Trust Description

The BC Forestry Revitalization Trust (BCFRT) was established by the Province of British Columbia effective March 31, 2003. Its purpose is to provide mitigation to workers and contractors that might be negatively affected by the take back of tenure from major licensees pursuant to the BC Forestry Revitalization Act.

History of the Trust

The BCFRT was initially funded with $75,000,000, with the following initial allocation:

$47,000,000 to provide mitigation to forest workers that lost their jobs with a major licensee or contractor with a replaceable contract because of the tenure take back mandated by the BC Forestry Revitalization Act, or training assistance to forest workers that were employed on March 31, 2003 by a licensee or contractor that was affected by the BC Forestry Revitalization Act and are being retrained so they can perform the employment duties of someone that retired or was severed subsequent to March 31, 2003.

$23,000,000 to provide mitigation to contractors that lost some or all of their replaceable contracts because the licensee with whom they had a replaceable contract lost tenure because of the BC Forestry Revitalization Act in the area where that contractor worked.

$5,000,000 to pay for administration of the BCFRT.

The Advisory Board developed draft forest worker and contractor mitigation guidelines. In order to develop an estimate of the cost of those guidelines, the Trustee polled all the major licensees that were to lose some of their allowable annual cut. They were asked to provide their best estimate of the effect of the timber reallocation on their workers, their contractors, and their contractors’ workers. The Trustee received a 100% response rate from Coastal licensees, and a 90% response rate in the Interior. The main reason for the lower response in the Interior was the lack of a response from New Skeena, which was involved in bankruptcy proceedings.

Utilizing the best estimates of industry, seniority estimates obtained from the IWA pension plan, seniority estimates obtained from contractor industry associations, and the proposed guidelines, the Trustee arrived at an estimated cost of delivering the proposed guidelines. Based on that estimate, the Trustee estimated that the BCFRT required approximately $50,000,000 more than what was available in the BCFRT accounts, plus what the BCFRT was likely earn in interest while holding mitigation funds in trust.

The Trustee and the Advisory Board approached the province to attempt to get sufficient extra funds to allow the draft mitigation guidelines to be finalized. The majority of the Advisory Board felt strongly that anything less than the draft guidelines would not be equitable to displaced forest workers and replaceable contractors. On February 22, 2005 the legislature approved the request, and the BCFRT was able to finalize the proposed guidelines.

Trust Administration

The BCFRT is overseen by a Trustee, Eric van Soeren, who is guided by a seven member Advisory Board. The Advisory Board is made up of individuals who represent and were nominated by members of the major stakeholder groups. These stakeholder groups and their representatives are as follows:

Coastal Contractors Jim Girvan
Interior Contractors Tim Menning
Coastal Licensees Rick Jeffery
Interior Licensees James Gorman
Steelworkers Rick Neuworth
  Brian Butler
Ministry of Forests and Range Tom Jensen

Contact information and CVs for the Trustee and the Advisory Board members can be found on the Advisory Board page.

The Advisory Board sets guidelines for mitigation. Each member is expected to represent their stakeholder group's best interests, while understanding and working with the sometimes conflicting interests of other stakeholder groups, and the limited resources of the BCFRT.

For general questions about the Trust, please see our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Contact Information

Trustee: Eric van Soeren
Address: 730 Walker's Hook Road
Salt Spring Island, BC
V8K 1N5
Fax: 250-537-1533
Fax: 250-537-1534
General information: