Ontario Centre for Engineering and Public Policy

Ontario Centre for Engineering and Public Policy

September 22, 2009 09:52 ET

OCEPP established on continuing basis

Professional Engineers Ontario declared continued support based on centre’s highly successful first year

Attention: Assignment Editor, Environment Editor, Energy Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 22, 2009) - Recognizing the solid achievements of the Ontario Centre for Engineering and Public Policy (OCEPP) over less than 12 months, the Council of Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) renewed its support and voted Friday to establish the centre on a continuing basis.

"The centre is one of the profession's most important initiatives, and Council demonstrated on Friday that it values the all-important strides that OCEPP has made, as well as its bold plans for the coming months," said Kim Allen, CEO and registrar at PEO. "The centre was created to help ensure that the voice and expertise of engineers play a prominent role in shaping public policy in Ontario, and the centre's activities are building a very strong foundation to make this goal a reality."

"I am ecstatic that PEO Council values the ground-breaking accomplishments of the centre and that it will extend its key financial and strategic support," noted Dr. Donald Wallace, OCEPP's executive director.

OCEPP is beginning to gain recognition in a number of arenas. As Willowdale MPP David Zimmer pointed out last Wednesday at a reception for legislators and engineers at the Ontario Legislative building, "The centre has become a force in the engineering and public policy worlds."

Among its many achievements since October 2008, the centre has:

* held a major public policy conference for more than 200 leading engineers, legislators, university professors, policy-makers and executives from across the province;
* launched its flagship publication, The Journal of Policy Engagement, to wide acclaim;
* held two quarterly Policy Engagement Series presentations that drew 150 influential policy-makers from more than 20 government ministries as well as industry leaders;
* established strong working relationships with MPPs, senior civil service personnel, a wide array of professional organizations, business professionals from diverse sectors, as well as senior officials and academics at Ontario's leading universities; and
* sponsored or co-sponsored a range of events throughout the province.

At the centre's inaugural conference in May, participants heard from 23 speakers on highly topical issues such as the Green Energy Act, how engineers can influence policy-making in Ontario, and the actions taken since the Walkerton tragedy to ensure greater safety of the province's drinking water. In addition, the conference presented a rare opportunity for participants to explore how engineering can be applied to current problems as well as to network with engineers, policy-makers, government officials and other professionals from across the province.

Since its debut in March, the centre's Journal of Policy Engagement has showcased the work of 31 respected contributors, on thought-provoking topics as diverse as a new model for engineering licensing and membership, the benefits of extending broadband access to rural and remote areas, and how engineers are helping people with dementia stay in their homes. Current and past Journal issues can be viewed on the centre's website (www.ocepp.ca).

In addition to continuing its core activities, the centre plans several new initiatives, including further conferences, symposia and events; holding round-table discussions on topics of critical interest to government, industry and academic leaders; and co-publishing a series of books on pressing issues such as Canada's medical isotope crisis.

About the Ontario Centre for Engineering and Public Policy
Founded in 2008, the Ontario Centre for Engineering and Public Policy is committed to bringing the voice of engineering into public policy and to helping safeguard the public interest. The centre focuses on specific areas of research including smart infrastructure, tomorrow's energy solutions, healthy communities, and a new generation of engineering talent. As well, the centre actively reaches out to members of the engineering profession, the academic community, policy-makers, opinion leaders and others interested in advancing the public interest.
/For further information: Dr. Donald Wallace, Executive Director, 416-840-1078, dwallace@ocepp.ca; or Catherine Shearer-Kudel, Business Manager, 416-224-1100, ext. 1204, cshearerkudel@ocepp.ca./ IN: ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, POLITICS

Contact Information

  • Dr. Donald Wallace, Executive Director, Ontario Centre for Engineering and Public Policy
    Primary Phone: 416-840-1078
    E-mail: dwallace@ocepp.ca