BC amends Timber Harvesting Contract and Subcontract Regulation
By Ellen Cools
The government of B.C. announced on June 10 that it is amending the Timber Harvesting Contract and Subcontract Regulation to create transparency in contract negotiations and improve the dispute resolution process between forest tenure holders and the contractors they hire, including log harvesters, log haulers and road builders, who have replaceable contracts.
As part of the amendment, licence holders will have to provide contractors with clearer work specifications to understand the full scope of work, in order to negotiate their rates.
These changes are a result of the Contractor Sustainability Review, which identified in 2018 that almost half of B.C.’s forestry contractors were losing money or insolvent.
“For many years, the TLA has advocated for fairer and more sustainable means to determine the rates B.C.’s loggers are paid for their services. Our expectation is that these changes being implemented by the province will rectify the current imbalance in negotiating such rates to the benefit of the contractors and the resource communities they and their families live and work in. As outlined in the province’s recently announced initiative to modernize forest policy, this is one critical step of many to protect jobs and advance our sector to benefit all British Columbians,” said Bob Brash, executive director of the Truck Loggers Association, in a statement.
Ron Volansky, chairman of the Interior Logging Association n(ILA), added, “It has been a long process, but the ILA’s board of directors has been unwavering in its position that Bill 13 contractors’ investments need to be protected, and it is the hope that these changes will assist not only them, but all contractors, in ensuring their ability to negotiate fair and equitable rates. It is our hope that these changes will help to balance the inequities that were identified in the 2018 Abbott Report, and not only will the contractors benefit, but their employees and communities will also. We look forward to working with government to ensure the best interests of our members are represented as we move forward with discussions on the recently released intentions paper on modernizing forest policy in British Columbia.”