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Engineers Canada wants Alberta to reconsider change to rules around ‘engineer’ title

CALGARY — A group representing Canada’s engineering profession is urging Alberta Premier Danielle Smith to reconsider a proposal that aims to loosen restrictions around who can use the “engineer” title.

Engineers Canada opposes changes to the Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act that would allow technology companies and workers to use the title “software engineer” without holding a professional engineering licence from the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta.

Engineers Canada chief executive Gerard McDonald says allowing the use of the term “engineer” by unlicensed individuals undermines the public trust and compromises safety.

He says he supports the growth of Alberta’s technology sector but wants to ensure those designing critical systems impacting health, finance and quality of life are held accountable for their actions and potential unethical behaviour.

Earlier this week, Alberta tabled Bill 7, which would carve out an exception and allow software engineers and those with similar roles permission to use the title.

Canadian tech companies have spent the last year arguing for the restrictions to be loosened because they say it puts them at a disadvantage when recruiting talent.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 10, 2023.

The Canadian Press