About CPE


Who are the Concerned Professional Engineers (CPE)?

CPE is a small group of professional engineers living in British Columbia, Canada. Members of CPE have accumulated decades (over 100 years) of experience in design, construction and operation of large projects for the extraction and transportation of natural resources like coal and oil.

We share a deep concern for the environment and the future of this coast, this country and this planet. With our backgrounds we are keenly aware of the inherent conflict between environmental protection and resource development that is posed by large projects.

We understand that we cannot end our dependence on fossil fuels tomorrow, and that it is important to propose practical, achievable solutions that strike an acceptable balance between economic development and risk to the environment. We are not opposed to the development and export of natural resources, but we feel very strongly that these projects must be done in a safe and responsible manner, with a full accounting of the risks and visibility to the public.


Stand for the values of our profession as described by the APEGBC Code of Ethics.

“Members and licensees shall… Hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public, the protection of the environment and promote health and safety within the workplace.”

“Members and licensees shall… Extend public knowledge and appreciation of engineering and geoscience and protect the profession from misrepresentation and misunderstanding.”


What We Want: A More Effective Regulatory Process

We want a stronger and more effective regulatory process put in place for this and future projects.  This doesn’t have to mean more red tape.  We understand that the regulatory process is already very lengthy and that it can take many years to get a project like this just to the point where construction can begin.  Our goal is to make the existing process more effective, so that the money and time that is being spent (both public and private) is not wasted.

What does this mean?  It means that if a regulatory process is scientific and technical, that it will be scientific and technical.  Critical assumptions that underpin important parts of the analysis will be treated as such.  Project proponents will have to demonstrate, to a sufficient level of detail, that the risks are as they claim.  If proponents cannot demonstrate their claims, regulators should notify the public of these uncertainties, rather than gloss over legitimate concerns about thoroughness and detail.

We think it inappropriate for a small panel of unelected officials to pass judgment on the acceptability of a project without clearly defining their terms of acceptance and the limits of their knowledge and analysis.  We also propose that vague statements about a “World-Class Spill Response” be rejected as just that: vague statements insufficient for determining the acceptability of a major project.

Our Story

In the summer of 2012 I took a trip up to Douglas Channel with another professional engineer.  We spent three weeks in an open-top zodiac touring the proposed tanker routes through which Enbridge’s Northern Gateway project will ship 525,000 barrels of diluted bitumen (dilbit) and 193,000 barrels of natural gas condensate (diluent) every day for 50 years.  We wanted to see firsthand the challenges and risks posed by this project.


Brian Gunn in Port Simpson – 2012

I became interested in this type of work as a natural extension of my role in the Wilderness Tourism Association, a group that I helped create in order to build a common voice for the many remote tourism operations in their negotiations with industry and government, particularly in land-use planning.

Oftentimes I have found that this work pits my passion for the environment and sustainable wilderness tourism against my background as an engineer in the bulk materials handling industry.  I understand that the development and export of natural resources is central to Canada’s economic success, and to the future of this country.  I also understand, however, that our environment in its untouched state is a significant natural resource in itself, and that its proper stewardship is just as important to our future.

Our Members

Dr. Ricardo O. Foschi, P.Eng, Professor Emeritus, UBC


Dr. Ricardo O. Foschi is Emeritus Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of British Columbia. He holds graduate degrees (Master and Ph.D) in Applied Mechanics from Stanford University, California. His areas of specialization are probabilistic methods in engineering, including reliability and performance-based design under reliability constraints, particularly in earthquake engineering. He has contributed to many projects in which probabilistic applications were central. Among them: ice loadings and iceberg impacts for the Hibernia and Terranova oil platforms; ice loadings and geotechnical implications for the Confederation Bridge in Prince Edward Island; collision with bridge piers for several bridges across the Fraser River in British Columbia; and combination of earthquake loadings and vessel collisions for movable bridges in Victoria, BC.

Dr. Foschi was also responsible for the reliability calibration of the Canadian CSA Code for wood construction, and has been a member of the ISO Committee for Reliability of Arctic Structures.

Dr. Foschi is a Fellow of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering, and has received several awards, among them: the Marcus Wallenberg International Prize for contributions to reliability and mathematical models for wood, and the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering’s Gzowsky and Leipholz medals.

