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President's Message

It is with great pride I write my first President’s message for Ground Magazine with the theme of “Democracy”. The process to become the new OALA President is demonstrative of that theme. First, I want to give thanks to Past Presidents Steve Barnhart and Jane Welsh, who together paved the way for a great term for my presidency.

But a president is only as strong as the people they work with. The OALA has elected a terrific Council, and I look forward to working with them, as well as OALA staff, and you, fellow members. We want to build on the work achieved over past years, including raising the profile of the profession and bringing the Practice Act to fruition.

The Practice Legislation Committee (PLC) have made strides over the last few months towards an OALA Practice Act. Headed by Glenn O’Connor, and our Government Relations consulting group of Brown & Cohen, the team are demonstrating how democracy functions, with regular meetings with your Members of Provincial Parliament (MPP). Democracy only functions if all members work together. And so, I ask that our members continue to reach out to MPPs and work with the PLC and OALA staff, to help get across that Practice Legislation is important for everyone from a health and safety, accessibility, and environmental sustainability perspective.

In my career, I have always felt a sense of community in landscape architecture. It is what drew me away from building architecture: the way landscape architects collaborated with each other, and the acceptance public consultation is a requisite to good design. It’s that open level of consultation between public and private practice that makes landscape architecture extremely democratic. In my 30 years in the profession, I have found this to be the case. I have noticed this throughout the province with colleagues I collaborate with, and the OALA council. It is truly what gives me pride to be a member of the OALA and to serve as your new President.

As I look forward to meeting association members over my tenure as President, I want to hear about your needs, and desires. But I need your help. If we work together and embrace a spirit of democratic pursuits to share our ideas with the public and policy makers, we can achieve our goals and provide solutions to the challenges facing Ontarians. Over the days and months ahead, I look forward to connecting with our members, stakeholders, and likeminded professionals, to representatively forge a positive direction for the OALA.

Stefan Fediuk
OALA President
[email protected]