This is an application by the Sierra Club of British Columbia (‘Sierra Club’) for intervenor status in an appeal by MacMillan Bloedel Ltd. (‘MB’) to the Forest Appeals Commission. MB is appealing the decision of a Review Panel upholding a determination made by a senior official that MB violated section 96(1) of the Code by unauthorized harvesting of timber. MB is appealing the penalty assessment on the grounds that due diligence should be a defence to a violation or penalty assessment under the Code.
The Commission held that in determining whether a party should be granted intervenor status the Commission must 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 has a genuine interest in the proceedings, and that the Sierra Club’s participation would help the Commission examine all aspects of the issue of whether due diligence should be a defence to administrative penalties. However, the Commission restricted the Sierra Club’s participation to making oral submissions on the legal issue of due diligence after the other parties made their submissions. The application was granted.