Decision Date: June 10, 2004
Panel: Alan Andison
Keywords: Forest Act – s. 105, 143, 145(5), 146; stumpage rate; Interior Appraisal Manual; statutory review; jurisdiction; Interpretation Act – ss. 35, 36; repeal of requirement for review prior to appeal
Abitibi-Consolidated Company of Canada (the “Company”) appealed a February 4, 2004 letter from the Timber Pricing Coordinator, Northern Interior Forest Region, Ministry of Forests (“MOF”). The letter was issued in response to objection letters from the Company. It upheld stumpage advisory notices (SANs) issued for five cutting permits.
The Government questioned the Commission’s jurisdiction to hear appeals on four of the SANs. The four had not been the subject of a statutory review and were issued prior to the November 2003 Forest Act changes eliminating the requirement that a stumpage determination be subject to a review prior to being eligible for appeal to the Commission.
The issues before the Commission were whether the MOF letter constituted a “determination” of stumpage that could be appealed to the Commission, and whether an appeal of the four SANs issued prior to the Forest Act changes could proceed without first going through a review.
On the first issue, the Commission found that the original SANs, and not the MOF letter, constituted determinations that could be appealed. On the second issue, the Commission considered the relevant sections of the Interpretation Act regarding the repeal and replacement of legislation. The Commission found that it had no jurisdiction to hear the appeals of the fours SANs that were issued prior to the Forest Act amendments. The Commission further found that it had jurisdiction over an appeal of the SAN that was issued after the effective date of the Forest Act changes. The Commission noted that, with respect to the four SANs other actions that would have to go to review, the person responsible for conducting the review had jurisdiction to extend the time for requesting a review, which had already expired, and that the Government indicated it would not hold the Company to the original deadline for requesting a review.
The Commission concluded that it only had jurisdiction over the appeal pertaining to one of the five SANs.