Editorial / Éditorial
Welcome to 2019 and our first issue of the CRPA Bulletin for this year. As one might expect in February, many parts of the country have been blanketed by piles of snow and are bracing themselves against cold temperatures. Here in Toronto we set a new record for snowfall at the end of January. This is just one reason why I’ll be heading south to the Health Physics Society (HPS) Midyear Meeting in San Diego, CA, this month—to get a brief respite from the cold. Among the other reasons is professional development. (Of course, if my employer is reading this, professional development is the first and foremost reason!) I’ve also planned a more informal mission—to remind our southern neighbours just how great our Canadian conferences are.
The CRPA conference, to be held May 27–30, 2019, in Ottawa, will be happening before we know it; the early bird registration deadline has in fact already passed. In addition to the Americans I successfully recruit at the HPS meeting, I hope to see many existing CRPA members and a slew of new faces. If you’ve never been to a CRPA conference, your new year’s resolution should be to come to Ottawa in May. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
On the subject of conferences, I know convincing an employer that attending a conference provides value to their organization can be a major challenge. When employers are under fiscal restraint, as many have been for years now, a potential attendee has to present a strong case. From what I’ve seen, the program for the 2019 CRPA conference certainly makes a compelling argument.
Sometimes a strong program is not enough. Networking is also a significant benefit of attending conferences. Unfortunately it’s a somewhat intangible benefit that employers can be quick to dismiss. In my experience, networking at conferences—and being a member of CRPA—has provided me with a huge list of contacts. Having that network of contacts makes it easier to find answers when I need them or simply to seek out best practices in a specific area. Those contacts have also provided a sounding board for new ideas, which has been a huge advantage when I was searching out different employment opportunities. Beyond conferences, the benefits of networking have continued to scale up as I have become more involved with CRPA. It would not be easy to quantify the value of networking, but doing so would certainly benefit our association and other professional groups.
It’s worth reminding CRPA members that the new year also brings association-related duties and opportunities. The deadline for nominations for our four CRPA awards is March 23, 2019. Awards are far more exciting (but no more important!) than renewing your membership, which the association has undoubtedly been reminding you to do. Nominations for positions on the 2019–2020 Board of Directors (yes, we’re almost at 2020!) are now closed, which means elections will be coming up shortly, so watch your email for voting instructions.
Finally, it was very sad to hear about the passing of Stuart Hunt, a founding member of the association whose company, Stuart Hunt & Associates, has been a long-standing supporter of the association. Although I only met Stuart a handful of times, his name has become embedded in the practice of radiation protection in Canada. He will be missed.