Engineering Responsibility

Res #: 16A-22M
Number: 16
Year: 2022
Midterm: Yes
Expired: No
Responses Received: Yes
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure

WHEREAS Government grant programs, such as the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) and Rural Integrated Roads for Growth (RIRG) program, mandate that an engineer oversees the design and construction of a project.

WHEREAS this is guaranteed revenue for engineering firms and costly for municipalities.

WHEREAS councils are made up of people who do not have the backgrounds to fully understand the intricacies of the designs and trust the professional engineers to design their projects in the best interest of the municipality and the public using reasonable practices.

WHEREAS there are situations where some engineers are over- or under-engineering the designs of the projects resulting in additional costs for municipalities due to these errors.

BE IT RESOLVED that SARM lobby the Provincial Government to set up an independent body to review the engineering designs on projects where Councils find themselves in situations which have had poorly designed projects or for Councils to consult with on the design of their project before the designs are approved.

Responses From: Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure

January 24, 2023

The ministry understands a Motion to Divide was passed, and the resolution split into two, 16A and 16B. I will respond to 16A as 16B did not pass. 

Safety is a top priority for the Government of Saskatchewan and the ministry. In line with expectations and requirements for the provincial transportation system, there are expectations that the projects approved under the Rural Integrated Roads for Growth follow similar standards. It is a well-established best practice to require oversight and design of these projects be done by a professional engineer certified under the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists (APEGS). 

As the Minister responsible for the the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists Act, I respect the intent of resolution 16A and I’m committed to working with APEGS to improve accountability and transparency. 

Obtaining recognition as a self-regulated profession means that the Saskatchewan Government has recognized that registered members, in this case members of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists, are in the best position to regulate the standards required of the profession, including certification standards and standards of professional conduct. In line with the self-regulation, the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists has a complaint process that anyone can access for issues pertaining to allegations of professional incompetence and/or professional misconduct against its members. 

The Honourable Jeremy Cockrill – Minister of Highways, Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure