The Ontario Court of Justice in Kingston has imposed a $17,500 fine on Nova Scotia corporation Standard Paving Limited for illegally using a facsimile of a professional engineer’s seal on design drawings. The court found that the seal was applied without the knowledge or consent of the licensed engineer.
Standard Paving Limited, which claims to provide general contracting and construction services, is led by Shane Ross, its sole director and officer. In August 2019, the company was hired to help a homeowner rebuild their Clarendon Station, Ontario, residence after it suffered fire damage. As part of this project, the company unlawfully copied a licensed professional engineer’s seal onto the design drawings and submitted them to the Township of Central Frontenac for a building permit application.
On Oct. 10, 2023, the company pleaded guilty to one count of breaching section 40(2)(c) and one count of breaching section 40(3)(b) of the Professional Engineers Act. The court, presided over by His Worship David J. Auger, subsequently levied the $17,500 fine.
Legal representatives Matthew Howe and Tabir Malik, from the Toronto law firm Polley Faith LLP, acted on behalf of Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) during the proceedings. PEO extended its thanks to the Township of Central Frontenac, the homeowner, and the professional engineer for their cooperation during the investigation.
PEO, which oversees the licensing of Ontario’s 85,000 individual engineering practitioners and firms, cautioned that unauthorized use or forgery of an engineer’s seal on construction or design drawings is considered a quasi-criminal offense under the Professional Engineers Act. The act also allows for the possibility of criminal charges under the Canadian Criminal Code.
PEO operates an enforcement hotline and maintains a directory of licensed engineers and authorized engineering companies on its website for the public’s benefit. The organization emphasized its commitment to serving and protecting the public interest in engineering practices.