Session: Overcoming Tragedy: a Surveyors Response to Fort McMurray and Lac Megantic
Speaker: Marie-Claude Arguin and Robert Rioux
Day: Thursday March 2nd
Time: 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM
Room: Canada Hall 1, Shaw Centre

Overcoming Tragedy: a Surveyors Response to Fort McMurray and Lac Megantic

When a disaster occurs, we think of the victims, their families, their friends. Television, the Internet and newspapers make us realize, by powerful images, the magnitude of the disaster. The media also shows us all the front-line workers that take charge of the emergency to save and protect lives. Firefighters, police officers and ambulance attendants play very significant roles.

Over the course of weeks, months and years, homes, businesses and infrastructure are gradually re-established through the expertise of health, engineering and law professionals.

What about the land surveyors? How do these men and women intervene in the re-construction work? Is their expertise sought and if so, in what context?

Marie-Claude Arguin

Marie-Claude, CEO of the town of Lac Mégantic, is from Lac-Mégantic but since graduating from University in 1991, she lived or worked in eight of the Canadian provinces and territories in addition to the United-States, Europe and South-Asia.  By the age of 35, she had already travelled, both for personal and business purposes to all Continents with the exception of South-America.  Marie-Claude has therefore already in her young adult life experienced several different cultures and economy systems.   She has seen her share of destruction and she has seen complete recoveries.

Marie-Claude has 25 years of professional experience in management.  Although she focused extensively in project management considering all facets of human, material and financial resources, Marie-Claude has always worked under the umbrella of crisis management.  It is a specialty and a passion that she developed over the past two decades and hope will be beneficial to her latest mission: contributing positively to the recovery and revitalization of Lac-Mégantic.

A graduate from the Military College of Canada in Kingston Ontario with a Bachelor Degree in Mathematics and Physics, Marie-Claude later obtained a Master Degree in Defense Studies, with a specialty in Strategic Leadership. It is therefore the marriage of her professional experience with her love for her youth community that brought her back to Lac-Mégantic.  Supported by her husband and two boys, Marie-Claude decided shortly after the events of 6 July 2013 to go back to her roots and home to give a hand with the recovery efforts.

Robert Rioux

Robert Rioux, land surveyor, is a cofounder of Ecce Terra, which now counts more than 100 professionals and technicians at nine business locations. Ecce Terra offers all services related to property surveying, construction surveying, geomatics, photogrammetry, 3D modeling, geodesy, microgeodesy and bathymetry.

Mr. Rioux, who has been a member of the Ordre des arpenteurs-géomètre du Québec since 1990, is responsible for the office at Lac-Mégantic, opened in 1963. Because of both his knowledge of the field and the area and his proximity, this office was the obvious choice to act following the tragic train crash that took place in Lac-Mégantic on July 6, 2013. Mr. Rioux played his role effectively in managing the crisis. He was in charge of  operations for Ecce Terra and is still contributing today, to the enormous efforts required to carry out the reconstruction activities that are an essential factor in revitalizing the town. His commitment and his close relationship with the administration of the town of Lac-Mégantic have been considerable advantages throughout the process.

Prashant Shukle

Prashant Shukle is the Director General of the Canada Centre for Mapping and Earth Observation, one of the Government of Canada’s lead organizations in the area of Earth Observations, Geographic Information Systems, and Geospatial Data and Service Solutions. Mr. Shukle is also responsible for the GeoConnections program, which is responsible for ensuring Canadians are among the world’s leaders in using and sharing all forms of geospatial data and enabling its use seamlessly with a variety of technologies, and across multiple industrial applications. He is also accountable for the Natural Resources Canada chain of satellite receiving stations, one of which is located at Inuvik and is strategically positioned to make Canada a geospatial data and technology destination for the world.





Tony Brown

Tony Brown was born in Newfoundland, started working in the survey field in 1980 and spent the first part of his surveying career in that province. He was educated in surveying at the College of the North Atlantic in St. John’s and then went on to the University of New Brunswick to complete the requirements for the Atlantic Provinces Board of Examiners for Land Surveyors.  Tony was first commissioned as a Land Survey in Newfoundland in 1990.

Tony then moved to Alberta and made his home in Fort McMurray in 1997 and was commissioned as an Alberta Land Surveyor in 2000.

For the last 36 years Tony’s experience has been split between construction surveying and legal surveying including residential subdivisions and home construction.

In his spare time Tony enjoys visiting children and grand children, home improvement projects, hunting, fishing and relaxing at the cottage.

Tony currently lives in Fort McMurray with his wife and is the Branch Manager of the local office of Challenger Geomatics Ltd.

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