The Industrial Exception and ESSCO Updates

Author: Ivan Zvonkov

The ESSCO Annual General Meeting is a meeting that is pretty general and is held annually by ESSCO (If you’re wondering what ESSCO is, there is a short explanation here One of the purposes of ESSCO AGM is to teach VP Externals how to do their job.

Part of this job is to understand government policies related to Engineering, for example, the Industrial Exception (Section 12.3(a) of The Professional Engineers Act). Currently in Ontario "The industrial exception allows unlicensed employees to perform work that falls within the
practice of professional engineering in relation to machinery or equipment in their industrial
workplaces that is used to make product for their employer." This "industrial exception to licensure has led to a health and safety compromise within industry". (

Why should you care? Well, it has often been the case that engineers do not heavily participate in policy-making and as a result non-engineers make engineering policies which can be disadvantageous to not only engineers but the general public.

So what happens next? To start it is important that engineers are educated about policies such as the Industrial Exception. At ESSCO AGM, MPP Catherine Fife did exactly that by giving a presentation about the context of the Industrial Exception. Once the background knowledge is there, then action can follow. Currently, PEO (Professional Engineers of Ontario) is leading the charge for the repeal of the Industrial Exception. PEO has written a concise report on the justification of the repeal and the next steps which the society will pursue here: . As the VP External, I will ensure that you receive updates on PEO throughout the year.

Plenary at AGM 2017

Plenary at AGM 2017

ESSCO Updates:

The new ESSCO Executives were elected at this conference.
President - Andrew Cook from McMaster
VP Services - Ram Ganesh from Ryerson
VP Finance -  Cylina El-Bouchi from Carleton
VP Communications - Jeffrey Lee from Ryerson 

The Annual General Meeting had some important motions pass, they are outlined below.

Currently it is not specifically stated who is in charge of OEC (Ontario Engineering Competition) and as a result, some schools are able to attend OEC for many, many years without ever having to bid. This is not fair to other schools who must put in a bid every three years. ESSCO has begun the process of obtaining ownership over OEC to ensure all schools are treated equally.

The bidding process for all conferences was also improved so that all schools are notified months in advance whether or not they are due for a bid.

Lastly, the LIAC (Lobbying Issues and Acting Committee) was officially removed from the ESSCO policy manual so as to not conflict with working groups, which will be phased in over the course of the next year.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment or send me an email at