Sign In

News & Policy


February 03, 2017

Gaps in Safety Net Threaten Forestry Workers and Rural Communities

PRESS RELEASE

Gaps in Safety Net Threaten Forestry Workers and Rural Communities
 
February 3, 2017 Vancouver – BC Forest Safety Ombudsman, Roger Harris, released a report, Will It Be There? A Report on Helicopter Emergency Medical Services in BC, about emergency medical transportation services found in rural BC and how it affects forestry workers. 

According to the findings of the report “there are serious gaps in the provision of emergency medical transportation services to people living and working in rural parts of the province. This gap threatens the safety of forestry workers—as well as residents—who seemingly have little or no guarantee that they will have access to timely medical transportation in the event of an emergency.” 

“The vast majority of timber in BC is harvested by independent timber harvesting contractors and many of them, through necessity, work hours from a paved road, let alone a hospital, in BC’s remote working forest,” said David Elstone, Executive Director of the Truck Loggers Association (TLA). Poor weather, rough terrain and distance are major obstacles to transporting injured workers and they can seriously impede the outcomes of emergency response. “We have a moral obligation to ensure these men and women have timely access to emergency medical transportation services when they need it most.” 
 
“Timber harvesting contractors are the economic backbone of BC rural communities. Their workers and their families should expect the same level of medical evacuation service that those living and working in urban centres rely on,” said Elstone.
 
“Harris has put a spotlight on an important safety issue both in the woods and in our rural communities. The report makes several useful observations and recommendations,” said Elstone. “I think the approach going forward must be flexible and not attempt to solve this problem with one solution across the entire province.  I want to stress that the primary focus here needs to be on what is best for the injured worker. We need to close this gap in the safety net.” 
 
“I thank Roger Harris for filling an important role in helping to seek continuous improvements in safety for our forest industry,” said Elstone. “The independence of his role as BC Forest Safety Ombudsman allows all stakeholders in the forest industry—including independent timber harvesting contractors—to have a voice in industry safety.”
 
 
The TLA (Truck Loggers Association) represents over 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 per cent 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 
 

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