ASTT e-News

ASTT e-News, May 2011

Dear Member,

ASTT e-News is broadcast to ASTTBC members and registrants, Honourary Members and our many partners and colleagues. ASTT e-NEWS contains the latest information about ASTTBC’s role as a self-governing professional association of technology professionals and the many services provided by the association. Each issue is posted to the ASTTBC web site.

Table Of Contents

ASTTBC Member Compensation Survey is Live - Win an iPad!
Follow ASTTBC on Twitter
ASTTBC 2011 AGM - WEBINAR Participation Now Available
Thanks to our AGM 2011 Event Partner and Sponsors
Audited Financial Statements
TechPRO Rick Hodgson, CTech: From Draftsman to Deputy CAO
Search for the Next Registrar for ASTTBC
ASTTBC Practice Review Board Investigates Complaint: Home Inspection
ASTTBC Code of Ethics: Principle 7
Filing a Complaint Against an ASTTBC Professional
ASTTBC Meetings Across the Province
ASTTBC Hands out Top in Technology Awards in Kelowna
"Technology Programs Offer Increasing Job Opportunities"
"Science and the World Around Us Expo" in Prince George

Nanaimo Community Science Celebration
ASTTBC Membership Statistics - Technical Specialists
Green Corner
Intelligent Innovation: Art or Science?
"Alarming" Skills and Labour Shortages in Tech Sector
BC Job Recovery
Expansion and Job Growth in Prince Rupert
Brad Walton, AScT, Comments on Recent Remy Fire in Richmond
BC Safety Authority Enforcement Actions
Message From:
Members in the News:
ASTTBC Member Service: Courses Available thru EPIC
ASTTBC Members Savings at Victoria's Hotel Grand Pacific
Many Voices, One Sea - Salish Sea Conference
Professional Development Opportunities

ASTTBC Member Compensation Survey is Live - Win an iPad!

ASTTBC is calling on you to assist us with an important member service - our 2011 Member Compensation Survey.

The Member Compensation Survey contains valuable labour market data for both members and employers and is a service that ASTTBC has provided since 1977.

By completing our short online Member Compensation Survey, you'll be entered in for a chance to win a 16 GB iPad or other great prizes.

Other prizes include:

The member compensation survey results are compiled and published for members to use as a salary guide for the various disciplines of ASTTBC registrants.

Complete the member survey today. It's on the website. Deadline to complete is June 30, 2011.

Follow ASTTBC on Twitter

The BC Liberal Caucus is our latest follower. The twitter link is

ASTTBC 2011 AGM - WEBINAR Participation Now Available

We hope you have REGISTERED to attend the ASTTBC AGM & Professional Development Day Friday, May 27 at the Sheraton Guildford Hotel, Surrey. The cut-off date to register was May 18 but you are always welcome to attend the AGM at no cost.

eMPOWER Yourself!

Thanks Once Again to our AGM 2011 Event Partner and Sponsors

Event Partner

  • FortisBC

Gold Sponsors:

  • BCIT
  • BCIT Alumni Association
  • BC Safety Authority
  • Black Press
  • Lindsay Kenney LLP
  • Telus

Silver Sponsors:

  • Stantec
  • TD Insurance Meloche Monnex

Bronze Sponsors:

  • Camosun College
  • Horseshoe Press
  • Manulife Financial
  • Okanagan College

Audited Financial Statements 2010

2010 Audited Financial Statements are now posted to the ASTTBC web site.

TechPRO Rick Hodgson, CTech: From Draftsman to Deputy CAO

Rick Hodgson, CTech, was always intrigued with how anything was put together, whether it was a building or an automobile. He enjoyed drafting in high school as well as working in a service station on vehicles. Following high school, he attended Vanier CEGEP in Montreal taking courses in Architectural Technology and Surveying. Rick worked for Northern Telecom in Montreal as a draftsman, and still recalls fondly drawing on Imperial cloth linen with a nib pen.

But the "West" was calling so Rick left Montreal in 1977, headed for Calgary and the petroleum industry where he worked for a geophysical drafting firm. He moved on to Kamloops to work for a structural engineering consultant. His mentor there encouraged him to join ASTTBC. Having focused on his interests and finding his niche as a technology professional, ASTTBC registration provided him with recognition and led to increased opportunities.

Rick really enjoyed working as an engineering technician for the City of Kamloops and then moved on to their Building Inspection Department to review construction drawings and perform field inspections. A highlight of Rick's career was obtaining Levels 1, 2 & 3 Building Officials Association of BC (BOABC) certification. This led to yet another move and another opportunity. In 1988, Rick accepted the position of Chief Building Inspector with the Cariboo Regional District in Williams Lake from where he managed the staff in three offices across the district. In 2007, Rick moved into Senior Administration for the Cariboo Regional District and is currently its Deputy Chief Administrative Officer. Certainly Rick has taken full advantage of his interests in how things are put together, enhanced his talents with education and professional recognition and experienced a full and varied career path.

Along the way, Rick has offered his expertise and leadership to the Building Officials Association of BC, holding various executive positions including President. He is also a Level 1 Inspector with the Plumbing Officials Association of BC and a Solid Fuel Inspector with Wood Energy Technology Transfer.
All of this has allowed him to live in the beautiful Cariboo-Chilcotin, where he enjoys the outdoors with his family and is involved with the Williams Lake Sportsmen's Association.

ASTTBC encourages you to join Rick in posting your career story. In addition to providing career information to others, TechPRO listings allow you to ‘catch up' with former colleagues and find out who is working in your community. Posting your profile provides another way for self-employed practitioners to get their names in front of 10,000 ASTTBC members and to the many visitors to the ASTTBC website.

Post your profile and if your name is mentioned in the eNews, it will be linked to your TechPROfile page.

Search for the Next Registrar for ASTTBC

The current Registrar, John Shortreid, AScT, CLS will retire early in 2012 and ASTTBC has initiated a search for his replacement. Formal applications will be accepted, but not until July. For now we encourage interested parties to review more detail on this unique position and stay tuned to the eNEWS for information on a webinar to be scheduled for July. For more information on this position go to the website.

ASTTBC Practice Review Board Investigates Complaint: Accusation of Neglectful Pre Purchase Home Inspection

Statement of Complaint: A house inspector who completed a pre purchase inspection of a mobile home neglected to thoroughly inspect the crawlspace area. This resulted in a failure to report moisture, grey water odor, plumbing deficiencies and decayed building blocks under the steel beams.

Investigation: The Investigator reviewed the complaint, the photographs taken by the claimant of the reported deficiencies, and interviewed the claimant and partner. The Investigator also interviewed the house inspector, reviewed his inspection report and the photographs taken at the time of the inspection. In addition the Investigator inspected the subject area of concern.

The Investigator found the skirting 50% removed on the right side for repair access, the crawlspace area was clean of any personal effects, the mobile under carriage frame insulation and fiber board sheathing had been removed. This revealed an opening approximately 8' x 8' of the wooden floor framing and the 1 ½" ABS drainage pipe that had been repaired. The investigator found two 12" steel "I" beams that typically reduce the access and visibility height of the crawlspace, running the length of the mobile supporting the main structure. The house inspector reported that wooden blocks were set under the steel beams supporting the home. Other typical characteristics of mobile crawlspace are small access openings and the area is usually loaded with stored items that restrict access and full visibility of the area.

The Investigator found that the owner/occupier of the property was both the listing realtor and the selling realtor of the property. This person later agreed to be interviewed by the Investigator.

Discussion: Upon occupancy of the mobile, the claimant found a strong odor like that of grey water. Upon entering the crawlspace, now without personal items, the claimant found a strong odor and water absorbed carpet that covered part of the asphalt pad. A small area of damp fiber board on the ceiling of the crawlspace [underside of the mobile floor system] was also found. Once the fiber board was removed the 1 ½" ABS drainage pipe revealed three ½" holes on the top of the pipe, wrapped with electrical tape that appeared to have been made by a saw. This pipe provides drainage for the sinks, washing machine and bathroom of the mobile and drained into a 4" pipe leading to the main sewer system. Once the water had drained from this 1 ½" drainage line the sewer gases from the main could then enter the living space through the holes in the pipes up through the floor bypassing the fixture unit traps.

Anyone living in the mobile would have smelled this sewer gas because other than when water was draining the sewer gas would be present. The claimant stated that upon viewing the property for the first time, the owner said the odor came from the new carpets. However on the day of the inspection, the claimant informed the Investigator that all the windows were open and the furnace continuously ran to circulate the air. The claimant advised that the Disclosure Statement did not report any deficiencies.

Outcome: The Investigator found a lack of explanation within the inspector's report as it did not document by report or photograph the lack of access to the crawl space or difficulties in viewing all areas. Clearly the ABS drainage pipe was concealed; however, the obstructed areas should have been noted suggesting further inspections once items were removed.

The Investigator brought the concerns arising from the shortage of explanations within the report to the house inspector who agreed to improve the content of his reports.

A settlement agreement with the owner, the house inspector and the claimant is in progress and a dollar amount is to be set once the quotes for repairs are completed.

As there is no evidence of Code of Ethic or Standards of Practice violations no further action will be taken.

ASTTBC Code of Ethics: Principle 7

Members of ASTTBC shall:

Conduct themselves with fairness, courtesy and good faith toward clients, colleagues and others, give credit where it is due and accept, as well as give, honest and fair professional comment.


  1. Members will not maliciously injure the character or the prospects of business of another member or individual, being as careful with a colleague's reputation as with their own.
  2. Members will exercise restraint when commenting upon the work of another member.
  3. Members will not, except in cases where review is usual and anticipated, evaluate the work of a fellow member without the knowledge of, and after communication with, that member where practicable.
  4. Members shall not attempt to supplant another member in a particular employment after becoming aware that definite steps have been taken toward the other's engagement.
  5. Members will not use the advantages of a salaried position to compete unfairly with another member.
  6. Members will not compete improperly by reducing charges to underbid a fellow member after having been informed of that member's charge.
  7. Members, when using designs supplied by a client or by a consultant, shall recognize and protect the ownership of the designs by the client or consultant and refrain from duplicating them for others without express permission.
  8. Members, before undertaking work for others which involves improvements, plans, designs, inventions or other records which may be copyrighted or patented, shall attempt to enter into an agreement regarding the ownership of such copyrights or patents.
  9. Members hall provide, when requested, a frank but private appraisal of employees or of members being considered for employments.
  10. Members will not use an affiliation with a non-member, a corporation or a partnership as a ‘cloak' for unethical acts or to avoid acceptance of personal responsibility.
  11. Members will refrain from distorting or altering facts in an attempt to justify decisions or avoid responsibilities.
  12. Members will advise the client or employer when it appears that a project will not be in the best interests of the client, employer or the public.
  13. Whenever possible, members shall acknowledge contributions of others for work with which the member is associated and name those who were individually responsible for designs, inventions, writings or other accomplishments.
  14. Members shall be open and receptive to new approaches or criticisms offered in a positive vein, and not overly defensive regarding preconceived positions.
  15. Members may promote and advertise their work or abilities provided that:
    • the advertising preserves the public interest by reporting accurate and factual information which neither exaggerates nor misleads,
    • the advertising does not impair the dignity of the members,
    • the statements do not convey criticism of other members directly or indirectly.
  16. Members will not offer to pay or agree to pay either directly or indirectly, any commission, political contribution, gift, or other considerations in order to secure work.
  17. Members will not accept compensation, financial or otherwise, from more than one interested party for the same service, or for services pertaining to the same work, unless there is full disclosure to, and consent of, all interested parties.
  18. Members will not accept financial or other considerations, including free services, from material or equipment suppliers as a reward for specifying their product.
  19. Members will not accept commissions or allowances, directly or indirectly, from contractors or other parties dealing with their clients or employer in connection with work for which they are responsible.
  20. Members will endeavor to provide prospective employees with complete information on working conditions and proposed status of employment and after employment, keep them informed of any changes in such conditions or status.

Commentary (a,b,c):

Unless convinced that responsibility to the community demands it, members will not express professional opinions which reflect on the ability or integrity of another person or organization.

Contacting a member whose work is to be reviewed not only is a professional courtesy but also provides the opportunity for the exchange of pertinent information which would assist in the review. If the results of such a review demonstrate safety or environmental concerns, it is mandatory that the member responsible for the work be contacted again to review these concerns in order to provide him or her with an opportunity to comment prior to further action. (See also Principle 9).

If a client requests a review of the work of a member and further stipulates that this member not be contacted, the client should be advised that these instructions are contrary to the spirit and intent of the Code of Ethics.

Members are entitled to review and evaluate the work of other members when so required by their employment duties and when the experience and knowledge is appropriate. For an adequate review it may be important to be aware of the nature and conditions attached to the assignment handled by the first member. Open communications should exist between the two members so that underlying assumptions are understood by the reviewing member, and so that the first member has an opportunity to respond to any comments or criticisms.

If a document is simply being read for information it is not being evaluated. The essence of evaluating is that the document be read in a critical manner and that the statements are confirmed or rejected by the reader. This process of criticism is not limited to the obvious formal full techniques of analysis and calculation; it can be quite informal and based simply upon experience.

Commentary (d):

Members, when accepting assignments, should ensure this subject is introduced in pre-contract discussions. They should not continue to seek employment on a specific engagement after being advised that another member has been selected.

Commentary (e):

Members should not engage in outside technological work to an extent prejudicial to their salaried position.

Members should not use the influence of a salaried position to direct clients to an office in which they have a financial interest.

Members should not use equipment, supplies, laboratory or office facilities of their employer to carry on outside practice without the employer's consent.

Filing a Complaint Against an ASTTBC Professional

In accordance with the ASTT Act and Regulations, members of the public are able to file a formal complaint against any ASTTBC-registered professional. As well, ASTTBC-registered members are required, according to the Code of Ethics, to file a complaint against an ASTTBC-registered professional when the member believes there has been a breach of the Code of Ethics. ASTTBC Code article #9 states, "Report to the appropriate agencies any hazardous, illegal or unethical professional decisions or practices by other members or others."

ASTTBC has established a guideline for use in filing a complaint.

ASTTBC Meetings Across the Province

This spring, ASTTBC Executive Director John Leech, AScT visited several communities in the province meeting with members and business and education leaders. Member meetings were held in Courtenay, Campbell River, Victoria, Nanaimo, Terrace, Prince Rupert, Kamloops, Salmon Arm, Vernon, Kelowna and Penticton. Several members received Top in Technology Awards. These will be posted on the website in the near future and reported in the next eNews.

Media Reports on Top in Technology Awards in Kelowna

The Daily Courier in Kelowna picked up on ASTTBC awards presented at a member meeting in Kelowna. 75 members attended the breakfast meeting to be a part of the award presentations and to hear Executive Director John Leech talk about latest developments with the Association. In handing out the awards Leech said, "It is a great part of what I do. Recognizing some of the 10,000 members of ASTTBC helps draw attention to the very significant contribution made by ASTTBC members across the province." Leech spoke on a number of topics including the joint task Forces with APEGBC looking at the implementation of PTech and modifications to the Limited License to make it a more effective program. Bruce Stevens, AScT, ASTTBC's Regional Manager, Okanagan was on hand to update members on his work throughout the region. Bruce talked about ASTTBC's work in the BC Government Year of Science program, highlighting one project where ASTTBC has found over 500 job shadow experiences for high school students in grades 11 and 12 across BC.

You can view this article on the ASTTBC website.

"Technology Programs Offer Increasing Job Opportunities"

This headline and an article written by Jane Muskens, registrar for Okanagan College, appeared in the Kelowna Capital News on May 6 and was a great follow up on the publicity surrounding the ASTTBC Top in Technology awards in Kelowna. Muskens made several strong points:

Certainly the article in the Daily Courier and this article in the Kelowna Capital News are making the effort to create a better awareness of technology careers for the students in the Kelowna area.

"Science and the World Around Us Expo" in Prince George

This Year of Science event was held April 11-12 at the Prince George Civic Centre. Thanks to Nathan Brooks, CTech for submitting this article:

What a time to celebrate science!

It was a great fair with lots of different booths (most from the university). Awards were given for the green school projects and there was a demonstration by science world with refreshments afterwards.

Hundreds of grade school students went through during the day. I saw lots of young children and their parents while I was there. I am sure it made a lot of them realize just what jobs and opportunities are out there in science and technology. I was amazed at some of the projected figures for expected jobs in the science and technology profession. Our Plinko board attracted lots of attention from the children (and kept me busy). Everyone involved had a good time especially when they won a water bottle or an airplane!

Nathan recognized Opus DaytonKnight Consultants Ltd, his employer, for giving him the time to volunteer for this event.

Thanks to Nathan and the other Prince George members who volunteered and have been so supportive of this and other ASTTBC related events:

Nanaimo Community Science Celebration

This Saturday event was attended by 1800 students, parents, teachers and their families and was a follow up to a week of science activities in schools in the community. Science World visited 10 schools, presenting 4 different shows to 1700 students and also presented a career networking event to about 100 grade 10-12 students. ASTTBC was on hand to participate in the Saturday event and continues to work with the Mid-Island Science, Technology & Innovation Council (MISTIC) to bring events such as these to the community.

ASTTBC Membership Statistics - Technical Specialists

Membership in Technical Specialist Groups at the end of March 2011 was 1878 registrants, as follows:

Building Design: 73

Onsite Wastewater: 555

Public Works Inspection: 82

Construction Safety: 175

Property Inspection: 181

Site Improvements Surveying: 23

Fire Protection: 741

Steel Detailing: 48


Green Corner

The staff at ASTTBC is committed to sustainability and reducing carbon footprint. Each month, we will highlight a "green" initiative, helpful hint or idea in this new section - the Green Corner.

Research shows that cleaning paper clutter increases workplace productivity and efficiency. A way to help contain the clutter as well as help the environment is by making the commitment to go paperless!
Begin by making 2 simple changes:

If you must print, ensure post consumer recycled paper is used. Here at ASTTBC, we use the Sustainable Earth product line by Staples.

It's a win-win so start today and see the difference!

Intelligent Innovation: Art or Science?

Watch Innovator Theo Jansen explain how he has made improvements on the wheel and many other innovations with these amazing new "creatures".

"Alarming" Skills and Labour Shortages in Tech Sector

In its latest report the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) states that Canadian employers will need to hire 106,000 workers in the Tech sector in the next 5 years. This is similar to the findings of another report from the mining sector that found as many as 100,000 new workers are going to be required by 2020. Further the ICTC's report found a "pervasive" mismatch between industry skill requirements and the availability of those skills in the labour market. ICTC believes enrolment in tech-related post-secondary programs needs to increase and that employers need to make professional development available to improve the skills of the "nearly qualified" candidates.

BC Job Recovery

Statistics Canada reports that during March B.C.'s jobless rate fell from 8.7% to 8.1%, much of this due to growing transportation and warehousing activity in the northern interior. For example, in the Cariboo region unemployment fell from 10% in 2010 to 7.6%. During March, Statistics Canada reports that 90,000 new full time jobs were created across Canada, 24,000 in transportation.

Expansion and Job Growth in Prince Rupert

Recently the Port of Prince Rupert signed a cooperation agreement with the Laz Kw'alaams Indian Band and the Metlakatla Band (Coast Tsimshian). This formalizes current expansion plans for the container terminal and guarantees employment opportunities during the construction and operation of the expanded port. Currently the Rupert Port supports over 1300 direct jobs with 740 related jobs according to the Port's 2020 Economic Impact Study.

Brad Walton, AScT, Comments on Recent Remy Fire in Richmond

The destruction of the Remy six storey wood frame building in Richmond has raised questions about wood frame construction. In preparing its news release for the Canadian News Service, the Canadian Wood Council solicited quotes from several experts including ASTTBC's Brad Walton who had this to say:

"There is always a time during construction when a building is more vulnerable to fire - this is before the fire protection measures specified by the building code are in place and before the building is occupied. The Remy fire wouldn't have happened if the building was complete, as it would have been sprinklered, equipped with a fire alarm and fire compartments and so on. As a result of the fire, additional measures will likely be developed and enforced on construction sites to help mitigate the risk of fire on buildings during construction. CFT Engineering as well as the rest of the industry is presently looking into codes, standards and construction practices used on-site so that we can develop those measures further for buildings under construction."

Brad Walton, AScT is a Principal with CFT Engineering, Vancouver (fire and building code specialists).

BC Safety Authority Enforcement Actions

The BC Safety Authority (BCSA) took 51 enforcement actions, all of them compliance orders, against contractors, equipment owners and others doing work in BCSA-regulated technologies in the first quarter of 2011. 34 Compliance orders were issued in electrical technology and 17 in the gas technology. Read more information and get the links to the BC Safety Authority's website at the ASTTBC website.

