Professional Surveyors CanadaProfessional Surveyors CanadaProfessional Surveyors Canada
PO Box 10005 Owen Sound RPO Keeling Place, Ontario N4K 0B3
Professional Surveyors CanadaProfessional Surveyors CanadaProfessional Surveyors Canada

Detailed History


A History of The Canadian Council of Land Surveyors
From the original concept of a national coordinating body for the surveyors associations in Canada envisioned in 1968 by John Pope, the Canadian Council of Land Surveyors was born, grew, evolved, and has now been transformed to meet future challenges on behalf of the surveying profession as Professional Surveyors Canada: Advocating for an integrated and dynamic Canadian surveying profession. The Canadian Council of Land Surveyors – A Vision of National Cooperation Creation of the Canadian Council of Land Surveyors Through the 1990’s A New Millennium The Future with Professional Surveyors Canada
The Canadian Council Of Land Surveyors – A Vision of National Cooperation
The idea for the formation of what was to become the Canadian Council of Land Surveyors is credited to Mr. John Pope, NSLS, of Sydney, NS John was the current president of the Association of Nova Scotia Land Surveyors and on his way to the CIS convention in Edmonton in 1968 when he thought it would be a good idea if the presidents of all the provincial land surveyors associations could get together once a year to discuss matters of common interest. John mentioned the idea to several of his fellow presidents who persuaded him to push forward with it. The first meeting of provincial association presidents was held on February 6, 1969, in Ottawa in conjunction with the Annual Convention of the Canadian Institute of Surveying (CIS). The meeting was called by the CIS Land Survey Committee to explore the feasibility of organizing an annual meeting of provincial association presidents. The concept was found feasible and plans were made for the presidents to meet regularly. Meetings were held twice yearly, the first in conjunction with the CIS convention and the second in the fall of the each year. At the fifth meeting in Toronto in 1971, considerable discussion centered around the formation of a permanent national coordinating organization. The meeting, chaired by Mr. L.R. Feetham of Nova Scotia, passed the following resolution:

Resolution to Investigate Creation of CCLS

Moved by Mr. R.A.E Tate, (Alberta) seconded by Mr. K.C. Kirkup (Ontario) WHEREAS there is a recognized need for a closer cooperation between the individual provincial land survey organizations. WHEREAS there is a recognized need for continual discussion and consultations on such matters as education, licensing, standards, and ethics. BE IT RESOLVED THAT: This meeting approve in principle the creation of a permanent coordinating body consisting of representatives of all provincial land survey associations, and The Provincial Presidents be requested to discuss this matter with their respective Associations and The chairman of this meeting, R. Feetham, be charged with the responsibility of organizing the continuing investigation and study of ways and means of achieving the goals of this resolution, and An interim report on the investigation and study be submitted at the Presidents’ luncheon at Quebec, on February 3, 1972. Motion carried unanimously. The next meeting of Provincial Presidents was held in Quebec City, on February 2, 1972 at the time of the Canadian Institute of Surveying convention. The Chairman was Mr. L.R. Feetham of Nova Scotia. A draft Letters Patent was discussed and a standing committee, to be known as the “Special Committee” was established to do the investigations and other work related to the establishment of a permanent coordinating body. Mr. Feetham was appointed chairman of the committee with Mr. Fred Pearcem (Ontario), M. Marcel Leveque (Quebec) and Mr. Bernard White (BC) as members. The seventh meeting of provincial association presidents was held in Toronto on September 22, 23, 1972. Mr. J.B. Bolton of New Brunswick was the Chairman. The following resolution regarding the formation of CCLS was passed:

Resolution of Approval in Principle to Create CCPS – Canadian Council of Professional Surveyors