Peter S. Hatfield, P.Eng

Peter Hatfield

Peter Hatfield completed his B.Sc. studies in Naval Architecture at the University of Durham, U.K. Presently retired and acting as a part time consultant, he has accumulated vast experience in design office management; design project management; concept and final design of commercial, government, fishing, passenger and special purpose vessels; arctic petroleum exploration vessels; production equipment design; studies and reports regarding marine vessel and equipment operations; stability reports; vessel surveys; legal consultation, expert witness in court cases involving marine projects and operations.

Early work by Peter Hatfield included assignments with John Brandlmayr Ltd., Naval Architects, Vancouver, B.C. (1958 – 1961) and Sparkman & Stephens Inc., Naval Architects, New York, N.Y., U.S.A. (1961-63). This work was followed, in 1963, by a short term assignment with the Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, on the design and construction of fishing vessels in Thailand.

From 1969 to 1973 Peter was Partner in Cove, Hatfield and Company Ltd., North Vancouver, B.C., as Naval architect responsible for design projects such as tugs, barges, fishing vessels, special purpose craft; general marine consulting.

As President of Peter S. Hatfield Ltd. (PHL), Naval Architects, Marine Engineers & Marine Consultants, Vancouver, BC., from 1973 to 2004, he has been responsible for general administration of all consulting activities both domestic and international, new business development, joint venture management, quality of Company work and client satisfaction, direct supervision and coordination of office projects and staff.

From August 2004 to July 2006 Peter also acted as Senior Consultant, BMT Fleet Technology Limited, following their acquisition of PHL in 2004.

Peter received the Council of Marine Carriers Legacy Award in 2011 for services to the West Coast Towboat Industry.

Brian Gunn, P.Eng

Brian Gunn_cropped

Brian Gunn is a retired Professional Engineer. He graduated with a BASc (civil engineering) from UBC in 1962 and received his P.Eng in 1965.  Brian’s engineering work experience began in 1963 with construction supervision for Canadian Comstock of the CN Mt Jarvis Aerial Tram to service a trans-Canada microwave Network. From 1965 to 1985 Brian worked on small and large materials handling projects as a project manager for Swan Wooster Engineering, both in Canada and overseas. After Swan Wooster, Brian worked for 5 years with Westshore Terminals (WST) as their engineering and maintenance manager for the Roberts Bank coal handling facility in Tsawwassen, BC. He ended his full time engineering career working as WST’s project manager for the expansion phase 2b for 2.5 years as an independent consultant from 1990 – 1993.

In 1989 Brian started the Big Bar Guest Ranch in the Cariboo country of BC. During that period of time Brian became active in representing the members of the Cariboo, Chilcotin, Coast Tourism Association and the BC Guest Ranch Association on issues to do with tourism, particularly land use conflicts with other industries.

In 1998 Brian left the ranch and became the marketing manager and consultant on engineering matters for Strathcona Park Lodge and Outdoor Education Center located on Vancouver Island.

In 1999 Brian was instrumental in the formation of the BC the Wilderness Tourism Association (WTA), representing nature-based tourism operators on land and marine use concerns. Brian was elected president of WTA in 1999 and remained in that role until 2012.  He is now Past President and is still active in advocacy work.

Chris J. Peter, P.Eng

Chris’s area of expertise lies in energy efficient design for cold climates. He has been actively involved in building systems energy modelling since development of the early software programs in the 1980’s.

Upon graduation in Engineering from the University of Toronto in 1981, Chris was one of five energy conservation engineers carrying out energy retrofits to school buildings for the Government of Alberta. His territory covered the northern third of the Province and during this time he designed extensive building envelope, controls, heating system upgrades and electrical modifications for 30 schools.

In 1985, Chris joined the Government of the N.W.T. as a mechanical engineer in Iqaluit/Frobisher Bay and was involved in a wide variety of capital and operation and maintenance projects including water storage tank and distribution systems, district heating systems, government office buildings and heating system service specifications for Arctic municipalities.

In 1987, Chris became project engineer with Stantec Engineering in Yellowknife. He undertook heating system energy metering, recreational facility, airport site works, school and health care facility, and office building renovations and design of bulk fuel storage facilities and firehalls.

In 1989, Chris became project engineer with Williams Engineering in Edmonton, and was responsible for the mechanical engineering design on a variety of schools, airports, office buildings, health care facilities and district heating systems, the majority of which required specialized systems due to their remote location.

Since 1994, Chris has been principal of C.J.Peter Associates Engineering, a mechanical engineering firm in Prince George, B.C. specializing in design and modelling of energy efficient mechanical systems and facilities throughout northern B.C.