Winter has arrived in the province, finally enough snow to take the kids tobogganing, not to mention the -30˚ C that is coming. I guess even one of the strongest El Nino’s ever can’t prevent a good old blast of prairie winter.
Whenever I have to write an article for the Corner Post, I read the previous year’s Presidents message, trying my best not to repeat past topics. Unfortunately this year I would be safe to copy the first paragraph from Ryan Maloney’s winter 2015 article. In the article he talked about low oil prices and an impending slowdown in the province. Well, a year later oil is even lower and surveying in the oil patch has slowed further. One can hope the winter 2017 newsletter article has a more positive tone.
Since the last Corner Post there has been no out of province travel. During the next six weeks I’ll be attending the New Brunswick, Ontario and BC AGM’s. I suspect one of the topics that will be discussed will be a proposal going to the ABCLS membership allowing BCIT grads to enter directly into articles in BC, even without a CBEP’s certificate of completion. Currently a CBEP’s Certificate of Completion is required to begin the articling process in all provinces with the exceptions of Ontario and Quebec. This will affect us in a number of ways. With labour mobility and the ability for professionals to transfer from province to province after passing a jurisdiction exam, we may have members in the future who don’t have a CBEP’s Certificate of Completion. It has been this way in Ontario and Quebec for a number of years although I can’t think of any members who have come from Ontario or Quebec under the MRA so we haven’t had to be too concerned. Another issue that may arise in the future is that every year we have future Land Surveyors in Training that attend BCIT, at some point we may have to recognize a BCIT grad in a similar manner. As long as BCIT maintains the high standards they have been known for, there may be no problems. Council is working on a letter to send to the ABCLS stating our concerns and looking for clarification on a few key issues.
Within our own association, the last six months have been very busy for council. In my previous three years I can’t remember have so many issues to deal with. Part of this seems to be in direct correlation with how busy our members are. There has been an increase in the number of reports of unauthorized practice along with other concerns from members in regards to government regulations and agencies. It seems every council meeting we have 3 or 4 items that we pass onto one of our committees to research or provide guidance on. By far the busiest has been Government Relations, Ryan and his team have done a great job. Getting in front of government or agencies can be a time consuming process. I’m glad to say we have been making progress on some of the issues that were raised at our last AGM. Along with resolving these issues we are promoting our profession to government, hopefully when changes happen in the future we will be included during the creation process rather than after the policy is implemented.
As we all know our association is only as strong as our committees. To date, we’ve had great response when looking for members to join a new Bylaws Committee or adding additional members to Professional Conduct and Discipline Committees. I would like to thank everyone who has volunteered. To our new members I encourage you to contact the Association to see how you can help, it’s a great opportunity to meet other members, contribute back to the profession and continue the never ending process of learning.
With only a couple more months of winter left and spring not too far off, the 2016 AGM will be held at the Radisson Hotel in Saskatoon on June 8, 9 and 10. More information will come later in the spring. Stay warm these next few months and I’ll talk to you again in the spring.