Next steps in logging contractor sustainability review announced

Canadian Forest Industries Staff
May 18, 2018
By Canadian Forest Industries Staff
May 18, 2018 - Recommendations from the Logging Contractor Sustainability Review will help improve relationships between logging contractors and forest licensees, Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, has announced.

“The report by George Abbott and Circle Square Solutions, and their 13 proposals, provide a good basis for the next round of facilitation,” said Donaldson.

“The report notes that there are good relationships in place between contractors and licensees, based on best practices, but there is also room for improvement," said president and chief executive officer of the BC Council of Forest Industries Susan Yurkovich.

"We need to be mindful of the analysis in the report that shows that our contractor costs in B.C. are higher than in the comparator jurisdictions. As such, we will want to ensure that any actions reflect the need for both licensees and contractors to be competitive, because we operate in a global industry and are competing with producers around the world.”

“We are acutely aware of the challenges and opportunities presented in this review," said president of the Interior Lumber Manufacturers' Assocation Dan Battistella. "We look forward to continuing to work with our contractor community and the provincial government to implement changes that will help make both of our sectors stronger now and into the future.”

The intent of the review process is to improve the overall competitiveness of both logging contractors and licensees. Common themes that emerged from the report were the need for better data and better communications.

“We feel confident the review has captured the concerns that logging contractors across the province have raised for years," said executive director of the Truck Loggers Association David Elstone. "It validates there are problems in the relationships between contractors and licensees, and confirms the declining profitability of contractors." 

The report makes 13 recommendations that range from making better use of technology, improving communications, better information-sharing,  to ensuring best practices for setting contractors rates of pay and dispute-resolution mechanisms.

"These 13 recommendations will make a meaningful and positive difference for loggers, communities and the industry," Elstone said in a news release. "Our hope is that all stakeholders will embrace these important recommendations for the betterment of our industry, and the province as a whole.”

"From our view, the report and its 13 proposals confirms what the harvesting sector has been communicating for the past number of years,” said chair of the Interior Logging Association Randy Spence.

The next steps are to hire a facilitator who will bring the parties together to identify where there is consensus on recommendations that should be acted on, and also assess the costs and benefits of adopting recommendations on which there may be differing opinions. These are to be complete by July 31, 2018.

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