ASTT e-News

ASTT e-News, September 2012

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

Mentoring For New Immigrant ITPs
Become a Mentor
APEGBC Enacts Limited Licensee Voting Privileges
BC Economic Indicators
Environmental Public Health Week
Insurance Matters to Retired Members
In the Media and on the Move
APEGBC Appoints New CEO
ASTTBC Supports Big Little Science Centre
ASTTBC Members Cheer BC Lions
Plan to Attend ASTTBC Technology Awards
New Foundation Name Celebrates Connection

BC Women in Technology Networking
HST/GST Transition in 2013
Practice Review Board Investigates Complaint
ASTTBC Code of Ethics: Principle 9
SIS Program Seeks Volunteers
Sam Sullivan Hosts Public Salon
TechPRO: Brian Thorburn, AScT
Post Your Career Story
Message from: Premier Christy Clark
CPD is a Requirement
Professional Development Opportunities
Update Your Contact Info

Mentoring for New Immigrant ITPs

ASTTBC and the Immigrant Employment Council of BC (IEC-BC) announced a joint mentoring program to assist Internationally Trained Professionals (ITP) find work in engineering and applied science technology.

"Skilled immigrants entering our mentoring programs have the education, experience and language skills to succeed in the BC labour market," said Kelly Pollack, Executive Director of IEC-BC. "However, they may not understand the Canadian context of their profession or the nature of the local job market."

The customized mentoring program will seek to match mentors identified by ASTTBC with ITP mentees in engineering and applied science technology fields. IEC-BC is leading the delivery of the mentoring program, and ASTTBC is the first professional association to join in a partnership with IEC-BC.

Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation Pat Bell helped launch the mentoring program at a business luncheon event in Surrey on August 15, 2012. "British Columbia is going to need a highly skilled workforce to fill the million job openings expected in the coming decade," said Pat Bell. "This new mentorship program will help attract more skilled immigrants, which is a key commitment in our Jobs Plan."

"ASTTBC is pleased to work with IEC-BC in offering mentoring to newly arrived immigrants," said Executive Director John Leech, AScT, CAE, who signed the Agreement for ASTTBC. "I also extend our thanks to Minister Bell for taking the time out of a busy schedule to join about

90 attendees from various immigration, education, trades and industry associations. It was a great day and an important milestone as ASTTBC strives to enable Internationally Trained Professionals achieve credential recognition and build new careers in BC."

ASTTBC received a grant from the BC Government to address issues faced by Internationally Trained Professionals as they build a meaningful career in BC. ASTTBC has hosted ITP information sessions throughout BC, surveyed ITPs to help identify issues, convened a webinar to update ITPs, and launched a new ITP website at

For more information on the ASTTBC - IEC-BC Mentoring Program, please visit ASTTBC’s new website created specifically for ITPs in the applied science and engineering and technology fields at

Have You Considered Becoming a Mentor?

ASTTBC members have long been providing mentoring and networking opportunities to their colleagues on an informal basis, but now we’re getting better organized to assist a larger number of internationally trained applicants. Our first order of business is to recruit as many Mentors as possible.

If you’re not already an active volunteer for your association, this is an ideal opportunity to get involved by directly helping your professional immigrant colleagues to integrate into Canadian workplaces and to find employment that makes the best possible use of their education, skills and experience. Find out how to become a mentor at

APEGBC Enacts Limited Licensee Voting Privileges

Recent amendments to the Engineers & Geoscientists Act were brought into law on June 25, 2012. One amendment permits limited licensees to run and vote for the positions of
president, vice president and councilors; to call for and vote at a meeting of the Association; and to vote on petitions and bylaws.

"This development represents a milestone in the recognition of those members of ASTTBC and others who acquire a Limited License from APEGBC," said ASTTBC President, Bill MacPherson, AScT. "This change was adopted by the Councils of ASTTBC and APEGBC as a result of the joint Task Force working to enhance the APEGBC Limited License".

ASTTBC Executive Director John Leech, AScT, CAE, reflected on the work of the two associations nearly two decades ago when the Limited License was first conceived and implemented: "ASTTBC and APEGBC are working constructively and cooperatively to better serve the public interest, in this situation by enabling qualified members of ASTTBC and others to secure rights to independent practice in the field of professional engineering." APEGBC and ASTTBC will consider the best methods to promote the Limited License to ASTTBC members. Both associations have an interest in seeing the Limited License accepted by regulatory bodies.

BC Economic Indicators

From MLA Pat Bell’s ‘Top Ten’ (Sept. 15, 2012):

Environmental Public Health Week

The Province of BC has officially proclaimed September 24 - 30, 2012 as Environmental Public Health Week. This year's theme "Healthy Places, Healthy People" celebrates Public Health Inspectors and Environmental Health Officers who contribute to building healthy and safe communities in BC. This recognition is part of a national appreciation sponsored by the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors. Ensuring safe drinking water, safe food supplies and food services, protecting recreational waters, investigating foodbourne, waterbourne, and zoonotic illnesses are just a few of the day to day services provided by these professionals.

Insurance Matters to Retired Members

ASTTBC in cooperation with Willis Canada provides excellent rates on errors and omissions (E&O) insurance, and on corporate public liability (CPL) insurance. A major reason for lower rates is because the high ethical and practice standards of ASTTBC members has resulted in few claims and therefore we are a preferred group for insurance coverage.

Only ASTTBC members insured through Willis when they decide to retire may now enjoy peace of mind knowing they are covered at no cost for work done before retirement. This is a special, added benefit unique to retired members who remain in good standing with ASTTBC. 

If you had E&O / CPL insurance as an ASTTBC member before your retirement you would continue to be covered for a claim that may be submitted after you retire. Willis Insurance provides this extended coverage free of charge to eligible ASTTBC members. Here are two examples of what can happen! 

  1. A building design professional designed windows for a multi-dwelling residence and was sued 5 years after retiring for work she had done 4 years before retiring. She was found contributory negligent to building envelope issues and on a joint and several basis with a developer who had liquidated. The court ordered her home sold and the proceeds of the sale distributed to the claimants.
  2. An AScT (mechanical) was sued for a job he had done as a consultant 3 years prior to retirement. The ASTTBC member had E&O / CPL insurance with Willis in the years preceding retirement. Now in his second year of retirement, he is continuing his AScT membership at the retired member rate and fortunately under the Willis / ASTTBC retired member scheme he is legally represented at the insurer’s expense.

One caution on the details of this benefit at retirement is the different definitions of "retired" used by ASTTBC and by Willis Insurance. The ASTTBC retirement policy states: "A ‘Retired’ ASTTBC member or registrant is permitted to volunteer, without remuneration, as a mentor or trainer in the field of engineering and applied science technology or carrying out no more than 100 hours of work per year for compensation." For insurance purposes anyone that does any work, paid or unpaid, is not considered retired and must subscribe to E&O / CPL insurance.

Protecting your financial future through the appropriate level of insurance coverage is an important element in personal and professional risk mitigation.

In the Media and on the Move

Claus Schlueter, CTech, who worked on the electrical drawings and specifications for the Ucluelet Aquarium, is proud to have his name on the recognition wall of the new facility, which opened in June as a learning resource for the community. Congratulations, Claus.

Glenn Duxbury, CHI, was on the CBC TV 'Renovation Reality' show September 19, 2012 at 5 p.m. discussing issues that may result when a renovation project goes ahead without a contract.

ASTTBC congratulates Dave Gilbert, AScT, Biomedical Engineering, who was featured on the front page of the Surrey Leader on August 21, 2012. Dave’s role involves the maintenance of 7,000 pieces of electronic medical equipment.

The Homeowner Protection Office (HPO) announced a new Compliance Investigator for the Lower Mainland region - Jagdeep Brar, CHI(P). Jagdeep is a Level 1 Member with the Building Officials' Association of BC, holds a Certificate in Building Technology from BCIT, and a pending CTech designation from ASTTBC. Congratulations, Jagdeep.

