The heads of departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering in Canadian universities met in Toronto on 9 February 2001 to discuss common issues in undergraduate, graduate and research programs. The participants also enjoyed a presentation by Dr. Tony Marsh on the eMPOWR initiative. The discussions led to the formation of the Canadian Heads of Electrical and Computer Engineering (CHECE). This new organization will be led by a three-person executive.

It was decided that CHECE would meet twice a year, spring and fall, alternating between eastern, central and western Canada.