Submissions/Position Papers/Advocacy


Based on an analysis of our member inventory created over the last eight years ( May 2004 - to date) the following is the present employment position of our membership.

Number of years of Engineering Experience


Employment Status


0 to 10


Not working


11 to 20


Working in Professional field


> 21


Working, but in another field


Submissions (2004-2005)

When CAPE's initial action research began to validate the fact the skilled immigrant professionals were being locked out of their fields we started to alert the relevant bodies regarding this situation. The following are the submissions we formally made to the government and regulatory bodies in this period.

  • Presentation to Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration (Ontario). December 8, 2005
  • Submission on Recognition of the International Experience and Credentials of Immigrants with Engineering Backgrounds to the Cross-Canada Hearings of The House Of Commons Standing Committee On Citizenship And Immigration. March 31, 2005
  • Submission to MTCU on Bridging Skills Gaps between Employer Needs and Immigrant Experience. February 10, 2005
  • Submission on PEO Appeals Process to George Thompson Commission. December 3, 2004
  • Submission to Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) on the Provisional License for Internationally Trained Engineering Graduates. June 3, 2004

CAPE also set up a multi-stakeholder roundtable, that held six structured consultative meetings and developed a joint employment strategy for Immigrants with engineering backgrounds that it launched in May 2006, This was titled 'From Canadian First to Canada First' - a multi-stakeholder employment strategy for immigrants with engineering backgrounds. Over the next two CAPE struggled valiantly to implement this. Despite all these efforts, the employment situation of our members continued to weaken.

Position Papers (2006-2009)

To address this situation more strategically and to assist the mainstream organizations to understand the issues facing the immigrants with engineering and professional backgrounds CAPE formed a community coalition having a combined membership in access of 10,000 skilled immigrants and developed the following position papers setting their concerns and suggested solutions.

  • Position Statement 1: Issue: Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO): Licensing Process Task Force Draft Report Recommendations. May 10, 2006
  • Position Statement 2: Issue: Expectations from Fair Access to Regulated Professions Act, 2006 and the Office of the Fairness Commissioner, Ontario. May 2008
  • Position Statement 3: Issue: Temporary Foreign Worker Program. May 2008
  • Position Statement 4: Issue: The Ontario Centre For Engineering And Public Policy (PEO): Proposed National Framework For Membership And Licensure, March 2009

These position statements were widely circulated and some noticeable changes began to take place at the policy level but these did not lead to improved employment or licensure outcomes.


In 2007 APEGBC was involved in a court case in which Dr. Serguei Tchou-San-Da, in Tchou-San-Da v. Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia (APEGBC) challenged the validity of the bylaw that set out the experience requirement for registration. The applicant called into question the validity of the bylaw upon which the decision to refuse his registration as a professional engineer was based, Bylaw 11(e)(2).

Section 13(1)(c) of the Engineers and Geoscientists Act indicates that the APEGBC Council set the criteria for acceptable experience and articulated these requirements through the bylaws of the Association. Correspondingly, Bylaw 11(e)(2) stated that:

"11 (e) Registration as a full member of the Association may be granted to a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada when Council is satisfied that the applicant is of good character and repute and: (2) has 4 years' experience, training and development in engineering or geosciences satisfactory to the Council."

The presiding judge in the case ruled that Bylaw 11(e)(2) was invalid because it was not explicit enough in defining what kind, and how much experience was required. Section 13 (1)(c) of the Act noted that experience requirements were established by the bylaws, whereas the corresponding bylaw, Bylaw 11 (e)(2), noted that the 4 years' experience requirement was at the discretion of Council, thus establishing a circular relationship between the Act and the bylaws

Consequently at its 3rd Annual General Meeting held on November 25, 2009 CAPE Council for Access to the Profession of Engineering moved for the following in its sixth resolution:

"Be it Resolved that CAPE constitute an advocacy committee to draw up an advocacy plan. The terms of reference for this group will include but not be limited to:

  • Exploring all avenues of advocacy including strengthening CAPE membership, Community Coalition and advisory resources
  • Evaluating strategies going forward including voicing our concerns to politicians and policy makers, setting up a fund for possible legal action, working at the grassroots levels with CAPE members and communities.
  • The legal issues with licensing, role in international mobility and commitments to GATS and NAFTA, liberalizing trade in services and competitions should be evaluated at from CAPE advocacy perspective
  • Developing a new platform for CAPE advocacy based on the findings of these evaluations The resolution recommended that CAPE set up an active advocacy platform

Further study into the question of self-interests verses public interests in the regulation of professions also revealed that the duties of a Canadian citizen include obeying the law; taking responsibility for oneself and one's family; serving on a jury; voting in elections; helping others in the community and protecting and enjoying our heritage and environment. These also require us put our country ahead of self-interests. As committed citizens, CAPE members are prepared to use their resources and all available democratic means to make their voice heard, create a responsible community, enhance the mobility of engineers within and outside Canada, and make Canada a world leader in engineering innovation., CAPE introduced good citizenship into its advocacy in 2010.

Based on this recommendation CAPE has set up the following advocacy kit through which you can fully understand the issues involved and engage in our advocacy activities through a participatory survey.

Read Resolution6

Watch the video for our advocacy

Take the survey