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Elimination of industrial exceptions in Ontario may be delayed by prorogation of provincial parliament

Toronto, ON – Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty’s unexpected resignation as the leader of the provincial Liberal party and his prorogation of the provincial parliament on Oct. 15, 2012, could delay the enactment of new legislation...


Toronto, ON – Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty’s unexpected resignation as the leader of the provincial Liberal party and his prorogation of the provincial parliament on Oct. 15, 2012, could delay the enactment of new legislation regarding industrial exemptions in the province.

Ontario is the only province in Canada to have allowed industrial exemptions, which permit non-licensed persons to do the work of a professional engineer when it related to production machinery or a production process in an employer’s facilities. In other words, an industrial facility did not need to employ or retain a professional engineer for the purpose of designing or evaluating production equipment and processes in their own facility.

On October 25, 2010, the Ontario government passed new legislation known the Open For Business Act, 2010. The act, among many other things, eliminated industrial exceptions that have existed in Ontario since 1984. However, that section of the act was not to be proclaimed until October 25, 2012, a two-year delay that gave the Professional Engineers of Ontario (PEO) licensing body an opportunity to develop associated regulations.

“Although we don’t know exactly when our legislation will be dealt with, we anticipate that the process will continue without interruption, since it does not require the legislature to be sitting,” said David Smith, Manager, Communications, Professional Engineers Ontario.

“The legislation means that the way many companies have worked with industrial machinery and equipment for decades will change,” said Simon Fridlyand of SAFE Engineering, Toronto. ” Although the prorogation of parliament in Ontario could delay the final implementation of the new law, industrial employers in the province should get ready now to adopt the new practices.” Details of what this entails will be reported in the Safety File column of the forthcoming November 2012 issue of Machinery & Equipment MRO magazine.


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1 Comment » for Elimination of industrial exceptions in Ontario may be delayed by prorogation of provincial parliament
  1. Rick Hill says:

    My company has been designing building and installing special purpose equipment for 25 years. We have worked with and employed many Mechanical engineers and engineering technologists over the years. It takes many years to train a good machine designer. Having engineering credentials does not qualify a person to a level of competence to design machines. It takes many years of training while working for a machine builder to gain a reasonable level of competance.

    Engineering and designing are two very different tasks. Many people have trouble seeing these tasks as seprate and distinct.
    To put it into perspective you go to college to learn to make apples into apple pie. You go to University to learn the chemical composition of an apple, but don’t ask them to make a pie.

    Asking an engineer to design a pulley is a good idea all things considered but it would not be a good idea to ask him to design the machinery to make the pulley he designed unless he has been trained in machine design.

    We have found the education provided by the college system leads to better quality designers by far. I have come across a few decent machine designers that were also engineers but that is very rare. Experience has shown me that Engineers are generally very poor machine designers. The last Engineer we hired had a Masters in Mechanical Engineering and as is typical he had trouble with the most basic of concepts and had to let go as others did in the past. Let him go design something for NASA or some other organization with unlimited budgets and time for redesigns.

    We do comply with current rules and obtain engineering stamps from contractors on issues that require a stamp. This change in our legal system is just going to drive up costs in an industry that is in distress. After calling the PEO and talking to the enforcement officer about what it will take to comply, I got off the phone feeling very insulted by the arrogance (typical)and wondering how long before the fallout of this change is realized and the damage it will cause to industry in Ontario as a result of the significant increase in the cost of machines.

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