March 3, 2017
Volume 17, Issue 5

Warning: All facts contained in this edition are ones we agree with.

WFCA Welcomed at Association of BC Forest Professionals Conference

Raising the new flag, members and expectations: left right: WFCA Director Jason Hutchinson, strategic advisor and eminence grise Jim Girvan, WFCA President John Lawrence.

The merger of two relatively small BC forestry business organizations may not be arresting news to many. But attendees at last week’s ABCFP conference in Prince George seemed to listen when former presidents of the Consulting Foresters of BC and the Western Silvicultural Contractors’ Association announced the formation of their newly combined Western Forestry Contractors’ Association. In a short speech to the assembly Mike Trepanier and John Lawrence reviewed the history of their respective associations and some of their recent joint accomplishments regarding business regulations and forest policy. But what might have held listeners’ attention most was the promise that the merger would put the new group in a stronger position to continue to provide effective lobbying on forestry policy and business practice. That seemed to resonate with some in the crowd who spoke to us saying they saw the WFCA’s potential advocacy in influencing forestry decisions and direction in the province as a needed thing. The promise having been made, the proof will be how many professional foresters operating consulting businesses actually join the WFCA to help it live up to expectations. The ABCFP speech setting the scene and outlining the purpose of the WFCA and can be read here.

Forestry Contractors Should Plan For Fentanyl Scourge

The opioid overdose crisis will likely find its way into forestry crews.

It would be unwise for forestry contractors to think their workers are exempt from the lethal hazard posed by fentanyl overdoses. At least one forestry firm has reported a work-related opioid death this year. Forestry workers may be particularly vulnerable in an incident given the remote work locations of some camps, available first aid, and the isolation possible between individuals in tents or hotel rooms. Fentanyl affects the part of the brain in charge of respiration. Victims simply stop breathing. CPR can sustain a patient if their condition is recognized in time. Injections of naloxone are effective provided someone knows the symptoms and how to administer the drug. Just who can do this, under what circumstances, along with the legalities it might attract are under review now by proactive WFCA companies. We will be sharing those practices once we have fully explored the legal, health, and safety landscape of this crisis. In the meantime we recommend employers familiarize themselves by visiting fentanyl information websites like: and

Canada-BC Jobs Grant Streamlined: Accepting Forestry Employer Spring Training Applications

Now is the time to apply for Canada BC Job Grant training subsidies.

There are clear signs coming from industry and government clients that in the near future forestry contractor employees in safety sensitive positions, or roles, will need to be certified as competent to perform those duties and tasks based on industry guidelines. One route to that status will be through industry-recognized training offered by the BC Forest Safety Council and the WFCA. All the more reason then for employers to anticipate this inevitability by taking advantage of current training subsidies offered by the Canada-BC Job Grant program. Applications for spring training are now being accepted. The scheme offers reimbursement of at least two thirds of tuition costs, and, in some cases, full tuition, for employer-led employee training. Now in its second year program managers have worked to relieve some of the administrative requirements that burdened the application process in the past. They claim it is streamlined, more flexible and quicker on notifications and payment including an on-line application process. WFCA members will have a chance to ask questions and clear up any confusion over procedures in a conference call session with program managers next week Friday 10 March. If you are a member and haven’t received a notice please get in touch at