Preliminary and Final Decisions

TimberWest Forest Limited v. Government of British Columbia

Decision Date:
February 11, 1998
File Numbers:
Decision Numbers:
Third Parties:
Forest Practices Board, Third Party


Decision Date: February 11, 1998

Panel: Toby Vigod, Deborah Todd, Howard Saunders

Keywords: Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act – ss. 67(1), 117, 143 (2), 157; yarding timber across stream; contravention of logging plan; defence of due diligence.

This was an appeal of the decision of a Review panel confirming the determination, without penalty, that TimberWest had contravened section 67(1) of the Code. One of Timberwest’s contractors, Hayes Forest Services Limited, had yarded a load of timber across a stream in contravention of the logging plan provided by TimberWest. The issue before the Commission was whether the defence of due diligence was available to TimberWest to avoid liability for a determination made under section 117(2) of the Code for a contravention of section 67(1) of the Code.

The Commission adopted the reasoning found in earlier cases, especially Appeal No. 1997-FOR-02, Repap v. Government of British Columbia, and found that the defence of due diligence is not available to excuse an individual or company from liability for administrative penalties levied for contraventions under the Code. In previous cases the Commission had found that evidence of whether reasonable care was taken is relevant in assessing the quantum of a penalty. In this case however, no penalty had been levied after a consideration of the factors set out in section 117(2) of the Code. The Commission found no reason to alter the determination. The appeal was dismissed.