A target-rich environment (1) Alberta Human Rights Commission strikes again!

So much absurdity is available to lampoon it is difficult to know where to start.

1. The Alberta Human Rights Commission rules, in effect, that licensing exams for a foreign-trained would be engineer discriminate by place of origin, because they expect the candidate to perform as well as Canadian-trained engineers. The Alberta association of engineers made no individual accommodations to the foreign-trained engineer, and for this they were fined $10,000 and told to make a number of amends. I list them because it shows the extensive and intensive measures of interference in the licensing of professional engineers that the Human Rights Commissioner saw fit to apply.

I Order APEGGA to:

(a) Review Mr. Mihaly’s transcripts and experience in direct consultation with the Slovak University of Technology, the Institute of Chemical Technology and any of his references who may still be available, to better identify Mr. Mihaly’s skills and qualifications and to identify core areas of engineering from which Mr. Mihaly could be exempted;

(b) Grant Mr. Mihaly the option to challenge specific examinations in areas where he is not granted an exemption by APEGGA;

(c) Within three months of the date of this decision, establish a committee that preferably includes engineers who received their qualifications in institutions and countries outside of Canada and who have successfully integrated themselves into the engineering profession, to specifically explore and investigate options to appropriately and individually assess the qualifications of Mr. Mihaly with a view to correcting any perceived academic deficiencies. Once these options have been evaluated, APEGGA shall apply these individual assessment options to Mr. Mihaly with a view to correcting any perceived academic deficiencies. These options may include exemptions from the Fundamentals of Engineering exam or the NPPE combined with the implementation of a different method of assessment, such as some type of graduated or modular approach which would provide Mr. Mihaly assistance and guidance to progress gradually in the engineering profession. Other explorations could include a possible collaboration of APEGGA with Alberta’s post secondary institutions in terms of offering programs or courses which could be offered to foreign trained engineers to correct any perceived academic deficiencies.

(d) Use its best efforts to match Mr. Mihaly with a Mentor who has a similar background and who can provide him the necessary guidance to approach his challenges as an engineer and gradually integrate himself into the profession;

(e) Direct Mr. Mihaly to resources within the profession which will allow him to network with other foreign engineering graduates facing similar challenges; and

(f) Direct Mr. Mihaly to community resources which would assist him to increase his fluency and facility in the use of the English Language.

[250] While this remedy addresses Mr. Mihaly’s situation, this may also be an opportunity for APEGGA to develop a comprehensive approach to ensure that foreign engineers, like Mr. Mihaly, have an opportunity to have their skills assessed based on their actual knowledge and experience. As the Tribunal stated in Bitonti, supra:[28]

…it cannot be in anyone’s interest to continue to accept into this country some of the best and brightest individuals from around the world, and to then make it virtually impossible for them to use the skills that they bring with them.

And so rules Moosa Jiwaji, MBA, LLB, tribunal chair, Canada’s gain from Kenya and the University of Dar es Salaam.