Keywords:Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act – ss.131(5), (9) and (10); Administrative Review and Appeal Procedure Regulation – s.2; Operational Planning Regulation – s.15(3)(d); test for intervenor status.
This is an application by the Sierra Club of British Columbia (the ‘Sierra Club’) for intervenor status in an appeal initiated by the Forest Practices Board (the ‘Board’) against a decision of a Review Panel approving MacMillan Bloedel’s forest development plan for Brooks Bay. The Sierra Club seek status to present evidence and make arguments in the appeal. In its submissions to the Commission, the Sierra Club notes that its interests go beyond the legal question of whether the Plan complies with the Code’s content requirements.
When determining whether a party should be granted intervenor status, the Commission will consider (1) whether the applicant has a genuine interest in the appeal, and (2) whether the applicant’s participation would assist the proceeding. The Commission found that the Sierra Club does have an interest in the appeal because the group has a record of interest in this particular forest development plan. The Commission also found that the Sierra Club can assist in the proceedings by providing a public interest environmental perspective not offered by any other party to the appeal. The Commission then considered whether the Sierra Club could raise or address issues other than those raised by the Board and decided the intervenor could call evidence, cross examine, and make submissions on issues raised by the Board in the appeal. The application was granted.