Professional Development Seminar Descriptions

Introduction to Planning for Non-Planners

Wednesday, March 10 – 10:15 am to 12:00 pm

This short course is purposefully designed for non-planners, specifically other land-related professionals, to provide an introduction to urban planning terms, concepts, and processes within the context of city-building. Briefly, the course touches on the following matters: defining urban planning terminology; purpose and practice of planning; the interrelationships between planning and other related matters; planning considerations at different scales; land use regulatory tools; how planning intersects with other related professions; the relationship between planning and development.

Presenter Eric Aderneck is a Registered Professional Planner, with eighteen years of diverse experience working for the public and private sectors in the Metro Vancouver region through a number of different capacities including planning policy, real estate development, consultant, and academic instructor. His formal education includes a Master’s Degree in Urban & Regional Planning from Queen’s University, a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce from the University of Victoria, a Diploma in Urban Land Economics from the University of British Columbia, as well as Advanced Project Management, Real Estate Construction & Development, and Management Communications Skills Diplomas from Langara College.

At the Langara Applied Planning Program, Eric teaches three academic credit courses, providing students with a range of skills necessary to become practicing planners. At the SFU City Program, he teaches a continuing studies course that introduces non-planners, such as other land-related professionals and the general public, to planning terms and concepts to better understand the planning and development concepts.

Implementing Remotely Piloted Aerial Systems in a Professional Geomatics Practice

Wednesday, March 10 – 1:00 pm to 2:45 pm

Imagine gathering all the data you need to create a topographic or volumetric survey covering 60 hectares in just 35 minutes and creating a point cloud with 200 elevation points per square meter! Now imagine the data is as accurate as RTK. Welcome to the world of RPAS and a technology revolution now underway in the geomatics industry.

This seminar will explore the use of Remotely Piloted Aerial Systems (RPAS), also known as UAVs or drones, for the professional land surveyor. Learn about getting started with RPAS, deliverables, equipment, costs, rules and regulations, workflow, precision, and accuracy.

Presenter Thomas Hoppe, B.Tech., OLS has been employed in the geomatics industry since 1986 and is the owner and manager of 43 Degrees North Enterprises Ltd. He began his surveying career in Ontario and has lived and worked in several North American locations with roles including Professional Surveyor, Geomatics Business Development, Manager Aerial Survey Operation, RPASPilot – Operations Manager, GNSS/UAV Equipment Sales, and GNSS/UAV Technical Support, UAV Ground School / Flight Instructor, Transport Canada Authorized Flight Reviewer (RPAS), Technical Trainer and National GNSS Training Manager.

Buried Facilities

Wednesday, March 10 – 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Join Darlene Dyson and Ron Enns as they co-present on the importance of due diligence in the construction industry and the call before you dig message that “Damage Prevention is a Shared Responsibility”.

Presenter Darlene Dyson has been with BC 1 Call since its inception in 1994. Starting as a customer service agent advancing to Operations Manager and most recently to the Director of Operations & Education has given her the unique opportunity of gaining an excellent understanding of one call systems. Darlene has been involved in the startup and agent training in a number of one-call systems throughout Canada and the United States. As well, Darlene is actively involved in the BC Common Ground Alliance organization where she represents BC 1 Call on the Board, sits on the Education and Best Practice committee and participates in the jointly sponsored province-wide dig safe seminars.

Presenter Ron Enns started in the public sector in 2002 at the City of Vancouver Engineering Department, working in many positions over the years. With an interest in safety and instruction, he became the A/Superintendent of OH&S and begun teaching part-time for BC Water & Waste Association and World Water & Wastewater Solutions. Recently he was part of an instructional team training in the Caribbean with the Belize Water Service through Operators without Boarders. Ron was soon recognized for his passion for better education and was asked to join Kwantlen Polytechnic University in 2015 to develop and manage the Water & Wastewater Education in BC, Western Canada & the Yukon. Ron is currently an Executive Board Member on the BC Common Ground Alliance, a member of their Education Committee and presenter for their BC Ground Disturbance Seminars and he is a member of the BC Water Sector Development Committee.

