The Eastern Canada Council

Note: In 2005, the Eastern Canada Council was renamed to the Canada East Area.

The IEEE Eastern Canada Council (ECC) is one of three that make up IEEE Canada (Region 7 of IEEE). It convenes as a committee made up of executive representatives from the Montreal, Ottawa, Saint Maurice, Quebec, Canadian Atlantic, New Brunswick and Newfoundland & Labrador Sections. Its primary purpose is to assist in the development and expansion of communications and training of IEEE Council executives and to assist and encourage communication between the Sections within the Council and IEEE offices. Officially established on August 28, 1969, its original Bylaws were approved at the first meeting of Council on February 18, 1970.

The Montreal Section is the oldest ECC member. Founded in 1936, it has over 1700 members, many of which are active in its 13 technical Chapters. With so many Chapters, a primary goal of the Section is to recruit, train and support technical Chapter personnel. Conferences are an important part of Montreal Section activity. A one day seminar entitled “Montreal Computer Graphics ’94” is a highlight planned for this fall. In May, the Section continued its successful annual tradition of hosting a dinner Banquet with industry. The Montreal Section and local industry have become valuable partners in developing the local electrotechnical community.

The Ottawa Section was the next one, being founded in 1944. Being at the heart of Canada’s silicon valley, Ottawa hosts about 50% of the Council membership, thus making it the largest of the seven. The challenge of staying in touch with its members, has led to the launching of the IEEE Canada Electronic Newsletter. Through E-mail, this can reach out to all IEEE members across the country. With 19 technical Chapters, the Ottawa Section has been very active with education in the community and industry. A significant event for the Section, the city of Ottawa and indeed the country was when the IEEE designated the Alouette/IRIS Satellite Program as an International Milestone of Electrical Engineering last year.

The Saint Maurice Section was founded in 1954. While officially the smallest Section in the ECC, it has been one of the most active. The Section is affiliated with the “Université du Québec a Trois-Rivières”. There have been many joint conferences with the University. Last year alone it held conferences on Computer Network, Nuclear Radiation, Micro-electronics projects, Computer Assisted Engineering and more. An important event for this year was the IEEE-PELS Workshop on Computers in Power Electronics which had participants from 22 countries. The Student Branch is very active. This year, the project “Recycling day” organized by Mr. Sylvain Pratte, will receive the “RAB Rally K. Wilson Regional Student Activity” award at Halifax. The Branch also operates a very successful McNaughton Centre.

The Quebec Section was founded in 1958. Approximately half of its 480 members are students, with Branches at Laval University and Université du Québec a Chicoutimi. The Section has two technical society chapters, one in computers and the other, started this year, in signal processing and communications. The student branch at Laval is very active and includes a McNaughton Center organized around a ham radio station. The Section carries out an active technical program, including regular video conferences throughout the year.

The Canadian Atlantic Section was founded in 1966. It consists of about 250 members and supports 3 active technical society chapters. The Section has an active technical program which includes a significant component of IEEE Video Conferences. A student McNaughton Centre is run from the Technical University of Nova Scotia. This year the Canadian Atlantic Section is the IEEE host to CCECE’94, the IEEE R7 fall meetings and the ECC’s 25th anniversary celebration dinner. A Section member computer Bulletin board has been operational since 1993.

The New Brunswick Section started out in 1970 as a subsection of Canadian Atlantic. Section status was achieved in 1973 and membership is now approaching the 300 mark. The Section has placed a strong emphasis on growth. 1994 goals include obtaining corporate support for employee annual dues and the provision of continuing education for the members. This is supported with an active technical program of meetings, industry tours and cooperation with the New Brunswick professional association of engineers (APENB). Use of the “Information Highway” is a principal focus of New Brunswick industry and government and was the topic of a recent continuing education seminar.

The Newfoundland & Labrador Section started out in 1974 as a subsection of Canadian Atlantic. Section status was achieved in 1978. Since then, membership has grown to approximately 160 members. The Newfoundland electrotechnical community has always been active in the development of Canada’s international presence. In 1985, two major NF events were officially designated as IEEE International Milestones of Electrical Engineering. One was for the first transatlantic wireless communication by G. Marconi on Signal Hill and the second was for the completion of the first transatlantic communication cable at Heart’s Content. An annual success for the Section has been the Newfoundland Electrical and Computer Engineering Conference, which is now in its 6th year. Of special note for this year, is the launching of the Section’s first technical chapter, joint with the Communication, Computer and Signal Processing societies.

With acknowledgement to Ken Butt, who served as Chair of the Newfoundland and Labrador Section in 1982 and 1983, and Chair of the Eastern Canada Council in 1993 & 1994, and historian for many years. Ken supplied this material which he assembled for the 25th anniversary of the Eastern Canada Council held in Halifax, Nova Scotia on September 26, 1994.

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