Former engineering firm and principal fined $10,000 for website and social media content
Toronto – Emmanuel de Guzman and Falcon Group International Inc. have been convicted of four counts of breaching the Professional Engineers Act and fined $10,000. Falcon Group was found guilty of two counts for offering professional engineering services through its website and using restricted terms, titles and descriptions in a LinkedIn profile without a Certificate of Authorization from Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO). De Guzman, as a director and officer of the corporation, was found guilty of two counts for authorizing, permitting or consenting to the offences. De Guzman has never been licensed as a professional engineer in Ontario. The verdict was made on October 28 by His Worship Justice of the Peace Sunny Ng. The website and LinkedIn profile at issue have since been removed.
A PEO Certificate of Authorization (C of A) allows individuals or firms in Ontario to offer or provide engineering services directly to the public. Falcon Group was licensed as a C of A holder in 2011. After the certificate was revoked by PEO in December 2014, however, the company continued to represent itself as a professional engineering firm through its website and LinkedIn profile.
In January 2016, the Superior Court of Justice ordered Falcon Group to refrain from using the words “engineer,” “engineering,” or any other term, title or description that will lead to the belief that it may provide professional engineering services to the public. De Guzman was similarly ordered to refrain from using the titles, “professional engineer,” “P.Eng.” and “engineer”. In June 2016, as Falcon Group and De Guzman had still failed to comply with the Professional Engineers Act, PEO laid charges under the Provincial Offences Act.
Nick Hambleton, associate counsel, regulatory compliance, represented PEO in this matter.
PEO thanks the professional engineers, architects and organizations that cooperated with its investigation and provided evidence for use in the court proceedings.
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.
How to verify licensure
To check whether an individual is licensed or a firm holds a Certificate of Authorization (C of A), search the directories of practitioners (licence and C of A holders) at www.peo.on.ca. To report unlicensed individuals and unauthorized companies, contact PEO’s enforcement hotline at 416-840-1444 or 1-800-339-3716, ext 1444, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.