Road Safety

Wednesday, March 10 – 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm

This seminar will cover matters of key importance for land surveyors and staff working on roadways, including:

  • when they must bring in a Traffic Control Person
  • Traffic Control Plans
  • Risk Assessments
  • required equipment when working on roadways
  • Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure requirements for Traffic Control Persons



Presenter Terry Fiorin founded Roadmasters Safety Group Inc. with Sheila Fiorin in 1997. Roadmasters is dedicated to the prevention of traffic collisions and injuries on the roadways and provides education and training for workers, drivers, and equipment operators.

Overview of Recent Legislative and Regulatory Changes Involving the ALR/ALC and how they may Affect BC Land Surveyors

Thursday, March 11 – 9:00 am to 10:00 am

Since 2019, several amendments have been made to the Agricultural Land Commission Act and its regulations, which have affected the operations of the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC), and the process and requirements for uses within the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR). Specifically, with the passing of Bill 52, restrictions were placed on home size, permitted and prohibited soil and fill uses, and the two-zone ALR system was ended.

Subsequently, Bill 15 brought further changes to ALC governance and the process for registering and constructing within a statutory right of way, exclusion applications, and the ALC’s decision making criteria. These amendments have had implications for those working on projects in the ALR, including BC land surveyors. This presentation will cover a summary of these changes, and how these changes may affect the BC land surveyor.

Presenter Kim Grout is the CEO of the Provincial Agricultural Land Commission (ALC), an independent administrative tribunal dedicated to preserving agricultural land and encouraging farming in British Columbia. Kim is a registered professional agrologist with the BC Institute of Agrologists and a registered professional planner with the Planning Institute of BC and the Canadian Institute of Planners. Prior to her appointment with the ALC in December 2015, Kim spent over 17 years working for local government in numerous roles, including Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), Deputy CAO, Director of Operations and Development Services, and Manager of Development and Environmental Services.  Kim has also worked for several environmental NGO groups.

Provincial Approving Officers’ Roundtable

Thursday, March 11 – 10:15 am to 12:00 pm

Provincial Approving Officers from across the province will be in attendance for this seminar. During the first half of the seminar, the panel will present topics of interest to land surveyors involving the land development process. This seminar will focus on how proposals are adjudicated with specific items pertaining to subdivisions in rural BC. The second half of the seminar will consist of a round table allowing attendees and panel members an opportunity to discuss subdivision and land surveying topics.

Meet the Panel:

Jeffrey Moore has worked with MOTI’s Development Services group for 32 years and has been the Provincial Approving Officer for the Lower Mainland District for the past 10 years. Jeffrey has approved subdivisions on the Gulf Islands, the Sunshine Coast, the Sea to Sky Corridor, and the Lower Mainland/Fraser Valley from Vancouver to the east side of Manning Park.


Bill Sparkes is a graduate of the BCIT Geomatics program.  His career has been in the Okanagan Shuswap District, starting as a surveyor, then moving into development services for 12 years.  Bill was a Deputy Approving Officer for 5 years and the Provincial Approving officer for the District for 15 years.



Nicole Hansen has been a Provincial Approving Officer for 5 years in Fort St. John and covers Northeast BC. She has worked in Development Services with the Ministry of Transportation for 10 years. She has reviewed subdivision proposals on Vancouver Island, in the Shuswap, the Thompson Nicola area, and the entire Northern region.



Joan Brickwood has worked in the provincial government for 20 years. She has been a Provincial Approving Officer for 13 years in the Kamloops office and covers the Thompson Nicola area and over the years she has also approved subdivisions from Bella Coola to Briscoe.



Cliff Razzo has been with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure for the past 13 years. Graduated from the BC Institute of Technology with a Diploma of Technology in Mining.  Cliff started with the Ministry as a Geomatics Technician with the Survey Design team in Nelson and Kamloops.  Then Cliff transferred to West Kootenay District where he was the Creston Road Area Manager for 7 years.  Recently Cliff has worked in Development Services for the past 6 years and has been Provincial Approving Officer for the last two years.  When Cliff isn’t reviewing subdivision files, he can be found on a stream somewhere fly fishing.