ASTTBC Past President Keith Switzer, AScT, a curler for 50 years, spoke on CBC Radio on September 19, 2012 about the sport and Vancouver Curling Club's 100th anniversary.

Douglas MacLeod, PhD, has been appointed the first Chair of the new RAIC (Royal Architectural Institute of Canada) Centre for Architecture at Athabasca University. The new work-study distance program is the first online architectural program in Canada. Formerly the Associate Dean of Science, Technology and Health at Okanagan College, Douglas is recognized for his expertise in sustainable design and e-learning.

Patrick Cochrane, AScT, and a Top in Technology Award recipient, went back to Kampala, Uganda to lead an Industrial Training program for Ugandan Geomatics students through Engineering Ministries International (eMi). "We will not only have an opportunity to enhance the technical capabilities of developing world design professionals, but also provide guidance with their standards and ethical practices", said Patrick.

APEGBC Appoints New CEO and Registrar

The Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC (APEGBC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Ann English, PEng, as Chief Executive Officer and Registrar effective November 13, 2012. Reporting to APEGBC Council, Ms. English will be responsible for all aspects of the Association’s operations and succeeds Derek Doyle, PEng, who will pursue retirement after having served as CEO and Registrar since January 2007.

Ms. English joins APEGBC after almost 10 years at BC Hydro in a variety of senior leadership roles. She brings an in-depth understanding of the regulatory environment as well as demonstrated leadership, business development, and project management experience. Ms. English also has significant experience in private industry, with nearly 20 years at Foster Wheeler.

"I congratulate Ann on the appointment and wish her well in her role as CEO," said ASTTBC Executive Director John Leech, AScT, CAE. "I look forward to working with Ann as ASTTBC and APEGBC continue to work together to serve the public interest. Our two associations have collaborated for many years in enhancing the engineering and geoscience teams. Derek Doyle has been an inspirational and effective leader for APEGBC, and I wish him the very best in retirement and in all that lies ahead."

ASTTBC Supports Big Little Science Centre

The Kamloops-based Big Little Science Centre was the recipient of $2,000 cheque from ASTTBC, bringing the total donated over four years to $25,000. "We are a huge fan of Big Little and appreciate all they are doing to promote science and technology in the community, particularly to young people," said ASTTBC Executive Director John Leech, AScT, CAE. "More than 100,000 visitors have been to Big Little in its first 10 years of operation."

ASTTBC Members Cheer BC Lions

An ASTTBC contingent of 100 cheering fans was on hand at BC Place September 15, 2012 to watch the BC Lions defeat the Toronto Argonauts 28-23. Each member attending received an ASTTBC cap. ASTTBC would like to acknowledge all of the members who were in attendance to cheer the Lions on to victory in the ASTT group section. "We thank the BC Lions for their exclusive group ticket offer to members and their generosity," said Jason Jung, AScT, Manager, Member & Program Development. "The BC Lions pledged $3 from each ticket sold to ASTTBC members in support of the ASTTBC Foundation."

Plan to Attend ASTTBC Technology Awards

The ASTTBC Technology Awards & Recognition Celebration is scheduled for Saturday, November 3, 2012 at the Renaissance Vancouver Harbourside Hotel. Save the date and watch for your invitation by email.

New Foundation Name Celebrates Connection

The ASTTBC Foundation -- formerly called the Foundation for Education & Advancement in Technology (FEAT) -- is the charitable foundation of the Applied Science Technologists & Technicians of BC. Our new name celebrates the essential support of ASTTBC and its membership for the work of the Foundation.

Donations to the ASTTBC Foundation support bursaries and awards for post-secondary technology students, and help to fund science and technology education and awareness in BC. Thanks to the generous support of donors, the ASTTBC Foundation has achieved a Technology Legacy Fund of $500,000. This Fund will help the youth of today to become the techs of tomorrow.

