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Western Forestry Contractors’ Association
Rumour Mill RoundUpDate
22 January 2021
Volume 21 Issue 1

Warning: Some of the facts in this edition may be arranged for scheduling revision purposes.


Wednesday, February 10th, 2021
BC Safe Forestry Workplace Safety Day

8:30 am    Opening Remarks by The Honourable Nathan Cullen
                 Minister of State for Lands and
                 Natural Resource Operations

9:00 am    Review of the BC SAFE Forestry Program
                 Presented by Robin McCullough Chair of the
                 BCSFP Strategic Advisory Committee:  
                 Robin will introduce members of the
                 committee, the Program’s accomplishments in 2020
                 and the workplan for 2021.

9:30 am    COVID-19 Management in the Resource Sector
                 Presented by Dr. Allan Holmes;
                 Dr Holmes, the founder of Iridia Medical, was directly
                 involved in providing medical service support to
                 silviculture and other resource sectors in 2020.
                 He will discuss what to expect in 2021 as the
                 pandemic continues to affect private sector
                 businesses and medical service accessibility,
                 including testing, vaccinations and
                 access to routine care.

10:05 am Update on WKSFBC Practices and
                 Inspection Expectations

                 Presented by WorkSafeBC;
                 Representatives from WSBC will update us
                 on officer findings from 2020, and inspection
                 strategies and focus areas of the upcoming season.

10:30 am – 10:45 am      Break

10:45 am  The COVID-19 2020 Experience and its Effects
                 on People in Silviculture

                 Presented by Dr. Jordan Tesluk;
                 Jordan will review key learning outcomes from
                 the silviculture industry’s efforts to manage
                 COVID-19 in 2020. He will discuss key strategies for
                 optimizing chances of a repeat performance in 2021,
                 including attending to mental health pressures on
                 employees, and communicating effectively
                 with workers and communities.

11:30 am  Update on the New BCSFP
                 Danger Tree Committee
                 and Current Issues in the Industry

                 Presented by DTA;
                 Update from the newly struck Danger Tree Committee
                 on issues related to hazards that must be managed
                 in silviculture and forestry worksites, and some of the
                 regulatory and policy challenges that affect this issue.

11:45 am  Update on 2021 Total Physio
                 Service Delivery, and Reports from
                 the Field From 2020

                 Presented by Mike McAlonan Total Physiotherapy

12:00 pm – 12:45 pm      Break

12:45 pm  Human Resources in Silviculture
                 and Consultant Forestry
                 The Value of Strong HR Programs

                 Presented by Dr. Jordan Tesluk;
                 Dr. Tesluk will explore how social movements
                 are reshaping the landscape of human resource
                 management and the resulting demands on
                 silviculture and consultant forestry employers.
                 We will discuss options for improving HR capacity
                 at an industry level, building trust between employees
                 and management, and how this can enhance the rewards
                 associated with employment in this sector.

1:30pm     New Anti-Harassment Video for Workers, and Update
                 on 2020 Outreach Activities

                 Presented by Northern Society for Domestic Peace;
                 Members from NSDP will introduce a series of new
                 educational videos aimed at preventing sexual
                 harassment in the workplace and review ongoing
                 steps they are taking to support workers and to
                 guide employers in stopping workplace harassment.

2:15 pm    Building Trust in Crews
                 Presented by Womxn in Silviculture;
                 Community Safety Facilitator, Meg Webster and
                 Dominique De Libero join us to talk about what
                 can be done to support workers in reporting
                 harassment and misconduct, and how to establish
                 workplace environments that are truly safe for all parties.

3:00 pm – 3:15 pm          Break

3:15pm     Incident Reporting and Analysis
                 Presented by EHS Analytics;
                 Representatives from EHS Analytics will update the
                 industry on tools they offer for improving the efficiency
                 of incident reporting and identify benefits to individual
                 employers and the industry in having proper tools for
                 analyzing broad trends and company data.

3:35 pm    TEAAM Update on New Developments
                 with Insurance Packages and Move to Open
                 New Base in North East BC

                 Presented by Miles Randell;
                 Members from Technical Evacuation Advanced Aero
                 Medical will update us on their helicopter emergency
                 medicine activities in assisting injured workers in forestry,
                 new options for rescue insurance, and their work to
                 expand services to the Northern region.

