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Former professional engineer fined $10,000 for using professional engineer’s seal


Toronto – (December 8, 2015) – A former professional engineer has been fined $10,000 for continuing to use his seal when no longer licensed and without a Certificate of Authorization to provide professional engineering services to the public.

On Thursday, December 3, Michael Martin Cook of Belleville, Ontario, was convicted on four counts of breaching the Professional Engineers Act, including using a facsimile of an engineer’s seal and signing a Commitment to General Review by an Engineer. His Worship Justice of the Peace Jacques Desjardins, of the Ontario Court of Justice in Ottawa, levied a fine of $10,000.

Licensed by Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) in 1981, Cook’s licence and Certificate of Authorization were suspended in 2012 as a result of a Discipline Committee hearing and order. His licence was revoked in 2014 when he failed to pass certain technical examinations required by the order.

The matter came to PEO’s attention when a building official received documents bearing Mr. Cook’s seal, relating to plans to erect a large covered structure for storing recycling waste, and checked his licensure status. Mr. Cook surrendered his seal to PEO in late 2014. He made a duplicate seal, which was used on the documents in question.

PEO is empowered to investigate reports of unlicensed engineering practice and to prosecute offenders through the courts. Representing PEO was Nick Hambleton, associate counsel. PEO thanks the Ottawa Building Department and the owner of the project in question for their cooperation with its investigation.

About Professional Engineers Ontario

Through the Professional Engineers Act, PEO governs over 85,000 licence and certificate holders and regulates professional engineering in Ontario to serve and protect the public. Professional engineering safeguards life, health, property, economic interests, the public welfare and the environment. Professional engineers can be identified by the P.Eng. after their names. Holders of limited licences can be identified by LEL after their names.

How to verify licensure

To check whether an individual is licensed or a firm holds a Certificate of Authorization (C of A), search the directories of practitioners (licence and C of A holders) at www.peo.on.ca. To report unlicensed individuals and unauthorized companies, contact PEO’s enforcement hotline at 416-840-1444 or 1-800-339-3716, ext 1444, or email enforcement@peo.on.ca. 

For additional information or interviews, please contact:

Connie Mucklestone,
Director of Communications,
Professional Engineers Ontario
Tel: 416-840-1961, 1-800-339-3716, ext. 1061;
Email: cmucklestone@peo.on.ca

Press Release