In an open letter to the Premier today, the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE) implores the provincial government to consult with engineers before implementing its cap-and-trade program.
“Ontario’s engineers are tired of being ignored. Areas of complex science, functionality and design demand the expertise of Ontario’s highly trained engineers, yet we don’t have a seat at the policy table,” said Sandro Perruzza, CEO of OSPE. “We’ve met with government officials, we’ve analyzed the data and provided reports, we’ve repeatedly asked to be included – and now we’re fed up. The province continues to put all Ontarians at risk and diminishes its ability to deliver best-possible solutions for the problems we are facing – like climate change – by not engaging engineers.”
Three recommendations from OSPE’s letter
- Engineers need to be fully engaged in the planning of the province’s cap-and-trade program, throughout conceptualization and implementation.
- It is inefficient to simply task engineers with troubleshooting already determined processes.
- High-level and technical planning decisions are currently made by non-technical, unqualified persons, which limits policy discussions and solution design.
- Engineers hold a variety of high management positions across industry, and when their expertise is not utilized, the entire province suffers.
- As the Auditor General has found, failing to engage Ontario’s engineering community in formulating policy has led to poor planning and undesirable outcomes in the past.
- Shortcomings in Ontario’s Green Energy Act underline the need for engineers in government utilities and the private sector to be fully engaged to influence policy decision-making and offer more comprehensive solutions.
- All power generation needs to be part of a well thought-out supply mix that respects supply and demand and takes into consideration Ontario’s robust nuclear and hydroelectric generation abilities.
- The Independent Electricity System Operator’s reports show the amount of surplus energy the province has produced and then has to pay to move off the grid. It is unconscionable that Ontario has built a world-class system to generate carbon-free electricity, but in doing so failed to foster a practical mixture of generation.
- The government must retain engineers to do extensive simulations and identify long-range plans before taking action.
- Collecting data, developing models, running trials and consulting with engineering experts to establish a plan is critical.
- Ontario is home to more than 250,000 engineering graduates, whom OSPE can mobilize and leverage. It is critical that government realize the potential of this partnership.
- The need to engage with engineers, have them conduct simulations, and jointly-establish a credible plan to combat climate change is of paramount importance to the continued prosperity of Ontario.