Toronto – Contrary to recent media reports, the man reported to have been fired from Hydro One for shouting obscenities at a television reporter is not a professional engineer. Shawn Simoes, the employee reportedly fired, is not licensed by Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) and, therefore, cannot legally be called an engineer.
In Ontario, the titles ‘engineer’ and ‘professional engineer’ are restricted by law. Only those who have demonstrated they possess the necessary qualifications and have been licensed by PEO may use these titles, which are often abbreviated as ‘P.Eng.’
To confirm whether a person is licensed, the public can search PEO’s directory of licensed professional engineers at www.peo.on.ca.
When individuals are found to be using the restricted title ‘engineer’, the courts can impose fines, restraining orders and jail time. The public can confidentially report suspected illegal use of titles or unlicensed engineering practice to PEO through its enforcement hotline at 1-800-339-3716, ext. 1444, or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The public can monitor PEO’s ongoing enforcement activities on the group’s website.
Engineers are required to maintain the profession’s high standards of professional practice and ethics. PEO will investigate complaints against licence holders accused of harassment as defined in section 72(1) of Regulation 941/90 made under the Professional Engineers Act. Harassment was added to Regulation 941 as a specific form of misconduct in 2000.
Where licence holders are found guilty of professional misconduct, they may be subject to a range of penalties up to and including suspension or revocation of their licences to practise.