3:55 pm    Update on the Labour Market Information
                 and Human Research Strategy Project

                 Presented by Chris Akehurst;
                 Chris Akehurst, Member of The Order of the Dull Caulk
                 and esteemed Chair of the LMI will update the industry
                 on steps being taken to assess hiring and retention
                 needs in our sector. The future of the industry relies
                 upon attraction and retention of skilled workers, and
                 this process has important implications for both safety
                 and company success.

4:30 pm    Adjournment

Thursday, February 11th, 2021
Forestry Policy Panel and Plenary Sessions

8:45 am    Message from The Honourable Seamus O’Regan
                 Federal Minister of Natural Resources

9:00 am    Policy Panel Presentation:
                 Wildfire and Natural Disaster Adapting
                 BC Forest Landscapes to a 21st Century Climate

                 Presented by Dr. Paul Hessburg, Research Landscape
                 Ecologist, USDA-FS, PNW Research Station &
                 University of Washington-SEFS;
                 After 2020’s damaging wildfires in the American West,
                 how can we adapt our current landscapes for the coming
                 wildfires and climatic changes? Is it even possible to
                 reduce uncertainty about the availability of forests in
                 the future?

                 What Social Science Can Contribute
                 to Wildfire Mitigation

                 Presented by Dr. Susan Charnley, Research Social
                 Scientist, U.S. Forest Service, Pacific Northwest
                 Research Station;
                 Wildfire management is as much a social challenge as an
                 ecological one. Our ability to mitigate wildfire hazard
                 depends on social factors such as people’s perceptions
                 of wildfire risk, the social acceptability of fuels treatments,
                 landowners’ ability to manage wildfire hazard on their
                 property, and the social vulnerability of affected
                 populations. This talk provides an overview of how
                 social science can help address these issues
                 to improve wildfire mitigation.

10:30 am – 10:45 am      Break

10:45 am  Policy Panel Presentation: Continued

  • Indigenous Approaches to Community Recovery and Landscape Restoration: Presenter TBA

11:30 am  Workshop:

  • COVID-19 and Contract Wildfire Suppression Services in 2021 Leader Steve Lemon Superintendent of Safety & Well Being, BC Wildfire Service; What does BCWS expect of contract wildfire suppression crews in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the 2021 wildfire season?

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm        Lunch Break

1:00 pm     Plenary Session 1

  • Introducing a Respectful Workplace Code of Conduct for the Forestry Sector: Presenter Stephen Hammond, Hammond Solutions Inc. Workers, employers, supervisors, and even visitors need to all commit to maintaining safe and respectful workplaces across the forestry sector. What kind of commitments would a WFCA Code of Conduct comprise and what would be the benefits of such a standard?

2:30 pm – 3:00 pm          Break

3:00 pm     Plenary Session 2

  • How Not to Get Ransomed by Cyber Criminals: Presenter Ron Borsholm, Senior Manager, Cyber Security Services, MNP; How can small and medium-size business owners assess their cyber security risks and what actions can they take to defend themselves, their businesses and their customers?

4:00 pm     Workshop

  • Eliminating the Use of Plastic Flagging to Mark Seedlings: Leader Nigel Fletcher, MFLNRORD, Plastic Policy Working Group; How can the reforestation sector and our provincial government coordinate to eliminate single use plastic flagging to mark seedlings? Why should we?

4:30 pm     Adjournment

Friday, February 12th, 2021
Plenary Panel and Strategic Session

8:30am     Minister’s Address, The Honourable Katrine Conroy
                 Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource
                 Operations and Rural Development

9:00 am    Plenary Panel Session:
                 Outline of our Federal and Provincial
                 Reforestation Programs and the Future
                 Demand for Reforestation Services

  • Diane Nichols, Chief Forester, MFLNRORD: The BC Perspective
  • Federal Representative: TBA
  • Neil Hughes, MFLNRORD, Forest Practices Branch

10:15 am – 10:45 am      Break

10:45 am  Plenary Strategic Forum:
                 Leader John Betts, WFCA Executive Director;
                 How does the WFCA remain fit to its purpose as its
                 important role as an industry association involved in
                 federal and provincial forestry policy and affairs

11:45 pm  Adjournment of 2021 WFCA Annual Conference

1:00 pm    WFCA’s Annual General Meeting (Members Only)

2:00pm     Adjournment