Decision Date: April 8, 2004
Panel: James S. Hackett
Keywords: Forest Act – s.105, 146; stumpage rate; appraisal; base permit; Interior Appraisal Manual
510572 B.C. Ltd. (the “Company”) appealed the determination by the Timber Pricing Coordinator, Prince George Region, Ministry of Forests confirming the stumpage rate contained in the Stumpage Advisory Notice for Woodlot Licence W0224, Cutting Permit “S” (the “Cutting Permit”). The Company appealed the determination on the grounds that the stumpage rate was not calculated using a base cutting permit that was fair and equitable for all woodlot licences in the Prince George Forest District. The Company sought to have the stumpage rate reduced by $8.00 per cubic metre for all timber harvested under the Cutting Permit during the first business quarter of 2003.
The issue in this appeal was whether the stumpage rate for the Cutting Permit should be reduced in the circumstances.
The Commission found that the stumpage rate for the Cutting Permit was acceptable in the circumstances. The Commission found that the Forest Act required the Commission to apply the policies and procedures of the Minister of Forests that were in effect at the time of the initial appraisal; in this case, the November 2002 Interior Appraisal Manual (“IAM”). In addition, the Commission noted that, unlike the IAM, a memorandum issued by the Director of the Ministry’s Revenue Branch setting out a procedure for establishing base cutting permits, did not have the force of law. Nonetheless, the Commission found that there was no compelling evidence demonstrating that the Director’s policy was unreasonable and, therefore, the Commission was prepared to apply the policy to the facts of this case. Furthermore, the Commission found that the Company provided insufficient evidence to establish that the stumpage rate in this case was unfair or was improperly calculated.
The appeal was dismissed.