Western Forestry Contractors’ Association Rumour Mill RoundUpDate, Volume 19 Issue 9

Western Forestry Contractors’ Association
Rumour Mill RoundUpDate
14 June 2019
Volume 19 Issue 9

Warning: With next week’s solstice, days will start becoming shorter. Meanwhile all facts contained in this publication during the coming summer will remain the same length. That constancy is why they are facts. This does not mean that days are not facts in their own way. It’s just that…well, let’s agree to leave it there. This is supposed to be a warning, not metaphysics.

Recent Run of BC Mill Curtailments and Shutdowns Live up to Dire Forecasts

At the 9th Annual FEA/WOOD MARKETS Global Softwood Log and Lumber Conference in Vancouver last May, local B.C. consultant, industry forecaster and WFCA Strategic Advisor Jim Girvan, stunned the audience with his forecast for B.C. Interior lumber production over the next decade. The residual impacts of the MPB, forest fires, spruce beetles and the likely impacts of a provincial program to protect Mountain Caribou habitat points to a continued decline of the timber supply and harvest for the BC Interior he concluded. As the B.C. Interior AAC and sawlog supply falls, a base case scenario suggests a deficit of 9.7 million cubic metres in the sawlog supply when compared to operational mill capacity. This cumulative deficit points to the risk of an additional 13 sawmill closures over the next decade.

Since Girvan’s presentation, two OSB plants (100 Mill House and Fort St. John) have closed, two sawmills (Quesnel and Vavenby) have closed and at a third (Kelowna), production was halved. Most other sawmills in the Interior are taking significant curtailment as lumber price languish and log costs rise. For planters and forestry consultants, the future will be changing despite the growth in silviculture demand in the past few years. Plan accordingly and don’t be caught as the industry downsizes, says Girvan. The full report is here

Another TEAAM Mission Further Validates Need for HEMS Service for Forest Industry

TEAAM HEMs

This should be the industry standard of care for injured forestry workers on remote and difficult access worksites. A seriously injured planter being helicopter long-lined off difficult terrain this week by TEAAM crew.

Technical Emergency Advanced Aeromedical (TEAAM) medical and rescue technicians extricated a seriously injured planter from a worksite near Squamish this week. The remote and steep site was too dangerous to risk transporting the patient on the ground. This was the second successful mission by Squamish-based TEAMM this spring as they continue to look for industry patrons and financial support for their specialized emergency medical and technical service. Earlier this spring they played a critical role in swiftly extricating an injured faller from a site near the Fraser Valley. TEAMM’s part is widely believed to have saved the worker from far more severe consequences. [See the BCFSC newsletter here]The WFCA’s BC SAFE Forestry Program is advocating to the rest of the forest industry, WorkSafeBC and our government to make this kind of service the standard of care for forestry worksites. Meanwhile the injured planter is doing well. Crews have begun a letter-writing campaign to WorkSafeBC supporting TEAAM.

Workers’ Rights Were Wrong

Forestry Overtime

The correct method to calculate minimum wage and overtime.

A mistake on our government’s website Silviculture Guidelines for Contractors came close to causing problems as some crews this spring began challenging their employers over their overtime payments based on the misinformation. The site mistakenly stated that work beyond 8 hours and up to 12 hours in a day should be paid an one-and-a-half times the piece rate. The correct rule is “regular piece rate, or 1 ½ x minimum wage (whichever is greater).” The to see the corrected site click here