Toronto – (April 28, 2022) – At its April 8, 2022, meeting, the Council of Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) approved a policy code to help prevent issues of systemic racism and discrimination in all aspects of its work. The new Anti-Racism and Equity (ARE) Code promotes policy development approaches that initially will prioritize the most marginalized communities, including Black, Indigenous other racialized populations, and provide a high focus on developing strategies to counter any systemic discrimination impacting persons based on gender identity—including female, two-spirit, intersex, transgender and gender variant persons.
The ARE Code stems from the work of PEO’s Anti-Racism and Anti-Discrimination Exploratory Working Group (AREWG), which PEO Council established in 2020 to develop recommendations on how best to identify and move forward on issues of anti-racism and anti-discrimination. The Code is consistent with PEO’s ongoing enterprise-wide transformation, which includes a commitment to incorporating diversity, equity and inclusion best practices into all PEO systems and operations.
“The efforts of the AREWG are vitally important and a key strategic direction in our goal of becoming a more modern, more effective and more responsive regulator,” said PEO President Christian Bellini, P.Eng., FEC.
“PEO is committed to eliminating discrimination of all forms, wherever it is identified within our scope. The ARE Code will help guide us in this respect by promoting equity and inclusion, and advancing our commitment to fairness and human rights, in the fulfillment of our mandate to protect and serve the public interest.”
The eight principles enshrined in the ARE Code that will serve as a foundation and a framework to inform PEO’s strategies and actions are:
- Measurement—Gather and publicly report diversity, equity and inclusion metrics while respecting all applicable laws.
- Regulatory processes—Seek continuous improvements in all our regulatory processes.
- Professional obligations—Reform practices to reinforce the professional obligations of licence holders to uphold human rights laws and respect diversity, equity and inclusion principles.
- Training and influence—Embed a human rights culture throughout our organization.
- Leadership and sponsorship—Ensure PEO’s leadership structures and opportunities are equitable and inclusive.
- Stakeholder engagement and talent pipeline—Continuously and appropriately engage with all relevant stakeholders.
- Safeguards and accountability—Embed and continuously improve measures that directly address racism and discrimination complaints.
- Equitable organization—Lead by example and ensure equitable hiring and representation of persons from all equity-seeking backgrounds.
“I would like to thank all those who contributed in various ways to the development of this invaluable Code,” added Bellini, “most notably the AREWG’s founding chair and PEO East Central Region Councillor, Peter Cushman, P.Eng., who regrettably passed away late last year.”
The complete code is available on PEO’s website at: https://peo.on.ca/sites/default/files/2022-04/ARECODE.pdf.
About Professional Engineers Ontario
Under the authority of the Professional Engineers Act, PEO governs over 91,500 licence and certificate holders and regulates professional engineering in Ontario. PEO’s mission is to regulate and advance the practice of engineering to protect the public interest. Its vision is to be the trusted leader in professional self-regulation. 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 or LET after their names.
For additional information, please contact:
Duff McCutcheon, Manager, Communications
Tel: 416-840-1068; 800-339-3716, ext.1068