Engineer Disciplined for poor inspection

Dauphin engineer is first ever suspended

Three complaints lead to disciplinary action

Thu Jan 24 2008
By Aldo Santin
A Dauphin man is the first professional engineer in Manitoba to be suspended by the organization that regulates the profession.

The Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Manitoba (APEGM) suspended Donald Edward Spikula effective Jan. 8. “This is the first time in the 88-year history of the association that any professional engineer has been suspended,” registrar Grant Koropatnick said. “There have been other members who’ve been disciplined, but they realized the errors of their ways and you move on.”

Koropatnick said Spikula was suspended when he failed to comply with a ruling from the APEGM discipline committee, following a hearing on three complaints about him.

The complaints involve: refusing to provide drawings Spikula had been hired to create for a community project in rural Manitoba; bungling a home inspection; and refusing to co-operate with a discipline committee investigating the public complaints.

**Spikula was hired to do a home inspection **in Dauphin, Koropatnick said, and gave a passing grade to the home’s heating and air condition system. However, after the house was purchased, the new owners uncovered problems that required several thousand dollars to correct. The owner filed a complaint with the association.

“He’s a mechanical engineer, he should have spotted the problems. It was just poor work,” Koropatnick said.

Koropatnick said an organization had paid Spikula to provide drawings for a community building, but after 18 months he hadn’t provided them.
The discipline committee ordered Spikula to refund the homeowners the $313 fee he charged for the home inspection, to provide his clients with the drawings, and to pay a fine that covered the APEGM’s costs to hold the discipline hearing.

Koropatnick said the hearing was held Nov. 29, with a ruling issued that day, and Spikula was given 30 days to comply. Koropatnick said Spikula did not attend the hearing, but was represented by his own lawyer.
Koropatnick said he waited a few days beyond the deadline and then pulled Spikula’s certificate of registration.

The APEGM published notices in the Free Press and the Dauphin Herald stating that Spikula had been suspended. Koropatnick said if any municipal building inspector or permit department accepts stamped drawings from Spikula while the suspension is in effect, they could be held civilly liable if there are problems with those projects.

Spikula used to live and have an office in Lockport, where he operated under the business name of DLS Engineering Inc., but he has since moved to Dauphin, where he operates under the business name of DLS Construction and Engineering.

Koropatnick said Spikula has been a registered professional engineer since 1993. Until the complaints, the association wasn’t aware of any problems with his work.

That’s interesting that it happened in Winnipeg. I wonder if it occurred before or after the agreement below. The Engineers and Home Inspectors in Manitoba have a clear understanding of who does what. It would be great to have both groups in all provinces do the same.

Bill Mullen

Contact: Angela Moore
Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists
of the Province of Manitoba (APEGM)
850A Pembina Hwy.
Winnipeg, MB R3M 2M7
Ph: 204-474-2736 Fax: 204-474-5960

For Immediate Release
February 23, 2007

WINNIPEG - A hot local real estate market has led many homebuyers to make hasty decisions about home purchases without the expertise of inspection professionals. Often, this leads to major unforeseen costs after possession, especially when structural issues are discovered.

In a historic agreement, the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Manitoba (APEGM) and Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors – Manitoba (CAHPI - MB) have joined forces to improve consumer protection for Manitoba homebuyers.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will be signed by the Presidents of both Associations to promote the members of each other’s respective groups for the specific roles they play in consumer services.

CAHPI inspectors will be recommended by APEGM Members for pre-purchase home inspection services for homebuyers, which include visual inspection of a home’s structural aspects. In turn, CAHPI members will recommend consultation with APEGM Professional Engineers when structural or foundation issues are uncovered during the pre-purchase home inspection.

APEGM & CAHPI-MB Memorandum of Understanding Signing
February 26, 2007
11:00 a.m., followed by complementary lunch
APEGM office, 850A Pembina Highway (near Stafford)

This unprecedented cooperative effort is a Canadian first, as no other agreement between Professional Engineers and Home Inspectors has been signed in any other Province or Territory.

The MOU will include the development of a free brochure, available to all consumers, outlining the roles of Inspectors and Engineers in the home-purchasing process. As well, a complete list of both CAHPI Home Inspectors and Professional Engineers who provide these services will be completed, as part of the agreement.

*CAHPI Manitoba is one of seven Provincial/Regional Associations who comprise the Canadian Association of Home & Property Inspectors (CAHPI National). CAHPI has over 1100 members nationwide and is the body responsible for the National Certification Program for Home & Property Inspectors (NCP). Information on CAHPI or the NCP can be found at A listing of CAHPI Manitoba Registered Home Inspectors (RHI) & Associates can be found at *

*APEGM administers The Engineering and Geoscientific Professions Act by licensing professional engineers and geoscientists and setting standards for and regulating these professions in Manitoba so that the public interest is served and protected. Rigorously educated, experienced and committed to a Code of Ethics that puts the public interest first, licensed engineers can be identified by the “P.Eng.” and licensed geoscientists by the “P.Geo.” behind their names. Visit APEGM at *


Thanks Bill, thats good to know. Congratulations!

Bill… Does this mean, that in MB, HI’s will refer PE’s by name or just in general? It would seem to me, a wee conflict, to specifically name one PE, or one specific HI for that matter.
Just asking Bill, no axe to grind.

Just my 2 cents + GST
Brian Jones

Hi Brian:

As far as I know, an Engineer should tell his client to consult a qualified Home Inspector if they need a Home Inspection. I don’t believe there is a requirement to name anyone specific. It’s the same as when we find a problem with a foundation for instance, and we aren’t sure about it…we recommend the services of a Structural Engineer, but not anyone specific.

Bill Mullen

Clients are free to ask for referrals. There is no conflict if you give them one or two names in my opinion.

Agreed. For instance, I know two electricians in our city who will help anyone and not stiff them. I have no problem giving their names and phone numbers. It’s a client service.

However, I find that many of us are afraid to name names.

Bill Mullen

Bill my sentiments exactly. I do it all the time. Its how we do things up here in the country, thats part of my service. :slight_smile:


Agreed. I have a list of service providers with whom I have had personal experience that I will provide if asked. Furthermore, I call the client later to check up on their repairs and will drop by the house to see how the repairs have been done. It is the kind of "we’re in this together’ service that my clients, the real estate people and the service providers appreciate and for which I have become well known in this market.

Bill, and the Gang!

The reason we are “afraid” is because it could bite you in the a$$. I refer some trades if cornered but I would rather stay away from it. IMO you are making someone else’s problems yours! Just give them a copy of the Yellow pages.


Worth repeating!

There are too many shoddy contractors out there I know I see their work and I hear about it from my clients. People hire me because of my service. I recommend credible contractors all the time. My clients are all appreciative, I have never had a complaint from my clients by referring names of reliable services, since 1991.

I too give out names people use me because they trust me to do a proper job .
How would i feel if they picked a contractor who did a poor job.
I can see living in the city it might not be so good but living in the country we all tend to help each other.

I agree with Roy, George & Ray, but I also see the point that Mario and that French guy are making.

It’s all about your market and its size and make-up. In my city, people have grown to know they can rely on my firm for good advice.

I have never had a complaint yet about a referred tradesperson.

It’s still a small town attitude. As they say, you can’t get rich because everyone’s watching.

Bill Mullen

Ok Bill. This has to end. By my last count we have agreed on something three times in the last 24 hours! ( Here this ought to break the spell “VIVE LES CANADIENS!”)
The situation is probably different in a smaller community as Roy pointed out. The people I refer are either friends or have done work for me. I make it clear that I am not accepting responsibility for their workmanship and always give out two names so the client makes a choice not me.

To All, Turn on your computer and go to
and then in the third column click on accessing case information, then
click on name search and enter in company name box, pillar to post.
Individual cases can be opened by clicking on the case #. Plaintive name is
first defendant second.

next: Google wreb [winnipeg real estate board] click on: resources,
then business partners, then home inspectors. :roll:

Would you hire a mechanical engineer to inspect a used car purchase or
hire a mechanic ? Engineering has provided great benefits to humanity but
mainly on the design side.

Roy Mac Gregor

I too in the past when I did renovations reccomend trades people …but I lived in a larger city Burlington.
Where I am located now I feel that it is the hometown Realtors job to provide the list of contractors.
I could be doing an inspection in Collingwood or Sauble Beach…and I do not live in either place, so my hands are tied as really as I have nobody there that I can refer or recommend. I believe that it is each hommies choice depending on their location.

The smaller the community the better the local knowledge of the reputation of the local service companies and local contractors are known.