Message From:

Bernd Schubert AScT on notification that he is to receive 40 year membership in ASTTBC wrote:

I feel very honored to receive this special invitation and an award for my 40 year membership in our Society.

When I signed up for membership 40 years ago, I recognized the necessity for professional recognition of Technicians and Technologists and envisioned an exponential growth of our Society.

It all became true and all our members benefited from it.

Although, I have not been active in our Society's business itself, in all my years as Manager of the Technical Support Section, Water Management, Ministry of Environment, I promoted our Society wherever possible, proudly displayed my Applied Science Technologist Certificate and strictly adhered to our Society's Professional Ethics.

Cindy Harmel AScT, RPA Director of Facilities & Maintenance at Northwest Community College, Terrace, following the receipt of a Top In Technology Award wrote:

I just wanted to take the opportunity to thank you for my award today. I was very honoured to receive it. You know, I remember being a student at BCIT when ASTTBC was formerly known as SETBC (located at Discovery Park) and it was just across the street - I thought then, I want to be a member.

I'm so very proud to be a member of ASTTBC and just so you know, further to my suggestion of secondary school ASTTBC exposure via career/trades' fairs, I'm willing to help.

Larry Pedersen, RPF, and Honourary Member of ASTTBC, following his attendance at an ASTTBC member meeting in Victoria wrote:

It was my pleasure to attend and I really enjoyed seeing you (John Leech) in action once again. Your meeting was well conducted and clearly had enough appeal to draw a large crowd with varied backgrounds. I thought the balance in the agenda and the subject matter was timely. After the meeting I had a great discussion with a guy who works in the Victoria shipyards and he expressed that he enjoyed the discussion as well.

As always I think these types of sessions can be even more exciting when there is lots of interaction off the floor, so maybe a little more time for Q and A with the participants could be considered. Sometimes a couple of pointy "planted questions" in the audience help to get things kicked off. Also, a travelling mike would be imperative to make that work. That said, you guys did a great job.

Members in the News:

ASTTBC's Norm Williams, CHI(P), Sculpts Roger Neilson Statue

ASTTBC and BCIPI member, Norm Williams, was commissioned to sculpt a special statue in memory of Roger Neilson. Watch the video commemorating the unveiling. WELL DONE, Norm!

ASTTBC Member Service: Technical CPD Courses Through EPIC Educational Program Innovations Center

ASTTBC members can now take advantage of a wide range of technical oriented continuing professional development courses and workshops from our preferred CPD partner EPIC.

For a full list of courses visit this link.

When registering, use the following ASTTBC promo code EPBCT589 to apply your member savings benefit.

ASTTBC Member Savings at Victoria's Hotel Grand Pacific Savings

The Hotel Grand Pacific in Victoria is offering ASTTBC members, special rates on hotel room reservations.

This modern luxury hotel is conveniently located on the Inner Harbour in Victoria, British Columbia.

To take advantage of great group rates, guests need only to call 1-800-663-7550 and ask for the "ASTTBC Rates".

Many Voices, One Sea - Salish Sea Conference

The 2011 conference, co-hosted by Environment Canada and the Puget Sound Partnership, will present the latest scientific research on the Puget Sound Georgia Basin ecosystem.

October 25-27 at the Sheraton Wall Centre in Vancouver

This year's theme, "Many Voices, One Sea," provides a collaborative forum for discussing the latest environmental research and practices to protect this critical ecosystem. The conference brings together leading scientists, resource managers, government officials, business leaders, non-profit organizations, academia and other stakeholders furthering our collective understanding of Puget Sound and Georgia Basin through peer-to-peer interactions, field trips, cultural celebrations, knowledge transfer, and practical collaborations.

The conference website includes information on registration, sessions, the Call for Abstracts, sponsorship and exhibits.
The SeaDoc Society will award its 2011 Salish Sea Science Prize at the conference . Nominations for this award are due June 15. The $2,000 prize is given to highlight the importance of science in providing a foundation for designing a healthy Salish Sea.

Professional Development Opportunities

Please note that links to many worthwhile professional development opportunities, Seminars and Coming Events can be found on the ASTTBC website.

Following is just a small sample. For links to these and many other activities, follow the links above: