Decision Date: February 16, 2010
Panel: Alan Andison
Keywords: Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act – ss. 133, 135; document disclosure; summons; interim order; forest fire
Louisiana-Pacific Canada Ltd. (“Louisiana-Pacific”) appealed a contravention order and administrative penalty/cost recovery order issued by the Fire Centre Manager, Southeast Fire Centre, Ministry of Forests and Range. The events pertaining to the appeal involved alleged contraventions of the Wildfire Act that occurred in 2007.
As a preliminary matter, Louisiana-Pacific applied to the Commission for an order that the Government produce four documents that LP had previously requested from the Government. The Government had declined to produce the documents on the grounds that they were irrelevant to the appeal. The four documents were:
In deciding whether to grant the application, the Commission applied the following test: whether there is a reasonable possibility that the information sought would be useful to the applicant during the applicant’s preparation and presentation of their case before the Commission.
The Commission found that one of the four documents met this requirement; namely, the policies and procedures used by the Southeast Fire Centre in 2007. The Commission held that those documents may have been used by staff at the Southeast Fire Centre, during the time of the events that led to the appeal, to decide when not to record an event. The Commission ordered the Government to disclose the document to Louisiana-Pacific several weeks before the appeal hearing. The Commission denied Louisiana-Pacific s application to the extent that it pertained to the other three documents.
Accordingly, the application was granted, in part.