Forestry contractors and service providers affected by licensee insolvency will benefit from added financial protection now that the Province has contributed another $250,000 to the Forestry Service Providers Compensation Fund.
This latest contribution brings the total available in the fund to more than $8.4 million.
“We want to do everything we can to support people who work in the forest sector,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “Now, even more funding is available for them when companies they are dependent upon become insolvent.”
Donaldson made the announcement at the 61st annual Interior Logging Association convention.
In December 2016, the Forestry Services Providers Compensation Fund Regulation was amended to broaden the definition of “forest service provider” to include silviculture contractors and individuals who carry out activities for growing seedlings or carry out activities that are necessary for establishing free-growing stands. Those who perform this work now are also protected by the fund.
Seeded with $5 million in provincial money in summer 2012, and with additional provincial grants, including the latest endowment and accumulated interest, the two accounts in the fund now stand at nearly $7.455 million in the general fund and approximately $772,000 in the silviculture fund.
The Forestry Service Providers Compensation Fund was established to give relief to eligible forestry contractors not paid for forestry service they provided because the licensee that received the services became insolvent. It is administered by an arm’s length authority, which is guided by a five-member advisory board consisting of representatives from:
- coastal logging contractors;
- Interior logging contractors;
- major coastal licensees;
- major Interior licensees; and
- the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.
Eric van Soeren has acted as the fund’s arm’s length administrator since its inception and had his term renewed for another two years in March 2019. Acting for the fund in a capacity similar to a trustee, van Soeren’s experience and credentials include being trustee for the Forestry Revitalization Trust and the Coast Sustainability Trust, and being appointed as trustee for the Great Bear Rainforest Educational Trust.
- The Forestry Service Providers Protection Act was passed in spring 2010 to protect the financial interests of timber harvesting contractors who have provided logging and related services to licensees. It includes two components: a lien and a compensation fund.
- The compensation fund was established in summer 2012, with the provincial government contributing $5 million and appointing a fund manager.
- As of April 8, 2019, the fund has distributed $484,742 related to three insolvencies.
For more on the Forestry Service Providers Compensation Fund, including frequently asked questions, go to: http://fspcf.com
The Forestry Service Providers Protection Act can be viewed online: