Decision Date: August 17, 1998
Panel: Toby Vigod, Monty Mosher, David Walkem
Keywords: Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act
Frank McIntyre appealed an Administrative Review Panel decision upholding a determination that he contravened sections 96(1) and 97(1) of the Code by harvesting 343 m3 of Crown timber without authority and failing to inform the contractor of the property boundaries. The harvesting was performed by two different contractors: Mr. Gravelle and Mr. Bossio. Mr. Bossio logged a small amount from a water pipeline right-of-way without first obtaining a cutting permit. Mr. Gravelle harvested a larger amount along the eastern boundary of the property. Mr. McIntyre appealed the contraventions and the assessed penalty of $16,810.43 on the grounds that he did not directly contract with the two contractors and did not receive any economic benefit from the unauthorized harvest. He also maintained that he informed the contractor Gravelle of the property boundary prior to harvesting.
The Commission found that Mr. McIntyre entered into a verbal contract with Mr. Gravelle and had a written contract with Mr. Bossio. The Panel also found that he had care and control over the operations and the contractors were both working on his behalf or under his direction. Therefore, Mr. McIntyre was in contravention of section 96. Despite contradictory testimony from Mr. McIntyre and Mr. Gravelle, the Commission also found that Mr. McIntyre’s direction to Mr. Gravelle on where to log, and his failure to require the boundary to be ribboned, resulted in the unauthorized harvesting. While he showed a timber cruise map to Gravelle, the Commission found that this was not sufficient to meet the test for informing a contractor as required under section 97(2), given the topography and the dense bush.
On the quantum of penalty, the Commission noted that whether Mr. McIntyre received a financial benefit from the unauthorized harvest is not the only consideration under section 117. The Commission found that all relevant factors under section 117(4) of the Code had been considered by the District Manager and Review Panel, and that the penalty was not excessive given the magnitude of the contravention and Mr. McIntyre’s failure to exercise all reasonable care. The appeal was dismissed.