B.C. offers compensation to loggers
B.C. Premier Christy Clark set in motion a $5-million fund to provide financial protection for forestry contractors, as well as announcing tax relief on previous compensation payments.
January 22, 2013 By BC Government Newsroom
“Our promise to logging contractors was to guarantee they receive payment for work performed, and to ensure fair tax treatment on earlier compensation,” said Premier Clark. “Today we’re honouring those commitments.”
The compensation fund will strengthen payment protection for those who contract their services to forest sector companies. Logging contractors who provide services to licensees, but are not paid because of licensee insolvency, can now access this compensation fund to better protect their financial interests.
The Forestry Service Providers Compensation Fund was initially established in the spring of 2012, under the Forestry Service Providers Protection Act (FSPPA). Since the fund’s inception the Province and industry have now reached an agreement around the fund’s parameters, permitting logging contractors to be compensated if they incur a financial loss resulting from the insolvency of a licensee. The fund is administered arm’s length from government.
“We’re grateful that B.C. loggers now have some level of protection similar to contractors in the building industry,” said Dwight Yochim, TLA executive director. “We look forward to working with the provincial government to finalize the financing of the fund so our members can be protected into the future.”
In addition to the compensation fund, contractors will soon be eligible for further financial protection by having the ability to register liens on forest products that have been delivered to licensees. That element of the FSPPA is expected to take effect later this spring.
Premier Clark also announced tax relief for contractors who had received compensation under the Forestry Revitalization Act. Both the federal and provincial governments have agreed on a plan to relieve the contractors of their tax liabilities resulting from compensation payments received from the B.C. Forestry Revitalization Trust, established in 2003. As a result, approximately 190 contractors will benefit from tax relief payments up to $10 million dollars in provincial contributions, and will not incur additional tax liabilities from these payments.
“This is fantastic news,” said Yochim. “The TLA thanks the provincial government for facilitating the final steps necessary to implement the B.C. Forestry Revitalization Trust Fund. TLA members spent several years working on this issue and are pleased that it’s successfully concluded.”
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