Also, in attendance will be Wendy Holtom (Cariboo District), Nikki Schneider (Vancouver Island), Katie Ireland (Fort George District), Michele Ihas (West Kootenay District), and Ryan Evanoff (Manager, Development Services, HQ Victoria)

Municipal Approving Officers’ Roundtable

Thursday, March 11 – 10:15 am to 12:00 pm

Municipal Approving Officers from Langford, Surrey, and Vancouver will be in attendance for this seminar. During the first half of the seminar, the panel will present topics of interest to land surveyors including air space developments. The second half of the seminar will consist of a round table allowing attendees and panel members an opportunity to discuss subdivision and land surveying topics.

Meet the Panel:

Leah Stohmann is the Deputy Director of Planning and Subdivision as well as the Approving Officer for the City of Langford. After completing a degree in Geography from the University of Victoria, Leah quickly transitioned into the world of municipal planning, first with the Cowichan Valley Regional District and subsequently with the City of Langford where she has spent the last 15 years.  In 2017, Leah also took on the role of Approving Officer. In this short time, she has seen everything from conventional and small lot subdivisions, phased and bareland stratas, fee-simple attached housing, multi-lot shared access mixed-use projects, rural industrial subdivisions, and air space parcels, as can be expected in one of BC’s fastest growing municipalities!

Ron Gill has a master’s degree in planning from the University of Waterloo and is a member of the Planning Institute of British Columbia (PIBC) and the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP). He has been with the City of Surrey as a professional planner since 2004 and is now the Area Planning and Development Manager and Approving Officer for the North Surrey Division. Ron recently contributed to a publication entitled The Right Decision: Evidence-based Decision Making for Government. This publication, developed in partnership between The City of Surrey and the University of the Fraser Valley, includes a manual and companion workbook and brings evidence-based decision making down to the basics, providing government professionals with an effective tool to help them validate a particular approach or choice.

David Murphy has a MA in Planning from UBC and has worked for the City of Vancouver for almost 30 years, working with the Rezoning, Heritage, and Subdivision Groups over the years, with the last few as a Deputy Approving Officer. He also worked through much of the 1980s as a surveying technician for a number of legal survey and engineering firms in New Brunswick and the Vancouver area, so has a fundamental understanding of land surveying practices.




Strata Plans – Maintaining the Public Trust

Thursday, March 11, 1:00 pm to 1:45 pm

As a member of a self-governing profession, every land surveyor has a role to play in maintaining the public trust in the profession.  We achieve this in many ways, including preparing plans that are true, accurate, and complete.  This seminar will discuss the unique role that the land surveyor has when it comes to a strata plan and offers some proven techniques to enhance your quality control process.


Presenter Brent Taylor, BCLS has been a practising land surveyor since 1984. Most of his work has been on the southern end of Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, and the Sunshine Coast on larger subdivision projects, large construction projects that often include layouts, strata developments, air space subdivision, and remote work such as treaty settlement surveys. As a result of these projects, Brent has developed a solid understanding of legal surveys under the Land Act, Land Title Act and Strata Property Act. Brent has also been engaged as an expert witness on various land surveying matters.


Charting the Path Forward: Review of the 2021-2023 Strategic Plan for Professional Surveyors Canada

Thursday, March 11, 2:00 pm to 2:45 pm

This seminar will include a review of the recently completed strategic planning process undertaken by Professional Surveyors Canada (PSC), including the results of stakeholder interviews, and the resulting strategic plan goals and strategies. The strategic plan provides PSC with clear direction on moving forward as an organization; however, it also raises important questions:

  • Where should our energy and resources be spent?
  • How does the strategic plan impact current PSC activities?
  • What initiatives are planned or underway for the coming year?

These questions will frame much of the session with time for questions and answers.

Presenter Jordan Litke, BCLS is a partner Polaris Land Surveying, based out of Victoria. His experience includes land development, construction and engineering surveys, and remote First Nations work. In addition to his duties with Polaris, Jordan sits on the Board of Directors for Professional Surveyors Canada. In this role, he represents land surveyors as the BC Director and Vice-Chair of PSC.




