Sign In

News & Policy


January 24, 2017

Convention Round-Up Complete!

Get the highlights for the TLA's 74th Convention & Trade Show by reading our daily round-ups


January 20, 2017

Minister Thomson Elaborates on Forest Industry Contractor Sustainability Review

PRESS RELEASE

Minister Thomson Elaborates on Forest Industry Contractor Sustainability Review
 
January 20, 2017, Vancouver –Today Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson elaborated on the contractor sustainability review announced by Premier Christy Clark yesterday at the TLA’s 74th Annual Convention & Trade Show, “In It For The Long Run.”
 
“This is a landmark announcement for timber harvesting contractors and for the forest industry as a whole,” said David Elstone, TLA Executive Director. “Contractors are the economic backbone of BC’s rural communities. Ensuring they are on a secure business footing and earning a fair rate of return means we’ll continue to have long-term, well-paid jobs in BC’s rural communities and that benefits everyone.”
 
For his part, Minister Thomson is pleased the timelines are quick. “I’m really pleased we are able to respond, listen and move it forward with the urgency and the timing that the [timber harvesting contractor] associations have been advocating for.” The deadline for completing the economic analysis, which has already begun, and getting the independent facilitator in place is March 31, 2017.
 
“This is the most important announcement for contractors in years and demonstrates the Premier and her team—including Minister Thomson—understand and are committed to the success of the forest industry,” said Elstone. “There’s much more work to do but I know the TLA and its members are ready to do their part to get this process done in timely manner.”
 
 
The TLA (Truck Loggers Association) represents 570 independent forest contractors and their suppliers operating on the coast of British Columbia. Our membership supports thousands of workers and, along with other independent contractors, accounts for close to 90% of the trees harvested on the coast. The TLA promotes a thriving, sustainable coastal forest industry in BC. 
 
– 30 –
 
For more information: Brenda Martin, Director of Communications, The Truck Loggers Association 
Phone: 604.684.4291 ◦ Cell: 604.339.7554 ◦ Fax: 604.684.7134 ◦ Email: brenda@tla.ca 
Twitter: @truckloggerBC ◦ Website: www.tla.ca
 

January 20, 2017

TLA and Chevron Award Scholarship for Heavy Equipment Operator Students

PRESS RELEASE

TLA and Chevron Award Scholarship for Heavy Equipment Operator Students
 
January 20, 2017, Vancouver – Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson congratulated the winners of two scholarships from Vancouver Island University’s Heavy Equipment Operator Program at the TLA’s 74th Annual Convention & Trade Show, “In It For The Long Run. (Link to high res photo.)
 
"I commend Mitchell and Tye for pursuing careers in the forest industry. Forestry is vitally important to BC's economy and the backbone of many rural communities. Over the next few years, more jobs will continue to open up and I encourage all young people to consider working in the woods," said Thomson.
 
This year’s scholarship winners, Mitchell Dixon and Tye Mckie, are fully committed to working in the forest industry. In fact, like many forestry workers, they are outdoors people who look forward to working in the forest they already hike, bike and camp in.   
470 independent forest contractors and their suppliers operating on the coast of British Columbia. Our membership supports thousands of workers and, along with other independent contractors, accounts for close to 90% of the trees harvested on the coast. The TLA promotes a thriving, sustainable coastal forest industry in BC. 
 
– 30 –
 
For more information: Brenda Martin, Director of Communications, The Truck Loggers Association 
Phone: 604.684.4291 ◦ Cell: 604.339.7554 ◦ Fax: 604.684.7134 ◦ Email: brenda@tla.ca 
Twitter: @truckloggerBC ◦ Website: www.tla.ca
 

January 20, 2017

Premier Clark Announces Job Training Tax Credits For Timber Harvesting Contractors

Press Release

Premier Clark Announces Job Training Tax Credits For Timber Harvesting Contractors 
 
January 20, 2017, Vancouver  – Premier Clark announced the development of job training tax credits for on-the-ground training specifically for BC’s timber harvesting contractors yesterday at the Truck Logger Association’s 74th Annual Convention and Trade Show.
 
“The average age of a tree faller is 57,” Clark told the audience. “You’ve got a 50 per cent retirement rate that you’re looking down the barrel at over the next five years.” With that in mind, Clark outlined her plan: Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training, will work with the Minister of Finance and the TLA to put in place job training tax credits for on-the-ground training aimed at timber harvesting contractors in British Columbia.
 
“This idea for job training tax credits shows Premier Clark’s recognizes the unique challenges timber harvesting contractors face in training new employees and I thank her for that,” said David Elstone, TLA Executive Director. “You can’t send someone to school for logging. So much of the work has to be learned on the ground from people who’ve worked in the industry a long time. It’s really an apprentice-type situation.”
 
The announcement also ties back to contractor sustainability. “These tax credits will help pass on the unwritten and essential knowledge timber harvesting contractors close to retirement have learned over their multi-decade careers,” explained Elstone. “This will not only help contractors but the industry as a whole in ensuring the supply chain continues to deliver logs efficiently.”
 
“Hopefully, the tax credits will allow timber harvesting contractors to invest in training of new employees before we lose all the know-how,” said Elstone. “This work will support independent timber harvesting contractors who can’t afford the added cost of training new employees but know our older workforce can’t keep going forever.” 
 
