BC loggers pleased market test to be dropped

Tuesday 5 Feb 2019

At their annual winter convention in January, the Truck Loggers Association in British Columbia invited their forests government ministers to share details for implementing the recommendations from the Contractor Sustainability Review recently completed in BC. This included the elimination of the fair market rate test from the timber harvesting contractor and sub-contractor regulations (known in BC as Bill 13).

The following details expand on Premier Horgan’s announcement yesterday. The Minister announced the details during his address to a full room of 350 timber harvesting contractors at the Truck Logger Association’s 76th annual Convention & Trade Show.

The fair market rate test is a forestry-industry method used to settle rate disputes between contractors and licensees, which have caused lengthy delays in reaching a settlement, contributing to the inability to operate sustainably their businesses. Following extensive consultation in an effort to ensure the forest industry continues operating, the government’s decision to eliminate the method in favour of models and experts will streamline the process that used to take months and years, which should now take up to a maximum of 14 days.

“Elimination of the fair market rate test is a monumental change for our industry, allowing contractors to more equitably share in the value of the timber resource,” says David Elstone, executive director of the Truck Loggers Association.

“It will result in a fundamental shift in the relationships between contractors and their employers across the province.”

Today, Minister Donaldson explained that a six-month process to make the legislative changes will involve continued industry stakeholder consultations, leading to implementation in the fall.

“As a contractor who operates under the Timber Harvesting Contractor and Sub Contractor regulation, these changes should have a direct impact on my business’ ability to be more sustainable,” says Rob Wood, President of Holbrook Dyson Logging in Campbell River. “While a small percentage of the industry operates under this regulation, I believe these changes will influence all non-Bill 13 contractors across the province as well.”

Source: TLA news release

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Following the completion of the long-awaited Contractor Sustainability Review and its resulting recommendations, Premier Horgan announced a significant change to the Timber Harvesting Contractor and Sub-contractor regulation, which was the elimination of the fair market rate test. The Premier made his announcement during his address to a full room of 350 timber harvesting contractors at the Truck Logger Association’s 76th annual Convention & Trade Show.

“Today’s announcement is what we were hoping for and will result in a fundamental shift in the relationship between contractors and their employers across the province,” said David Elstone, executive director of the Truck Loggers Association. “Elimination of the fair market rate test is a monumental change for our industry, allowing contractors to more equitably share in the value of the timber resource.”

The Premier also made a commitment today to exploring solutions that the TLA has put forward to address the industry’s acute skilled labour shortage.

“After advocating for a training tax credit over the past three years, we are thrilled to hear this announcement,” said Elstone. “We are facing unprecedented retirement in the forest and logging industry, and even today there are far too many logging trucks and heavy equipment sitting idle due to the lack of experienced and competent operators. This may open up substantial opportunity for contractors’ needs for on-the-job training province- wide.”

Source: Wood Business


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