Society of Professional Engineers and Associates (SPEA)

Society of Professional Engineers and Associates (SPEA)

May 28, 2009 16:45 ET

Society of Professional Engineers and Associates: AECL Restructure Welcomed, but Fire Sale Not

The Society of Professional Engineers and Associates Concerned About Future of AECL

MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 28, 2009) - The Society of Professional Engineers and Associates (SPEA), which represents the bulk of professional unionized employees working at Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), welcomes the restructuring, but are opposed to the Canadian government selling off majority control in AECL.

"The track record of government privatization efforts is spotty at best," said SPEA Vice-President, Dr. Michael Ivanco. "We are calling on Parliament to limit non-Canadian ownership of AECL and for the government to maintain majority interest in the company. We strongly believe that the Government of Canada must ensure Canadian jobs and technology stay in Canada."

Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt announced today the government's decision to split AECL into two separate divisions with one focusing on research and the other on commercial. The decision is based on a two-year review released today, which calls on the government to seek private partners for the commercial division while having the government control the research side.

"We support efforts to make AECL more competitive and give it access to new markets for its products," said Ivanco. "We also believe that this restructuring will allow the company to focus more of its efforts in promoting CANDU technology. We want to make sure that AECL continues its international leadership role in nuclear research and technology."

According to Ivanco, "AECL is one of the few home grown technologies that is 100 per cent Canadian and a major international player in the nuclear renaissance. There is a real danger of losing jobs and technology if another company buys AECL."

"We believe that AECL can benefit from private sector involvement through investment and personnel who will help bring greater clarity and focus to AECL's efforts," Ivanco said. "Now is not the time, in this economic climate, to conduct a fire sale where the company's assets will be severely under valued. Canadian taxpayers deserve to realize the full value of their investment."

The Society of Professional Engineers and Associates (SPEA) is an independent union and represents engineers and scientists who work for Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL). With over 900 members, over half of who have advanced university degrees, SPEA members are engineers of every type (civil, mechanical, electrical etc.) as well as scientists and MBAs. Collectively SPEA represent most of Canada's nuclear power reactor design expertise.

Contact Information

  • Society of Professional Engineers and Associates
    Dr. Michael Ivanco
    416-427-3525
    or
    Society of Professional Engineers and Associates
    Michelle Duncan
    External Relations
    416-427-3525