We did not authorize "PEAK".  Read this history to see the progressive erosion of member control:

Here is a short history of the CPD (Compulsory Professional "Development") issue, and the "PEAK" program which PEO wants to make mandatory as of 1 January 2023:

Around the year 1998, when I was first on PEO Council, we thoroughly debated a new "Licensing Model" which included CPD.  Council concluded that engineering was unique among the professionsintimately bound up with developing science and technologyand that a CPD program was not the way to address the continuing-competence issue.  Our members were already expanding their knowledge to maintain their employment, and becoming more competent by accumulating on-the-job experience.

Fast forward to 2013-2014, with the official inquiry into the 2012 collapse of the roof of the Algo Mall in Elliot Lake.  Two people were killed and twenty persons injured.  The inquiry included a "round-table" discussion attended by interested parties.  PEO's representative, Chris Roney, PEng, raised the issue of PEO's lack of a CPD program.  OSPE's submission stated that a CPD program was necessary, but felt many CPD programs were too broad and vague to be valuable.  OSPE, however, did like the cumbersome CPD adopted by Alberta.  Evidence at the inquiry, however, showed that human error, ethical lapses, and bad judgment were the prime causes of the collapse.  Nevertheless, PEO's lack of CPD made it into the commissioner's final report.

PEO Council had passed the following motion at its meeting on 27 September 2013:  "That Council, in principle, supports the implementation of a Continuing Professional Development program. To initiate this, the report of OSPE's Continuing Education Working Group, Continuing Professional Development, Maintaining and Enhancing Our Engineering Capability, dated June 19, 2013 be referred to the Professional Standards committee (PSC) for comment, with the direction that it solicit written and verbal comments from the PEO membership during its review, and report its findings and proposed plan of action at the February 2014 Council meeting."

During the presidency of Thomas Chong (2015-2016), the CPD issue gained ground, with member "consultations" led by Annette Bergeron, PEng.  These meetings were simply presentations of the "pro" side, with no one from the opposing view invited to present.  Substantial member questioning and opposition occurred at these meetings, but were not reported on.

George Comrie's presidency followed.  He stated that the way to assure competence was to have a practitioner's "self-assessment" tool.  He stated that PEO's Continuing Professional Competence Program Task Force was developing such a tool.  He, too, noted that the real issue was "unethical behaviour, not technical incompetence", and that "most complaints against professionals, including engineers, deal not with incompetence, but with professional misconduct".

David Brown, our 2018-19 president, suggested that PEO needed "disruption", and that a Governance Working Group had been formed to review our governance.  One major change which resulted was the "council term limits", effective for the 2019 council elections.  Unfortunately, they resulted in experienced councillors—with deep knowledge of PEO history and culture—being prohibited from running.  This major change was never approved by the membership.  Another major change not approved by the membership was the transfer of certain powers—such as fee increases—from the membership domain to the by-law, which then was amendable unilaterally by Council decision.  This was a significant period of transfer of power away from our membership.

Nancy Hill, in her 2019-20 term, stated that she valued the ethics "module" which was part of the then-evolving "PEAK" program.  (To many of us, ethics—not competence—indeed always was the issue.)  She also oversaw the release of Harry Cayton's "expert" report on PEO governance, which referenced PEO's need of a CPD program.  Mr Cayton, however, failed to suggest how such a program might be devised, or how it would improve competence and protect the public interest.

By 2020, Marisa Sterling was President, and Council had committed to a "Governance Roadmap" and "Action Plan"--again, major commitments, neither approved by the general membership.  The issue of CPD and "PEAK" now were quietly integrated into the Action Plan.  (It's the sort of thing governments do:  Create an "omnibus" bill, and bury controversial issues within it.)  PEO staff—not volunteers—were given the task of developing the details.  Then, at its meeting in February 2021, Council adopted its odious resolution to renege on the promised CPD membership referendum:

"That Council formally rescind the following motion passed by Council at its September 2015 meeting: 'That Council affirms its intent to ask the membership to ratify in a referendum any mandatory requirement to participate in a continuing professional development competency and quality assurance program.'" (Turnbull/MacCumber) CARRIED

My term as councillor-at-large had ended, but I was so shocked at this reversal and betrayal, that I wrote to the council to ask that the motion be rejected. You can read my letter here.  Roydon Fraser also wrote to Council to complain.  Read here.  While the motion cancelling the referendum passed, nothing in that resolution granted Council the power to impose a mandatory CPD, and no members' consensus had been achieved on the issue.  Even worse, the complete "PEAK" program has never been submitted to Council for approval.  Now, nevertheless, the program has become mandatory, with all provisions applied as of 1 January 2023.

On Friday, 25 November 2022, in fulfilment of my campaign promise, I presented a motion to Council requesting that we hold the originally promised referendum.  Councillor Randy Walker attempted to block even discussing my motion, claiming it was defective and ought to be removed from the agenda altogether!  It did manage to remain on, however, and be debated, but Council was determined to reject it.  Debate answered none of the five specific criticisms of "PEAK" that I raised, and the bigger issue of the optics of Council abdicating its promise was swept under the carpet.  "It would be too embarrassing to reverse course now."  I agree, and I lament that this honourable profession has come to this point.

What concerns me as a PEO councillor came out in discussions during our recent council meeting:

(1) PEO does not have a good handle of the financial and structural implications if a significant number of members choose not to participate in "PEAK".  Many might simply not renew their membership, and the large number of graduates who don't bother to apply might get even larger.  Something like 70 % of PEngs do not have exclusive right to practise, so they very well might choose not to renew their licence.

(2) No one is sure what form of discipline could be applied to those who do not renounce their licence, yet are not complying with "PEAK".  Are we willing to outright cancel licences of skilled and experienced practitioners?  How and when would this be done?

A quote attributed to Thomas Jefferson is:  "If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so."  Martin Luther King Jr said:  "One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws."

Since we are prevented from voting on the "PEAK" program—even Council has not seen the complete program and approved it!—I am deeply concerned many of our members might threaten to vote with their feet.  A threat to withhold fees and/or renounce their licences would create a "constitutional crisis" inside PEO.  Dissenters subsequently might even create their own "brand" to put on their business cards, such as ASTP (Applied-Science and Technology Professional).  An organization could be formed to register and control the designation, which would be issued only to persons who fulfil all requirements for PEng licensure.

A few of my colleagues have noted I'm spending a lot of effort discussing the "PEAK" program which was concocted by PEO and unleashed on us this month. I have to assert I am far from a "one-issue" candidate. My 25 years of experience in PEO politics has given me a historical, broad perspective on the issues we face.

This issue did indeed pop up in the past, and was dealt with. Its utility was never established for a profession whose practitioners are already so bound up with fast-changing technology.

The issue is significant because it exposes the mindset of recent Councils. Councillors feel they are more knowledgeable and committed to the public interest than those who actually provide the services. This is patently untrue. This attitude toward the 90,000 of us who actually do the engineering has to change. It is harming the profession.

The "PEAK" program must be set aside and member participation and approval sought.  If the program then is not implemented, so be it.  There will be no discernible effect on public safety, just as there was not during the last 100 years.

Questions?  Comments?  Feel free to contact me.