The Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec, in its action against Microsoft Canada Co., filed penal proceedings against Microsoft Canada for knowingly causing a person who is not a member of the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec, by authorization or encouragement, to use the title of engineer, thereby committing an offense under section 188.1 of the Professional Code, R.S.Q., c. C-26.
The dispute dates back to 2001. After pressure had been applied by groups that included the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers and the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec, Microsoft Corporation announced in May 2001 its intention to stop using the term engineer in Canada in the title Microsoft Certified System Engineers - MCSE. However, in July 2002, Microsoft Canada reversed its position and notified the 35,000 people it had certified in Canada that they could "continue to use the title engineer as part of the title "Microsoft Certified System Engineer." In response, the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec issued a press release denouncing Microsoft Canada's action.
As part of its campaign against unlawful practice, specifically the unlawful use of the title of engineer, the OIQ then began the inquiry that led to these penal proceedings. The court of the first instance found for the OIQ, and the multinational appealed that decision.
As Gaétan Samson, Eng., President of the OIQ, explained, "The OIQ is very satisfied with the Superior Court decision, which confirms that the title engineer, alone or with descriptors, is reserved by the Engineers Act exclusively for our members."
Parallel to its proceedings against Microsoft Canada, the OIQ is also continuing to oppose the unlawful use of the engineer title by individuals who are not members of the OIQ, in accordance with section 22 of the Engineers Act and section 32 of the Professional Code. To date, a number of persons using the title "systems engineer" have been charged by the OIQ, and all have been found guilty.
The OIQ president concluded: "This judgment by the Superior Court of Quebec strengthens the action of the professional orders and the value of the professional system overall in achieving respect for the law and protection of the public."
About the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec
Founded in 1920, the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec has a membership of more than 60,000 engineering professionals in all fields, except forest engineering.
The mission of the OIQ is to ensure the protection of the public by supervising the practice of the profession within the framework of its constituent laws and ensure that the profession serves the public interest.