Panel Session A:  April 18, 2023 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ET

This is Your PGO - We Self-regulate Together

Professional – PGO’s role is to protect the public by ensuring those practising geoscience in Ontario are ethical in their dealings, comply with accepted standards, and continue to develop their professional skills and knowledge

Geoscientists – PGO’s role is to protect the public by ensuring that only qualified and registered professionals are offering geoscience services

Ontario – PGO’s role is as a regulator that implements the Professional Geoscientists Act and its regulations in Ontario. The Act establishes the Association of PGO and grants it the ability to act as a self-regulatory body

Self-regulation is a privilege that recognizes professional registrants can govern themselves. This session will shed light on the key components of self-regulation, trends across Canada, how the Council works, and empower attendees to understand the statutory mandate of PGO, which is public protection.

See Panel Session A page for presentations and speakers.

Panel Session B: April 20, 2023 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ET

Achieving Canada’s New Climate Adaptation and Biodiversity Goals 

As reported by the Insurance Bureau of Canada, 2022 ranked as the 3rd worst year for insured losses in Canadian history, in part due to flooding, severe storms and a derecho in Ontario. 2022 was also an eventful year in working to define solutions to the dual crises of climate change and biodiversity loss.

In November, following COP27, the Federal Government released Canada’s first National Adaptation Strategy alongside the Government of Canada Adaptation Action Plan. The strategy set quantified, time-bound targets for action, detailed funding and programs, and called for a whole-of-society approach to climate adaptation. A specific action, under Economy and Workers, was that “by 2027, 75% of the members of professional associations have the capacity to apply climate change adaptation tools and information and communicate the business case for adaptation measures to their clients.”

Just before the end of the year, Canada was also party to the new Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. The framework sets out 22 targets working towards the vision that “By 2050, biodiversity is valued, conserved, restored and wisely used, maintaining ecosystem services, sustaining a healthy planet and delivering benefits essential for all people.” Several targets call for combined climate-nature action.

In light of the opportunities provided by renewed strategic direction, this session will explore the role that geoscientists in Ontario can play in reducing the risks posed by climate change and biodiversity loss and in achieving multiple benefits for people and nature.

See Panel Session B page for presentations and speakers.

Panel Session C: April 25, 2023 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ET

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion: Practice Guidance for Professionals and Organizations  

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) are hot topics in the industry, however it can be difficult to distill all the information related to EDI down to actionable steps that can be carried forward into the work environment. This session focuses on providing practical guidance to employees and organizations within the Geoscience realm. First, we summarize the responses to the D&I Committee survey issued by the PGO to all of its registrants in 2021. Then we introduce the PGO's Professional Practice Guidance document that outline how EDI issues relate to the PGO mandate, explain fundamental concepts in EDI, and include descriptions and discussions of various diversity considerations. Finally the session closes with a panel discussion that dives deeper into the practical steps professionals and organizations can take back into their work environment. 

See Panel Session C page for presentations and speakers.

Panel Session D: April 27, 2023 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ET

Qualified Person: Not Just a Pen for Hire

Under various geoscience rules and regulations, an individual may be asked to act as a qualified person and take responsibility, and potentially liability, for public reporting of technical information or certifying environmental conditions. The role of a qualified person requires an individual to possess several important characteristics including being a registered professional, having sufficient relevant experience with the task being performed, and a thorough understanding of the associated regulations and industry practices. The presenters of this session will cover several important topics that an individual acting as a qualified person needs to be aware of including how to self-assess relevant experience and legal considerations when acting as a qualified person.

See Panel Session D page for presentations and speakers.