Premier Gordon Campbell has announced that government will move to protect forest contractors from going unpaid by license holders.But it is uncertain whether his promise to strengthen the antique Woodworker’s Lien Act will provide any certainty to silviculture contractors who may go unpaid for providing silviculture services to bankrupt clients.

The Premier said at the January ‘09 Truck Loggers Association convention that changes will be made to the legislation “to give contractors the right to freeze logs harvested in the event they are not paid for services by a licensee.” It appears the Premier’s promise overlooks, at this point, all other forest activities that don’t include logging or logs, but are exposed to the hazard of becoming unsecured creditors.

The WSCA has raised this concern with the then Deputy Minister of Forests and Range Doug Konkin over a year ago and recently with Minister Pat Bell. The Forest Minister has promised to consult with the WSCA on any remedies government may develop to protect contractors so that silviculture firms are included. The Liberal government, in its first parliament, had drafted changes to the Woodworker’s Lien Act. But that effort died in the Legislature heading into the last provincial election. Those proposed changes overlooked the silviculture contracting sector.

John Betts,
Executive Director
Western Silvicultural Contractors’ Association
Ph: 250-229-4380