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2006 10 12
Taking With One Hand, Giving Away With The Other

Anderson Pisaniello sent me a note that deserves some attention.
I just read that the City of Toronto international design competition for the revitalization of Nathan Phillips Square is open for any nationally or internationally registered professionals in the design field, what naturally includes foreign Architects living in Canada.

As you know many foreign Architects, including me, have been facing a long and obscure way to have our educational and professional background recognized in Canada.

What gets my attention in the case of the Nathan Phillips' revitalization project is that a proposal made by me or any other foreign Architect living in Canada should be evaluated and eventually considered as valuable and at the same level to the local registered professionals.

In other words, when convenient to the city/province our concepts and designs can easily be analyzed and eventually considered. However, when it is related to our professional practice the matter gets another mean.

Of course, local architects have long grumbled about the bureaucracy that is the OAA. Anderson's complaints join a long list of others. But he has a point. Why, as a profession, are we more than happy to bring in foreign, super-star architects to design some of our most important civic landmarks but when accrediting qualified, foreign architects we do everything possible to impede their acceptance?

We all know the answer why. Protectionism. That truth does not make the hypocrisy of our professional agencies more palatable. Canadians have long lived in a trans-global business environment that is making innovative ideas available to cultures everywhere. The longer we continue to put barriers up to protect our profession locally the more likely it will be that our major building projects will go to foreign architects who have joined the fray of global competition and won.
[email this story] Posted by R Ouellette on 10/12 at 12:03 PM

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