Western Forestry Contractors’ Association
Rumour Mill RoundUpDate
18 December 2020
Volume 20 Issue 16

Warning: All of the facts contained in this publication can be stored at room temperature

Trifecta of Good News From Ottawa
as Federal Funding Flows for Forestry

Minister of Natural Resources Seamus O’Regan, and Jonathan Wilkinson Minister of Environment and Climate Change share mandates to achieve both a healthy environment and a healthy economy. That includes planting millions of trees: good news for our rural and urban landscapes and forestry.

The dullness of these dun days of December has been lit up by a series of recent announcements out of Ottawa framing funding for our Federal Government’s 2-Billion Tree Commitment along with financial aid to the forestry sector for some of its safety costs due to the pandemic this year. The Fall Economic Statement 2020 included $3.16 billion over 10 years, starting in 2021-22, to plant 2 billion trees across our country as part of the Nature-based Climate Solutions strategy. That was followed by Natural Resource Minister Seamus O’Regan’s launch of his program to plant these trees on urban, rural, First Nations and private lands. It will be part of Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson’s overarching Healthy Environment and Healthy Economy plan. Minister O’Regan committed to working with provincial and territorial partners and other actors, including the reforestation sector, to design and deliver his program. As part of that he intends to establish an advisory committee of experts on nature-based climate solutions. The WFCA hopes to be part of that process stating in a recent letter to Minister O’Regan, “…our sector will make the investments, develop the staff, and deliver many of the outcomes set by the Nature-based Climate Solutions commitment.”

BC and Alberta Sign Federal Forest Sector
Safety Measures Fund Agreements

The third part of the trifecta was announced this Wednesday following the signing of an agreement between Ottawa and Victoria that will see $9.3 million disbursed to eligible applicants in the B.C. logging, wood products, and reforestation sectors. This money will assist with covering the extra costs to small and medium-sized enterprises to operate safely during this year’s pandemic. The Forest Sector Safety Measures Fund delivers on the federal announcement earlier this year of $30-million in support of Canada’s reforestation, logging, and lumber sectors due to COVID-19. The WFCA, which lobbied Ottawa for the funds, worked closely with MFLNRORD on designing the program to distribute the funds here in B.C. Nurseries, consulting foresters, silviculture and planting contractors will be able to apply for the assistance starting first thing next year. Read more here. Alberta has also announced its program to distribute its apportionment of $3.4 million in funds to be administered by the Forests Resources Improvement Association of Alberta (FRIAA). If all goes as planned, recipients may see cheques starting before spring.

WFCA 2021 Conference: Sector Employee Code of Conduct Proposed to Prevent Assaults and Harassment in Forestry Sector

For years the reforestation sector has dealt with the bruising fact of harassment and assault occurring at work. Misogyny and the other prejudices that contribute to this bad behaviour have deep roots in our society and even in the tree planting culture. But employers can develop and implement employment practices to create respectful workplaces and keep people safe. To do this does require awareness, fluency with the problem, and some tools. The BC SAFE Forestry Program, with the support of the WFCA, is now working on a draft employee Code of Conduct in collaboration with consultant and workplace expert on harassment Stephen Hammond of Harassment Solutions Inc.

This tool is intended to improve workplace behaviour and keep managers out of legal trouble. It will also serve to assure workers the silviculture sector has standards and is a safe place to work.
As part of the WFCA 2021 Annual Conference program, Mr. Hammond will lead a human resource management workshop on Thursday, February 12th introducing a Code of Conduct for the sector. This will follow the safety presentations on Wednesday from Dr. Jordan Tesluk on creating trust on crews, the release of a new harassment training video from the Northern Society of Domestic Peace and a talk from the worker group Women in Silviculture. For more information and to register for the Western Forestry Sector Annual 2021 Virtual Conference, Expo and AGM click here.

Here It Is – the RoundUpDate’s Annual
Christmas Crop Circle Favourite as Voted by Our Readers:

August 9, 2020 Uffington Castle, Oxon https://temporarytemples.co.uk/

If you have read this far, you are one of our loyal readers. We appreciate your patience with our sometimes wandering editorial proclivities. We know many of you may have felt you were missing something this year as we struggled to publish on a regular basis. As things return to normal so may the RoundUpDate. We always appreciate your letters and comments. Although, we would add that you do not need to type in ALL CAPS to make a point. Finally, then, best wishes to you all as we end this year and start another. What could possibly go wrong?
The RoundUpDate; signing off for the extraordinary 2020…