Leila Notash, PhD, PEng, FEC

For Councillor-at-Large

A Proud PEO Volunteer for 20 years (since 2003)



Sample Contributions and Observations:

Ø  PEO Council

Ø  PEO Academic Requirements Committee

Ø  PEO Kingston Chapter

Ø  Other PEO Issues



 I am committed to the principal object of PEO:

to regulate the practice of professional engineering and to govern its members, holders of certificates of authorization, holders of temporary licences, holders of provisional licences and holders of limited licences … in order that the public interest may be served and protected

I care about the present and future of self-regulated professional engineering and the necessity for

  • enforcing present-day standards and continuous competency for knowledge, skill and professional ethics among members and licence holders;
  • and up-to-date and fair principles for qualifications and practice for professional engineering in a global society, with rapid advances in engineering;
  • while promoting member engagement and public awareness of the role of the Association.


My PEO and Engineers Canada volunteer activities include:

  • PEO Council: Councillor-at-Large (2021-2023, 2019-2021)
  • Engineers Canada: Regulator Advisory Group (PEO Rep 2022-2024)
  • Council Committees: Regulatory Policy and Legislation Committee (2021-2023); Audit, Executive, and Legislation Committees (2019-2020)
  • Academic Requirements Committee (ARC) of PEO: Chair (2016 – 2018), Vice-Chair (2015), Member (2003 – 2022)
  • Kingston Chapter Executive: Vice-Chair (2015 – 2019)
  • Engineers Canada: Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB) Program Visitor (2015)
  • Engineers Canada: Canadian Engineering Qualifications Board (CEQB), Member of Mechanical Engineering Syllabus Sub-Committee (2006 – 2007)


I am well aware with the issues from both a Chapter viewpoint and the PEO operations perspective, thus my perspectives relate to the most fundamental activity of PEO, issuing licenses to practice as Professional Engineers.



PEO Council Contributions

As the Councillor-at-Large, I have participated in the Council discussions. I have been advocating

·         Trust, transparency and accountability

·         Knowledge/evidence based decision-making and peer review for self-regulation

·         Respect for PEO members and volunteers (committees and chapters)

·         Valuing the mandates of the legislated committees and standing committees that are guided by member volunteers

·         Appreciation of volunteers’ impact

Council need to address fundamental issues of PEO:

·         present and future of self-regulated professional engineering

·         modern and fair principles for qualifications and practice in a global society

·         licensing of emerging disciplines resulting from rapid advances in engineering

·         ...


The followings are sample pertinent issues:

Peer Review and Staff Review. I highly appreciate staff-review and staff drafting policies (when PEO has the expertise). However, this cannot (and should not) replace the peer-review, which is a Council policy, but has been by-passed in recent years.

Volunteer Review vs Paid Review. There is an opinion in the Council that cherishes input from the paid experts more than the volunteer (PEng) experts serving on the statutory committees, e.g., expert volunteers have been referred to be biased!

Trust and Transparency. Council needs all the pertinent information and documents before discussing/approving any motion (instead of receiving piecemeal info and/or “selected” summary). Council motions are being proposed with no meaningful consultations with the pertinent statutory and standing committees (volunteer members). There has been backlash to the request for info.

On more than one occasion, Council has been urged to make hasty important decision (once with less than 24-hour notice) based on the recommendation of a couple of Councillors (and staff/management); a few Councillors have the opinion that councillors cannot be trusted to receive the whole info!


Back in 2019, the Council approved the Action Plan, which included the mandatory CPD (continuing professional development). To date, it is not clear why the Council was not informed then that there was a prior Council motion requiring the membership referendum on a mandatory CPD. Council became aware of the motion months later when an agenda item on rescinding the prior motion, which required a referendum, was proposed! 


Trust and Transparency. As well, members (licence holders) need all the info on what is discussed at the Council and how each decision is reached, which may not be unanimous.

For the past couple of years, only the motions (and comments of the Chairs of the governance committees) are recorded in the minutes. The Disposition of Motions lists the outcome of motions. However, the members (licence holders) are not informed how and why the Council reach the decision. The questions/concerns expressed by councillors are in the recorded Council meetings, which have not been posted since January 2021.  My requests for providing the audio of the Council meetings on the PEO page is still to be addressed!

Accountability. Councillors (and staff/management) should be held accountable for the info and data that they share with the Council. There has been incidences of misinformation and miscommunication with the Council and with the governance and statutory committees.

Very recently, ARC, as a statutory committee, proposed an alternate licencing model in response to FARPACTA (Fair Access to Regulated Professions and Compulsory Trades). However, the Chair of RPLC (Regulatory Policy and Legislation Committee) refused to allow the committee discuss the proposed ARC model when another model, proposed by staff, was considered (first the Chair lied, and when challenged, tried justifying the decision by saying that the RPLC did not ask ARC to develop a model, …). This is another example on how Council treats volunteer experts, as well as the problems in the governing committees regarding the impartiality of the Chairs, and so on.


Budget Surplus. Since SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) pandemic, every year, PEO budget has shown excess of revenue over expenses of about $5M - $6M. While I have been assured that, as a not-for-profit organization, this will not be an issue for the PEO, Council needs to make a decision on the accumulated fund, e.g., by investing on the enforcement and perhaps reducing the membership fee, taking into account the potential financial consequence of mandatory CPD and FARPACTA.


Diversity. I cherish the importance of cognitive diversity and demographic diversity on Council. I appreciate the value in Councillors demonstrating their beliefs thru the debate in an agile Council and well-informed pertinent policy decisions. I believe councillors have an obligation to be knowledgeable on the agenda items, and dissent from decisions they do not support. I am aware of the dangers of "groupthink", which can discourage debate, creativity and individual responsibility, and “can lead to collective rationalization, lack of personal accountability and pressure to acquiesce”.


Term Limits. I fully support having term limits for the leadership and the appointed members of Council, as well as the leadership of legislated committees. However, Council needs reliance on member expertise and experience, as well organizational memory, which extend beyond the PEO archives. Unlike what was claimed, term limits not only did not attractfresh blood”, but also excluded experienced Councillors familiar with the culture and history of PEO and Council. As well, many elected Council positions have been acclaimed since then.





As a member of the Council for 2023-2025, I will be honored to participate in the day-to-day business of the Council, and the discussions that will affect the strengths and weaknesses of PEO, while promptly responding to the opportunities and threats in a global society, with rapid advances in engineering.

I am a good listener, and an active and informed councillor. I have always fought to maintain PEO's relevance in a changing world through

Trust, Transparency and Accountability.




View Leila Notash's profile on LinkedIn