Western Forestry Contractors’ Association
Rumor Mill RoundUpDate
3 December 2019
Volume 19 Issue 18

Warning: A young handsome prince, heir to the throne of a small kingdom in an obscure part of Europe, arrives in America and mistakenly picks up the identical luggage belonging to a quiet, unassuming dental hygienist containing all the scripts for the children’s Christmas play she hopes to direct once she gets home for the holidays. The prince’s luggage, which she has mistakenly picked up off the same carousel, contains…Hey, wait a minute. This isn’t a fact warning. This is a Hallmark Channel Christmas Movie. Happy Holidays from all our staff at the WFCA Rumour Mill and RoundUpDate

And Now the WFCA 2020 Conference, Trade Show and AGM (with some caveats).

Western Forestry Contractors’ Association 2020 Annual Conference, Tradeshow and AGM January 29, 30 and 31, 2020 Coast Prince George Prince George, B.C.

Many of the people we invite to our conferences as presenters, panelists and workshop leaders have complicated schedules and obligations. As a result, we are still waiting for some confirmations. Meanwhile here is the program with working titles:

Tuesday 28 January 2020 Pre-Conference Training Offering:
BC SAFE Forestry Program Total Physiotherapy Taping Course: five hours dedicated to prevention and management of common tree planting MSIs using taping where applicable.
BC Forest Safety Council Basic Incident Investigation Course: A day dedicated to learning how to better investigate incidents, identify their causes and take corrective action.

The courses will run concurrently. To register please click here


Wednesday 29 January 2020

8:30 — Open meeting of the BC SAFE Forestry Program Strategic Advisory Committee. Everyone is welcome to attend. Location details to follow.
11:45 — Registration
12:30 — First Nations welcome & opening remarks
12:40 — Update on BC SAFE Forestry Program: Robin McCullough Chair will review last year’s
accomplishments and the program’s goals for 2020.
1:00 — Safety and Respect in First Nations Traditional Territories: Presenter TBA will discuss how safety, respect, and cultural awareness should guide forestry activities when working and camping near First Nations communities and on traditional territories.
1:40 — Preventing Sexual Harassment and Assault in Camps and Crews: Presenters from the Northern Society for Domestic Peace will report their observations from visiting camps and provide training on preventing workplace harassment and violence.
2:20 — Coffee Break
3:00 — Video Premier – Top Ten Bio-mechanical Imperatives: Presenters from Total Physiotherapy will introduce their new tool kit to guide the development of healthy ergonomic habits for forestry workers.
3:20 — Update on the EHS Analytics Incident and Close Call Reporting Project: Presenters Noel Simpson EHS and Chris Akehurst SAC Chair Emeritus will indicate what initial data is showing and discuss the larger need for standardized incident reporting across the sector.
3:40 — Key Moments in Hazard Assessment: Presenter Jordan Tesluk, BC SAFE Forestry Advocate will explain how inadequate hazard assessment relates to serious incidents and injuries in forestry. He will examine key steps in hazard and risk assessment including site assessments, emergency response planning, PPE assignments, and dealing with peak capacity pressure.
4:25 — Mental Health in Forestry: Presenter Mary Lu Spagrud, Manager of Education and Projects for the Canadian Mental Health Association will discuss mental health challenges for forestry workers. She will explore some of the benefits of programs to improve employee mental health and the available resources to employers dealing with work place mental health challenges.

5:20 — Refreshments


Thursday 30 January 2020

7:45 — Registration
8:30 — Plenary Panel on Forest Stewardship including

  • Jeff McWilliams RFP will discuss stocking standards and the current and future state of our plantations and what needs to change:
  • Kevin Kriese Chair BC Forest Practices Board will discuss landscape level planning and his board’s interest in forest stewardship.
  • First Nations Perspective: TBA

10:00 — Coffee and Tradeshow
10:45 — The Honourable Doug Donaldson Minister of Forests will discuss our government’s strategy on forest stewardship in the context of the ongoing Forest and Range Practices Act review and related changes.
11:05 — Plenary Panel Continued: Minister Donaldson will join the panelists in an open discussion with the audience.
Noon — Buffet Lunch and Trade Show
1:30 — Investors and the Future of the BC Wood Products Sector: Presenter Kevin Mason Managing Director ERA Forest Products Research will look at what might attract investors to, or drive them away from, the BC woods product sector and what that means for the future of the industry.
2:00 — What the Loyal Opposition Would Do Different With Forestry in B.C.                   

  • John Rustad MLA Nechako Lakes is the Official Opposition Critic for the MFLNRORD based on a longstanding association with the politics and practice of forestry in B.C.
  • Mike Morris MLA Prince George-McKenzie former Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Forests remains active on forestry and habitat.

2:50 — Concurrent Workshops Session 1

  • Front Line Intervention in Sexual Harassment: Leader Jordan Tesluk along with the NSDP will examine real-time intervention techniques for staff that encounter bad behavior in the workplace.
  • Wildfire Smoke Risks: Leader Steve Lemon BCWS Superintendent of Safety will review the hazards of wildfire smoke and ash and what can be done to mitigate risks.
  • Marijuana, drugs and alcohol: Leader Tom Yearwood of Denning Health Group will set the scene in the context of recent changes to laws and how they affect the duties of employers and employees.

3:35 — Coffee Break
3:35 — Concurrent Workshops Session 2

  • Sickness and Infections in the Workplace: Leader Jordan Tesluk will examine the vectors of the common illnesses familiar to workers and how to maintain good health and hygiene.
  • Competency-Based Wildfire Training: Leader John Betts will describe a pilot to develop training for wildfire crews based on assessing workers for the abilities.
  • Cybersecurity Risks to Small Businesses: Leader TBA will describe the threat to small businesses and how owners can best prepare.

5:00 — Recess, hospitality suite, prizes, awards etc.
7:00 — Banquet and Keynote Speaker TBA 


Friday 31 January 2020

8:15 — Registration
8:30 — Planting Billions of Future Seedlings in B.C. John Betts WFCA Executive Director will moderate a strategic session with an assembly of presenters, including the audience, on the short-term tactics we may need to plant this year’s seedlings and what it will take in planning, administration, sowing-growing and planting to meet the next billions.
Contributor presenters will include MFLNRORD Forest Practices Branch, the WFCA Forest Policy Sub-Committee, afforestation subject matter experts, forest safety advocate and the audience.
10:00 — Coffee
10:15 — WFCA Members AGM
Noon —  Done