Moved by Mr. R. Feetham, seconded by Mr. M. Gaudreault WHEREAS presidents at a meeting in October 1971 approved in principle the creation of the Canadian Council of Professional Surveyors WHEREAS this meeting has again studied and endorsed this decision and WHEREAS there is a need for exchange and researching of information, standardization of qualification, reciprocity, and co-operation on other professional matters, THEREFORE IT BE RESOLVED THAT each association/corporation at an annual or special meeting be asked to approve the following:
  1. Approval in principle of the formation of a Canadian Council of Professional Surveyors in co-operation with the CIS.
  2. Assessment of four dollars ($4.00) per active member to contribute to the development of such an organization.
  3. That the results of (a) and (b) above be submitted for the April 24, 1973 presidents meeting with a tentative date for completion of April 1974.
Resolution carried. Whenever discussions were held on the creation of a new organization, part of the discussion centred on what sort of organization it should be and what its structure should be. As meetings and discussions progressed the structure of the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers came into favour. It was this structure that was finally adopted. The bylaws of the CCLS are closely patterned after the CCPE bylaws in use at the time of incorporation. Much discussion was centred on whether the new association should remain within the Canadian Institute of Surveying or be established as a separate organization. There was genuine concern among a number of presidents that a separate organization would seriously weaken CIS and that could not be allowed to happen. Others thought the long-term objectives of the new organization were significantly different from those of CIS and therefore the new body had to be independent.

Creation of CCLS – Canadian Council of Land Surveyors

Mr. C.H. Weir, the President of CIS delivered a welcoming address to the tenth meeting of provincial association presidents held in Vancouver, BC on April 2, 1974. Mr. Maurice Gaudreault of Quebec was Chairman. In his address Mr. Weir presented a draft charter for the creation of CCLS as drawn up by CIS. He indicated the charter was intended to be a compromise between those associations wishing CIS to be an active participant and those who were of the opinion that CIS should not be part of CCLS. The charter was discussed during the meeting and then referred to the Special Committee for study. Eventually, the decision was made that CCLS should be a separately chartered Corporation and at the eleventh meeting in Ottawa, there was considerable discussion regarding an official agreement with the Canadian Institute of Surveying. A “Memorandum of Agreement” was subsequently drafted and approved by the presidents at the twelfth meeting in Fredericton, New Brunswick. At the thirteenth meeting, held in Ottawa, Ontario on October 25, 1975, Chairman Grenville T. Rogers of Ontario, reported that incorporation of CCLS was now a matter of finalizing details. In Mr. Feetham’s report, mention was made that the agreement with CIS had been sent to all provincial associations for agreement but would have to wait until after incorporation before CCLS could approve it. CIS reported it would approve the agreement without delay. The fourteenth meeting of the provincial association presidents was held on February 16, 1976 in Toronto, Ontario. Mr. Grenville T. Rogers of Ontario was again the Chairman. This meeting took place just after incorporation (February 10, 1976). However, the three applicants for incorporation, Messrs Pearce, Blanchet and Feetham, were still the only three Directors so CCLS was not really operational. It was hoped that by the time of the CIS Annual Meeting in Winnipeg, CCLS could be operational. The meeting dealt with many organizational tasks such as setting up committees to deal with operational functions and matters of common concern.

First Members Meeting of CCLS

In conjunction with this fourteenth meeting, the first meeting of the Members of CCLS was held. Messrs Pearce and Blanchet met for this purpose (Mr. Feetham was absent). Mr. Pearce was appointed chairman of the meeting. The minutes of that meeting state, “Then he produces the Charter and declares “The Canadian Council of Land Surveyors – Le Conseil Canadien des arpenteurs-géomètres as an incorporated body.” Elections for the first Board of Directors were held in which Mr. Pearce was elected President; Mr. Feetham, Vice President and M. Blanchet, Secretary-Treasurer. The first meetings of the Canadian Council Of Land Surveyors, (under that name) were held in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on May 18 and 20, 1976. The May 18 meeting was opened with Mr. A. MacTaggart, President, Association of Manitoba Land Surveyors in the chair. A discussion immediately followed concerning the structure and activities of the new corporation. A nominating committee was then appointed to nominate a slate of officers. Mr. J.R. George of Saskatchewan was elected President, Mr. M. Gaudreault of Quebec was elected Vice President and Mr. D.W. Crandall of Manitoba was elected Secretary-Treasurer. Mr. George assumed the chair as the first President of the Canadian Council of Land Surveyors.