 
The TLA (Truck Loggers Association) represents 470 independent forest contractors and their suppliers operating on the coast of British Columbia. Our membership supports thousands of workers and, along with other independent contractors, accounts for close to 90% of the trees harvested on the coast. The TLA promotes a thriving, sustainable coastal forest industry in BC. 
 
– 30 –
 
For more information: Brenda Martin, Director of Communications, The Truck Loggers Association 
Phone: 604.684.4291 ◦ Cell: 604.339.7554 ◦ Fax: 604.684.7134 ◦ Email: brenda@tla.ca 
Twitter: @truckloggerBC ◦ Website: www.tla.ca
 


January 19, 2017

Premier Clark’s Landmark Forestry Announcement Invigorates Timber Harvesting Contractors

PRESS RELEASE

Premier Clark’s Landmark Forestry Announcement Invigorates Timber Harvesting Contractors 
 
January 19, 2017, Vancouver  – Premier Clark announced her government’s contractor sustainability review for BC’s timber harvesting contractors at the Truck Logger Association’s 74th Annual Convention and Trade Show, “In It For the Long Run,” in Vancouver today.
 
“This is the most significant announcement to affect timber harvesting contractors across the province in almost 20 years,” said David Elstone, TLA Executive Director. “BC’s $13 billion forest products industry relies on timber harvesting contractors making this not just an important announcement for contractors but for the industry as a whole.”
 
“Contractors are the economic backbone of BC’s rural communities,” said Elstone. “Right now both communities and contractors are suffering. Contractor sustainability will mean allowing independent timber harvesting contractors to earn a fair rate of return so they can continue to create steady, well-paying jobs in BC’s rural communities and be in it for the long run.”
 
“I’m particularly excited about Premier Clark’s commitment to appoint an independent facilitator and have him or her conduct individual interviews with TLA members so government can really understand the situation,” said Elstone. “We have a lot to get done to meet Premier Clark’s March 31 deadline and I know the TLA and its members are ready to do whatever it takes to get there.”
 
The TLA (Truck Loggers Association) represents 470 independent forest contractors and their suppliers operating on the coast of British Columbia. Our membership supports thousands of workers and, along with other independent contractors, accounts for close to 90% of the trees harvested on the coast. The TLA promotes a thriving, sustainable coastal forest industry in BC. 
 
– 30 –
 
For more information: Brenda Martin, Director of Communications, The Truck Loggers Association 
Phone: 604.684.4291 ◦ Cell: 604.339.7554 ◦ Fax: 604.684.7134 ◦ Email: brenda@tla.ca
Twitter: @truckloggerBC ◦ Website: www.tla.ca
 

January 18, 2017

Daily Round-Up

Come here to get the daily round-up of what was said each day during the TLA 74th Annual Convention & Trade Show!

Daily Round-Up: Friday

  • Today Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson elaborated on the contractor sustainability review announced by Premier Christy Clark yesterday.  “I’m really pleased we are able to respond, listen and move it forward with the urgency and the timing that the [timber harvesting contractor] associations have been advocating for,” said Thomson.
  • What does the coastal industry need? We need to harvest the entire forest profile, build community support, find a rate of return that supports the risk of investment, and to work together to compete in a global market.
  • Industry needs to coordinate messages to communities about the positive aspects of the forest industry.
  • Safety: Our industry is still somewhere between "all accidents can be prevented" and "I can get ’er done.” We need to keep addressing that dichotomy. 
  • Uncertainty is overwhelming the industry and holding back investment. 
  • We are not moving fast enough to bring certainty to the land base in response to the Tsilhqot'in Decision and Aboriginal rights and title.
  • We need to break the institutional and historic barriers to introduce innovation into the supply chain and we need contractors.

Daily Round-Up: Thursday

  • Premier Clark announced her government’s contractor sustainability review for BC’s timber harvesting contractors. This is the most important announcement for contractors in almost 20 years.
  • Premier Clark also announced the development of job training tax credits for on-the-ground training specifically for BC’s timber harvesting contractors.
  • The current licensee/contractor model needs to change. Alternatives to the current model are joint ventures, partnerships or market logging.  CCDC2 contracts have worked in the construction industry and may work for the logging sector.
  • There is no global timber shortage on the horizon and as a result it is doubtful if US duties on Canadian lumber exports to the US can be passed on to customers.
  • Positives that have happened since the last softwood lumber agreement include a more mature market in BC, increased diversification, new technology, a focus on green building around the world and some cooperation between the US and Canada on marketing wood. That said, the US is tougher now in trade disputes and the new administration is a ‘known unknown.’
  • It’s not an either/or situation. It is not forestry OR tourism; it is forestry AND tourism.
  • A high turnover in leadership means new mayors and councillors are less familiar with forestry and so the need for communication and education is ever greater.

Daily Round-Up: Wednesday

  • As the technology evolves there is no clear industry preference. Investing in steep slope is still risky because it’s not clear which technology is going to prevail. But the opportunity and need is clear.
  • An equipment operator said it took him 500 hours to learn how to use winch equipment effectively.
  • You need to negotiate a steep slope rate for steep slope harvesting. This new equipment can be a lot more expensive than traditional equipment so contractors must earn a higher rate of return (rate) to support these investments.
  • It’s important to report near misses especially as we learn about new technology. Your near miss info could save someone else’s life.
  • A not engaged worker is the highest risk person on your crew.
  • Addressing substance abuse is not just about drug testing – it’s much more holistic.
  • Focus on evolving consent rather than static consent with First Nations. “It’s like a marriage—you still have to talk after you say I do.”