As an ASTTBC Foundation donor, your name is recognized (not the amount of your gift) in our Honour Roll of Donors posted annually on the ASTTBC Foundation website. Donations to the ASTTBC Foundation are income tax creditable. You can donate online or mail your cheque (made out to ASTTBC Foundation) to the ASTTBC Office, 10767 - 148 St., Surrey BC V3R 0S4. Every gift makes a difference and is appreciated.

BC Women in Technology Networking

After starting an engineering firm and running it successfully for over three years, BC Women in Technology (BCWiT) Committee Chair Sarah Campden, CTech, moved back into the corporate world of engineering. She is now a Senior Land Development Technologist with Focus Corporation.

Sarah and ASTTBC Vancouver Island Representative Tina Bos, AScT, recently attended a Victoria networking session hosted by the BC Women in Energy Networking group with guest speaker Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party.

In July, Marion Houlbrook, AScT and Marisa Loude, AScT, attended the Canadian Undergraduate Mathematics Conference (CUMC) Women in Math and Science dinner, as guests representing ASTTBC. This was the 19th annual CUMC, which hosted more than 150 participants from across the country. The dinner was sponsored in part by ASTTBC.

HST/GST Transition in 2013

ASTTBC is required to transition back to GST from HST as of April 1, 2013. The tax will be applied in 2013 to Annual Dues and Annual Renewal Fees as follows:

If members need more information, please visit or email ASTTBC at

ASTTBC Practice Review Board Investigates Complaint:
Supervision of a Trainee

Statement of Complaint:
That a RFPT did not provide adequate supervision and training of a Trainee and was in violation of Items 1 & 4 of the Code of Ethics, and the inappropriate use of tags.

The RFPT explained that he wanted his trainees to do their job properly; that they had received proper instructions and that they were to conduct their inspections following equipment manufacturer guidelines, the ASTTBC code of ethics and standards of practice. The RFPT explained that the municipality they were in did not have a bylaw requiring ASTTBC certification for fire technicians. It was explained to the RFPT that as a member of ASTTBC, he was bound to the Code of Ethics whether the jurisdiction that he was working in had passed such a bylaw or not. The Trainee was not properly trained or chose not to perform his inspections properly.

The RFPT was sent a copy of the complaint and responded he agreed that the minimum requirements of a proper service were not met, even though the Trainee had been trained and supervised by the RFPT for over 3 months.

The RFPT explained that the Trainee was under his supervision, and he has taken on the responsibility of his Trainee’s work.  The RFPT also explained that while the Trainee was under his supervision, the Trainee was attaching pre-stamped inspection tags bearing the name and signature of the RFPT.

There were a number of issues to be addressed in this complaint.

Once a technician receives certification, the proper work ethics are to be followed, whether the technician is working in a municipality with a bylaw or without a bylaw in place. 

The RFPT was also in direct violation of the trainee practice guideline. 

The RFPT was also in violation of the Technician’s Stamp & Tag Guidelines:

The RFPT was levied a fine of $500, and the RFPT had to send a letter acceptable to the Registrar, advising how he will work with Trainees in the future and assuring the Registrar that he will use his technician’s stamp appropriately in the future. The RFPT completed all PRB recommendations, therefore no further action was required and the file was closed.

ASTTBC Code of Ethics: Principle 9

Members of ASTTBC shall report to the appropriate agencies any hazardous, illegal or unethical professional decisions or practices by fellow members, or others.

Members must immediately report any hazardous, illegal or unethical conduct of which they become aware and take all measures required to correct or block the conduct. This principle is not limited to the work place. 

Through informal contact, normal working relationships, or special circumstances such as design reviews, one member may develop the opinion that the work of another member is deficient. The inadequacies may arise from unskilled practice and/or unprofessional conduct.

If the immediate physical safety of the public is in jeopardy, speedy notification of the owner, operator or appropriate regulatory authorities is the immediate duty of the member. Prompt notification is necessary to prevent potential harm to the public through the continuation of unacceptable practices. Members have a responsibility to be aware of hazards to society created by their profession, and also have a responsibility to report unethical practice so it may be dealt with through the disciplinary process.

