Decision Date: February 26, 2001
Panel: David Ormerod
Keywords: Forest Act – 76, 79(1), 111; Forest Practices Code – s. 70(4)(d); silviculture prescriptions; not sufficiently restocked; suspension; woodlot licence; regeneration delay; annual rent.
This was an appeal by Laurie Parker of the District Manager’s decision to suspend Mr. Parker’s rights under his woodlot licence. The District Manager suspended Mr. Parker’s rights for failing to perform his silviculture obligations under the preharvest silviculture prescriptions (“PHSPs”) for the woodlot licence, and for failure to pay rent. Mr. Parker sought an order from the Commission rescinding the suspension and reinstating his rights under the woodlot licence.
The parties did not dispute that the woodlot was inadequately stocked and that Mr. Parker had not met his silvicultural obligations under the PHSPs. Accordingly, the Commission found that section 70(4)(d) of the Code was contravened. The Commission found that the regeneration standards the Ministry set for itself are irrelevant to whether Mr. Parker met his own obligations. Furthermore, under section 79(1)(b) and (c) of the Forest Act, Mr. Parker remained liable to perform all obligations imposed under the woodlot licence despite its suspension.
The parties did not dispute that Mr. Parker was in arrears for annual rents at the time of the suspension. Under s. 79(1)(a) of the Forest Act, Mr. Parker is liable only for any rent owing before the suspension. By the time of the hearing Mr. Parker had paid all the rent owing up to the suspension date, and was therefore in compliance with section 111 of the Forest Act. Contravention of section 111 was, therefore, no longer a ground for continuing the suspension.
The Commission found that, since Mr. Parker was still in contravention of section 70(4)(d) of the Code, and a monetary penalty would be ineffective given Mr. Parker’s financial situation and his history of non-compliance with silviculture obligations, a suspension continued to be the most appropriate penalty.
The appeal was denied.