Through the 1990’s

In 1992, CCLS was looking to its next phase of growth. It had accomplished many of its original objectives and was now actively planning for the future. In 1993, CCLS adopted a comprehensive strategic plan that would cover the years 1993–1996. The plan was adopted by the Board of Directors and approved in principle by each of the member associations. The plan brought forth three important principles:
  • The CCLS Director’s term should be for three (3) years in order to promote continuity.
  • CCLS will continue to maintain a small number of standing committees but most tasks will be handled on a “project management basis.”
  • Greater emphasis should be placed on communication.
With an eye to improved communication and the impending retirement of the Secretary-Treasurer, a call went out to find a person who could take over the administration of the office but would spend most of their time on communications activities. Diane Sims served as Office Manager from 1993–1995. In her capacity, with the support of the Editorial Committee, she created a new glossy magazine called Focus which would be published twice per year and be self-supporting through advertising revenue. A shorter newsletter called Bulletin was also created and was intended to be published six times per year. In 1995 the Association of Ontario Land Surveyors put forth a proposal in which it would provide a base of operations for CCLS activities and Brian Munday, an AOLS staff member, would become CCLS Executive Director. This proposal was accepted by the CCLS Board in July 1995. In 1998 Sarah Cornett, OLS became the CCLS Executive Director under the continuing agreement with the Ontario association. The original five year agreement with the Association of Ontario Land Surveyors came to a close in 2000 and the Board of Directors determined that in order to move forward and increase the effectiveness of the CCLS a commitment to a dedicated Executive Director and office space was necessary. The Canadian Institute of Geomatics and the Association of Canada Land Surveyors were investigating new office space in Ottawa at the time and it was agreed that CCLS would join those two related organizations in a shared suite of offices in order to be centrally located in the nation’s capital and to increase communications with other Geomatics organizations.

A New Millennium

At the January 2001 Annual General Meeting the Association of Canada Lands Surveyors, who had achieved self-governing status in March 1999, became a full member of the CCLS with Carl Friesen of Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, becoming the first Director for Canada Lands. Over the next five years the Canadian Council of Land Surveyors continued and strengthened its role as a forum for communication and cooperation for the now eleven member associations. The surveying profession continued to undergo profound changes creating new concerns and challenges with evolving disciplines, increased technologies, and expanding applications within the broader geomatics profession. At its 2006 annual meeting in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, the Board of Directors highlighted the changing times and new challenges. This launched a new strategic direction for the surveying profession at the national level investigating how CCLS could evolve as an organization to most effectively serve the surveying profession and ensure its continued viability and growth. The seeds of a new organization, Professional Surveyors Canada were planted. Many meetings and discussions with key stakeholders ensued over the next four years. It was decided that a new organization could better handle the strategic direction that emerged. The CCLS Board of Directors approved a new governance structure that would serve not only those licensed to practice land surveying, but all categories of professional surveying. This new organization would continue to provide service to the licensing bodies as a national forum but would expand to serve each individual professional surveyor in Canada with a mission to work on behalf of its members to encourage and enable an environment where their work is valued as underpinning the fabric of society for the well being of Canadians.”

The Future with Professional Surveyors Canada

From the original concept in 1968 by John Pope, CCLS has evolved through 14 provincial association presidents’ meetings into a federally chartered Corporation. During its 30 plus years CCLS grew in stature and credibility, not only in the eyes of its member associations but throughout the entire surveying profession. It has now evolved to meet future challenges on behalf of the surveying profession as Professional Surveyors Canada “Advocating for an integrated and dynamic Canadian surveying profession.” Together as a community, working through a member focused national professional surveyors organization, we will realize Professional Surveyors Canada vision “that all Canadians come to respect the art and science of the surveyor’s role“.