Some hazards are slow to develop, yet are of potentially great danger, such as chemical waste disposal. Such actions should be reviewed with the same concern for maximum public protection and minimum environmental impact.

Ignoring unprofessional practices, either for expediency or sympathy, may indirectly endanger the public and certainly circumvents the responsibility of self-regulation that has been granted to the Association. Intentionally refraining from reporting substantive breaches of the Code of Ethics on the part of another member therefore constitutes unprofessional conduct. 
Complete Code of Ethics 

SIS Program Seeks Volunteers

Scientists and Innovators in the Schools is a volunteer-based Science World program, connecting scientists, engineers, technologists and trades people with British Columbia’s K-12 students - province-wide and free of charge.

The SIS program invites volunteer scientists, engineers, technologists and technicians to share their experiences with K-12 classes on topics such as health, biotechnology, computing and the environment. Visiting professionals bring excitement into classrooms and provide connections between science and the world around us. Since 1989, over one million students have participated in the program. Currently, over 150 committed volunteers across BC work with teachers to present a new approach to science in the classroom, using hands-on activities and career-related information.

The program has been a success story receiving the Conference Board of Canada's National Award for Excellence in Business‑Education Partnerships, the 1995 Michael Smith Awards for Science Promotion, the 1996 Community Service Award from Volunteer Vancouver and the BC School Superintendents' Association Award of Recognition.

The Scientists and Innovators in the Schools program is seeking enthusiastic volunteers. If you would like to become part of this dynamic group, call 1-800-363-1611 or email

Sam Sullivan Hosts Public Salon

Former Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan, and an Honourary Member of ASTTBC, hosted a public salon on September 20, 2012 in Vancouver. The evening event, presented by Global Civic Policy Society, featured short presentations by Vancouver leaders and thinkers on contemporary ideas and issues of modern society.

TechPRO: Brian Thorburn, AScT

Brian Thorburn, AScT, was one of the first graduates of the Water Quality Technology program at Okanagan College to become a certified ASTTBC member. The Qualicum Beach resident is now Senior Operator at EPCOR Water Services and serves as treasurer on the board of the Environmental Operators Certification program (EOCP).

Brian grew up in Kelowna and it was his father, who worked in the environmental field, who suggested he enroll in the Water Quality Tech program at OC. After graduating from the program, Brian found job opportunities to be limited but he was able to get a job on Vancouver Island in a small town. This gave him valuable experience in all aspects of water and wastewater technology, and he came to love the Island life. He started out as an Operator, became a supervisor and was involved in commissioning new plants, and continued on as a Senior Operator.

Brian believes in giving back to his profession and to his community through volunteering his time and sharing his expertise. He is a course developer and tutor for the Thompson Rivers University, Water Treatment Technology program. He currently serves as Vice President of the Association of Boards of Certification (ABC) in Iowa, which is an international association of the various certification agencies for water and wastewater. Brian also volunteers for the Qualicum Beach Fire Department and plays on hockey and curling teams.

Post Your Career Story

ASTTBC encourages you to join Brian in posting your career story at Connect with former colleagues get your name 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 e-News, it will be linked to your TechPROfile page.

See the guide for posting your information at the TechPRO website.

Message From:

Premier Christy Clark thanked ASTTBC for our role in the Philippines trade mission.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is a Requirement

ASTTBC registrants are encouraged to review ASTTB's policy on Continuing Professional Development and use the web site designed to help members record CPD activities.

Professional Development Opportunities

In addition to the CPD sessions offered at our upcoming AGM and Professional Development Day, there are links to many worthwhile professional development opportunities, seminars and coming events on the ASTTBC website.
Following is just a sample if you follow the links:

Update Your Contact Info

To update your ASTTBC contact information, please use our online form. Follow ASTTBC on Twitter @asttbc