Professional Engineers Ontario Launches Investigations into Engineering Work Related to Nipigon River Bridge Failure

Oct 21, 2016 @ 11:11

On October 14, Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO), the licensing and regulating body for professional engineers and professional engineering in the province, initiated investigations related to the January 10, 2016 failure of the Nipigon River Bridge.

“As a regulator, it’s our responsibility to investigate any possible engineering practice deficiencies related to the failure and determine if engineering work was carried out by appropriately licensed people and companies,” said PEO Registrar Gerard McDonald, P.Eng. “This investigation is consistent with our mandate to govern PEO licence and certificate of authorization holders, and regulate and advance professional engineering practice to protect the public interest.”

As outlined in section 33 of the Professional Engineers Act, PEO’s Registrar can initiate investigations in the absence of a complaint being filed, on reasonable and probable grounds that a PEO licence holder or a holder of a certificate of authorization has committed an act of professional misconduct or incompetence.

Investigators appointed by the Registrar under Section 33 investigations are provided powers, similar to those provided to law enforcement officials under a search warrant, to enter the business premises of the licence or certificate of authorization holder under investigation and examine anything relevant to the subject of the investigation. These investigations could lead to the discipline of PEO licence or certificate of authorization holders.

As set out in section 38 of the Professional Engineers Act, all information relating to any investigation must be kept confidential. When matters or allegations are referred to the Discipline Committee for hearing, the discipline proceedings are generally open to the public.

About Professional Engineers Ontario

Under the authority of the Professional Engineers Act, PEO governs over 85,000 licence and certificate holders and regulates professional engineering in Ontario. PEO’s mission is to regulate and advance the practice of engineering to protect the public interest. Its vision is to be the trusted leader in professional self-regulation. Professional engineering safeguards life, health, property, economic interests, the public welfare and the environment. Professional engineers can be identified by the P.Eng. after their names. Holders of limited licences can be identified by LEL or LET after their names.

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