The following seminars are to assist Land Surveyors in Training with completing the requirements for admission as Land Surveyors:

Tips for Successful Field Project Submission

Wednesday, March 10 – 10:15 am to 11:00 am

This seminar walks attendees through the current field project requirements and offers observations on what contributes to a successful field project. From selecting the right type of job to use as a field project, to preparing the final report, Mark provides suggestions and tips to ensure your project meets the new requirements under Board Policy 6.11. There will be time for questions and answers following the presentation.


Presenter Mark Cahill, BCLS is a partner at AllTerra Land Surveying, a firm he started in West Kelowna in 2008. A graduate of the BCIT Geomatics program in 1996, Mark has been working in land surveying since 1988 when a family friend hired him and invited him to discover land surveying as a possible career path. Mark received his commission as a BC Land Surveyor in 2006 and has served on the ABCLS Board of Examiners since 2013.

Navigating Board Policy 6.11: Requirements for Admission as a BCLS

Wednesday, March 10 – 11:15 am to 12:00 pm

After a comprehensive review surrounding entry to the profession, Board Policy 6.11 was drafted and officially came into force in July 2019. Although it has been in effect for over a year, the Member and Student Coordinator continue to receive frequent questions about the process for entry into the profession, prompting this seminar. Prepared for an LST audience, this seminar will highlight the key elements of the Board Policy, will review the new types of situational questions being posed during the examination process, and will include a question and answer session at the end to respond to any specific queries.

Presenter Bronwyn Denton, BCLS is a project manager with AllTerra Land Surveying in Kelowna and was commissioned as a BCLS and CLS in 2006. She was President of the ABCLS in 2015 and has served on the Board of Examiners since 2018. Prior to joining AllTerra, Bronwyn worked for Waberski Darrow and Focus/WSP. Originally from Nova Scotia, Bronwyn is a graduate of the University of New Brunswick.


Defining Interests in Land

Wednesday, March 10 – 1:00 pm to 1:45 pm

Learn about the role of a land surveyor as a definer of interests in land, including the legal concept of an interest, exceptions in transfers from the Province along with related legislation, and the various ways in which interests are defined such as strata lots, fee simple parcels, volumes shown on air space plans, and various charges shown on a title.


Presenter Gary Rowbotham, BCLS works with Olsen & Associates Land Surveyors in Surrey. The practice is involved in multi-family residential development, including air space subdivision, strata plans, and amendments to strata plans. Gary is currently a member of the Practice Advisory Panel and a former member of the Air Space Working Group. Gary received his commission as a BCLS in 1986 and graduated from the Survey program at BCIT in 1982.

Land Act Surveys and How they Differ from Land Title Act Plans

Wednesday, March 10 – 2:00 pm to 2:45 pm

Dave Swaile will be discussing the various surveys that are filed with the Surveyor General, with a particular focus on surveys performed under the Land Act. Land Act surveys often represent the “first surveys” of new parcels of land in British Columbia; it is these “first surveys” that allow the Province to issue tenures or grant fee simple ownership of lands it administers. Dave will discuss the purpose and unique aspects of Land Act surveys, outline the tenure application process with the provincial government, and review the process of working with the Surveyor General to obtain survey instructions and submit a plan for filing in the Crown land registry.

Presenter Dave Swaile, BCLS is the Senior Deputy Surveyor General with the Land Title and Survey Authority. Upon graduating from BCIT’s Geomatics Engineering Diploma program in 2000, Dave moved to Fort St. John to work as a survey party chief doing primarily oil and gas surveys. In 2003, he moved to Courtenay to work for a practice that specialized in remote coastal surveys; during his stay in Courtenay, Dave obtained his commission as a BC land surveyor in 2007 and as a Canada Lands surveyor in 2009. In 2010, he and his family relocated to Victoria to take a position with the Surveyor General Division of the LTSA, where he has acquired specialized knowledge on surveys of Crown land and has led much of the LTSA’s work in supporting surveys and transfers related to agreements with First Nations across the province.