WSCA 2016 Annual Conference Program 

Warning: Some of the facts contained in this edition may be exaggerated for marketing purposes.

Dear Readers: We know over this last year we have sometimes subjected your patience to various forms of editorial indiscretion including often using larger words than necessary, presuming the editorial “we”, and suffering occasional bouts of journalistic incontinence by failing to contain our coverage to topics that might more naturally fall within our bounds of understanding and familiarity. We appreciate your kind indulgence. Therefore, this being our last edition for the year we offer some relief in the form of an unadorned outline of next year’s WSCA conference. It is a very good program and we are happy to present it in a no-joking environment, minus the usual racy high-school-confidential editorial tone that we so often indulge in. Seriously though, Best of the Holidays, Seasoned Greetings and a Spicy New Year. See you in 2016.

WSCA 2016 Annual Conference, Trade Show and AGM
February 3, 4, 5, 2016
The Coast Capri Hotel
Kelowna B.C.

Steve Thomson Minister of MFLNRO to give keynote WSCA conference address.
This is a milestone for the Minister and the silviculture industry since this is the first time he has been able to attend our conference. Much anticipation around what the Minister has to say and possibly announce at our evening banquet on Thursday 4th February.

Wednesday afternoon 3 February will focus on safety:

We seem to have made it tradition to start the first half-day of the conference looking at safety. So in keeping with that tradition we have four workplace safety and wellness presentations-Q and As lined up:

Why are silviculture assessment rates going up and what can we do about it?
We will hear from and discuss with presenters from WorkSafeBC Financial Services Division and Industry and Labour Services

BC Forest Safety Ombudsman Report on Emergency Response in Remote Worksites.
Ombudsman Roger Harris will summarize his report’s observations and recommendations expected to be released early in the new year.

How can GIS and telematics improve emergency response results?
Martin Torn along with his colleagues at Selkirk Systems Inc. will lay out ongoing work proposing tracking fallers in the province and how that might serve as a basis for coordinating safety assets on the ground and in the air.

WorkSafeBC’s dual agenda, prevention and criminal prosecution.
There is growing concern about the uneasy, and perhaps, unclear boundaries between administrative law and criminal law as they apply to workplace incidents and investigations. How does it affect silviculture operations? Jeff Dolan Director WorkSafeBC Investigations division will present. 

Drug and alchohol testing 101: All you need to know, but were afraid to ask, in 40 minutes

Presenter Tom Yearwood LLD, Denning Health Group: Many larger companies are now, or will soon be, requiring contractors to comply with their drug and alcohol testing programs. Find out what you need to know to succeed. Tom will focus on the benefits and pitfalls of drug and alcohol testing in Canada along with the do’s and don’ts necessary to survive a legal challenge of your program. This “action packed” 40 minute presentation will likely cause your head to swirl but you will leave with an understanding of what is required for a successful Drug and Alcohol testing program.

Thursday 4 February Forestry Policy Panel to answer, What’s The Big Idea?

Thursday morning will be our forest policy plenary session and panel discussion. We certainly have a diverse range of views lining up on the topic of, What is the forestry goal in the post-mountain-pine-beetle-increasingly-intense–wildfire-season-pending-climate-change-looming-timber-shortfall world we are heading into and where does silviculture contracting fit into it? Our panelists include:

Bill Dumont – Independent forester and Forest Practices Board Vice Chair
Bob Turner – MFLNRO ADM Integrated Resource Operations Division, BC Wildfire Services
Andrew Weaver – MLA Oak Bay-Gordon Head,  Leader of the BC Green Party
Bob Fleet – Vice President Environment & Forestry, Tolko Industries Ltd.

BCTS: Introduction of the new contractor prequalification rating system

BCTS Associate Director Business Management Rob Bigalke will lay out the proposed framework under development for how BCTS will evaluate bids based on the competency and performance of contractors. 

Mike Morris MLA Prince George-Mackenzie: Resource Development and Wildlife Habitat
Elected to the Legislature for the first time in 2013 Mike Morris was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations in 2015. We look forward to his summary of his work and observations in this post over the year. Mr. Morris will address the plenary session on Thursday afternoon.

Thursday afternoon to feature an array of practical workshops:

Proposed incident classification system model presentation
Promising Practices for reducing musculoskeletal injuries

Tom Bigda Peyton has been shepherding our Participatory Action Research (PAR) process for the past three years. He will facilitate these two consecutive workshops.

Dealing with harassment in your company
What are the proper ways to reduce workplace harassment and deal with any allegations once they are made? An introduction to the considerations around human rights and worker rights and the proper steps to take in dealing with allegations of harassment. Presenters to be announced.

Introducing the tree planter Tally App
Designed as a practical smart phone tool for workers for keeping track of daily planting totals, it also works as a prompt and primer on worker’s rights under the B.C. Employment Standards Regulation.  Principal designer Steve Mueller will present.

Friday morning strategic session and members’ AGM

MFLNRO Deputy Minister Tim Sheldan to lead off strategic working session

The morning starts our usual conference strategic windup with a presentation from MFLNRO Deputy Minister Tim Sheldan laying out government’s vision for forestry. We will follow with a  wrap up of key standouts from the conference proceedings and the introduction of some other priorities to guide the WSCA’s overall strategy heading into the 2016:

Up for discussion:

  • Reprise, revision and rollout of the WSCA Code of Ethics and Business Conduct 
  • WSCA support for Forests Without Borders
  • Preparing for the 8th billionth tree in 2017

At the conclusion of this session WSCA members will convene their association’s AGM, adjourning at noon(ish).

Training in concert with the Conference (Tuesday 2 Feb. afternoon and Wed. 3 Feb. morning)

Employers’ Adviser Office Seminar: Joint OH&S Committee
Tuesday 2 February 2015 noon to 4:00 pm
The Coast Capri Hotel
Kelowna BC

Employers’ Advisers Office Seminar: Accident investigation
Wednesday 3 February 2016 8:00 am to noon
The Coast Capri Hotel
Kelowna BC


For information on how to register for the conference or sign up for training visit or contact the WSCA office at 604-736-8660

Finally: all our presenters live busy, complicated lives. We always expect things to go as planned. But there is a chance they won’t, so please stay tuned by visiting the WSCA web site for updates on our conference program.