Decision Date: May 10, 2004
Panel: Alan Andison
Keywords: Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act s. 13 (13), (14); Administrative Review and Appeal Procedure Regulation s. 24 (1), (2); application for intervenor status
The Interior Lumber Manufacturer’s Association, the Council of Forest Industries and the Coast Forest and Lumber Association (the “Applicants”) applied for intervenor status in two appeals by Kalesnikoff Lumber Co. Ltd. (“Kalesnikoff”). The appeals arose from a determination by the Deputy District Manger, Kootenay Lake Forest District (the “Senior Official”) that Kalesnikoff had contravened the Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act (the “Code“) in respect of a landslide and other erosion. The Applicants sought intervenor status to participate in the legal argument on the defence of due diligence in the Code.
In considering the application, the Commission applied the test for intervenor status adopted by the Commission in Forest Practices Board v. Riverside Forest Products Ltd. and the Ministry of Forests (Forest Appeals Commission, Appeal No. 95/01(a), June 11, 1996) (unreported) (“Riverside”). The Riverside test for granting intervenor status considers two issues: 1) whether the Applicants have a valid interest in participating and 2) whether the Applicants can be of assistance in the proceeding.
The Commission found that, as industry organizations representing most of the licensees operating in the province, the Applicants have a valid interest in the issues raised in the Kalesinikoff appeals.
The Government argued against the Commission granting the Applicants intervenor status on the basis that Kalesnikoff was a member of two of the industry organizations. The Government further argued that the Applicants’ submission did not indicate a unique or different perspective from Kalesnikoff that would make the Applicants’ participation of assistance to the Commission.
The Commission found that the Applicants had a unique, industry-wide perspective on the issues and possessed significant information, expertise, and views that would help ensure a full and thoughtful canvassing of the issues in the appeals. The Commission found that the Applicants would be of assistance to the proceedings and that their participation would not cause undue delay or duplication of evidence as long as the Applicants provided joint oral and written submissions and the Applicants did not lead evidence, cross-examine witnesses or provide expert evidence.
The Commission granted the application for intervenor status.