Ordre des ingénieurs du Quebec
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    A contemporary outlook

    Engineers at the end of the 19th century believed that they should form an association
    that would showcase their work and that would also provide them with a professional structure.
    They began by establishing the Civil Engineers of Canada in 1887. Barely one year later,
    the Government of Quebec enacted a law restricting the engineering practice to members
    of that organization. In 1918, the Civil Engineers of Canada was succeeded by the Canadian Engineering Institute.

    However, it was not until February 14, 1920 that the first direct ancestor of today's Order - the Quebec Corporation of Professional - was born. From the very start, this new organization
    with a membership of some 500 engineers, focused on the issues of credibility and training.
    For example, one function of the first meeting of the new Corporation's board was to formulate regulations.

    The tone had been set! A few years later, in 1924, the Corporation produced its first code
    ethics and assigned a committee to study the unlawful practice of the profession. In 1932,
    the Corporation adopted the official engineering seal. This seal was used to authenticate official
    plans, reports and documents produced by engineers and help weed out fakes. Then in 1959,
    the Corporation established the "junior engineer" category as a means of better preparing future engineers for their duties and responsibilities.

    From the 1960s on, Quebec became been engaged in a high-paced process of modernization.
    The training it offers engineers has proved no exception to this rule:

  • 1964-The Government of Quebec approved the new Engineers Act, the Quebec
    Corporation of Professional Engineers was renamed the Quebec Corporation of Engineers, with the number of board members increasing from 8 to 21.
  • 1973-The Office des professions du Québec was established and the Professional Code was adopted following a major overhaul of Quebec's regulations for professional orders. The new professional system was based on the principal that protection of the public is best assured when a profession's members monitor its practices.
  • 1974-The Professional Code came into effect. The Quebec Corporation of Engineers
    then became the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec. The Corporation's board of directors thereupon became the Order's Bureau, with 20 members elected by fellow members
    and four representatives of the public. The public representatives are appointed
    by the Office des professions du Québec.
  • 1976-The code of ethics that had been adopted in 1924 was replaced with the Code
    of Ethics of Engineers
    , a set of regulations binding upon all engineers.

    A changing society

    In addition to these many legal and institutional modifications, the engineering profession
    has continued to evolve along with Quebec society and the OIQ reflects such changes.
    For example, an ever-increasing number of French language speakers are taking up the study
    of engineering. While French speakers made up more than 50% of Quebec's engineers in 1970,
    they represent 89% of the Order's members in 2004.

    In the early 1970s, Danielle W. Zaïkoff not only became first woman to sit on the Bureau, but
    was elected its president in 1975. This achievement represented a watershed moment in our
    social evolution. However, relatively few women become engineers. In 1987, the Order set the
    goal of increasing the representation of women within its ranks and established a corresponding
    plan of action. By 2004, more than 5,000 women had become engineers, accounting for 10.5%
    of the Order's membership.

    In 1987, the OIQ decided to take a more vocal stance in both public discussions and major social
    issues, thereby placing its emphasis on technological development and environmental concerns.


    The Order today

    The OIQ now has over 62,000 members, representing more than 20% of all Canadian engineers.
    It is the second largest of the 46 professional orders charged by the Government of Quebec
    with the duty of protecting the public.

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