Keywords: Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act – ss. 131(13) and (14); Administrative Review and Appeal Procedure Regulations – ss. 24(1), (2)(a) and (b); intervenor status.
The Council of Forest Industries (“COFI”) applied for intervenor status in an appeal filed by L & M Lumber Ltd. (“L & M”).
L & M appealed a review determination by a Review Panel, in which it found that L & M harvested timber in contravention of section 96 of the Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act (the “Code“). The Review Panel determined that L & M did not establish that it exercised “due diligence”, a defence contained in section 72(a) of the Forest and Range Practices Act (“FRPA“).
COFI is an industry organization which represents many of the licensees operating in the forest sector in the British Columbia Interior.
COFI sought intervenor status in order to make submissions on the interpretation and application of section 72(a) of the FRPA, as well as on the substance of the due diligence defence.
The Commission found that COFI has a valid interest in the question of the proper interpretation on section 72 of the FRPA, as it represents forest companies that have an interest in the outcome of L & M’s appeal. Further, the Commission found that COFI’s limited participation will not result in unnecessary delay, and that it will provide an industry-wide perspective on the due diligence defence, which is unique from the other parties’ perspectives.
The Commission granted COFI’s application for intervenor status on the conditions that it provides a written argument on the interpretation of section 72 of the FRPA and on the substance of the due diligence defence, that it limits its oral arguments to 45 minutes, and that it does not lead evidence, cross examine, or raise new issues.
Accordingly, the application for intervenor status was allowed.