Vol. 151, No. 8 — April 19, 2017
SOR/2017-52 April 13, 2017
Regulations Amending the Timber Regulations, 1993
P.C. 2017-375 April 13, 2017
His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Natural Resources, pursuant to section 6 (see footnote a) of the Forestry Act (see footnote b), makes the annexed Regulations Amending the Timber Regulations, 1993.
Regulations Amending the Timber Regulations, 1993
1 The definition Minister in section 2 of the Timber Regulations, 1993 (see footnote 1) is repealed.
2 Section 6 of the Regulations is replaced by the following:
6 The fees that are to be paid for a permit issued under section 7 are those that are imposed by the province in which the forest area is located and to which the permit applies.
3 Paragraph 7(6)(d) of the English version of the Regulations is replaced by the following:
- (d) the terms and conditions respecting the cutting and removal of the timber that will allow for the protection of the forest area.
4 Section 8 of the Regulations is replaced by the following:
8 If, under paragraph 7(6)(d) or 12(1)(b), the forestry officer includes terms or conditions in a permit or gives instructions for the protection of the forest area, those terms, conditions or instructions shall be to encourage regeneration and reforestation, to avoid damage to vegetation or to the timber that is not covered by the permit, and to avoid damage to the cutting and removal site and any animal habitats.
5 Paragraph 12(1)(c) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:
- (c) fails to observe any municipal, provincial or federal law that pertains to forest activities in the forest area to which the permit applies.
6 Subsection 15(2) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:
(2) The amount of the security deposit, that is determined by the Minister in the agreement, shall be not less than 10% of the tender price.
7 Sections 17 and 18 of the Regulations are repealed.
8 (1) The portion of section 19 of the Regulations before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:
19 (1) Every permit holder and every operator shall remove from the forest area within any period that is specified in the permit or agreement or, if no period is specified in it, within 12 months after the expiry of the permit or the completion of operations in accordance with the agreement,
(2) Section 19 of the Regulations is amended by adding the following after subsection (1):
(2) However, on the request of the permit holder or operator and before the expiry of the specified period referred to in subsection (1), the forestry officer may extend that period by a maximum of 12 months having regard to the circumstances beyond the permit holder’s or operator’s control that prevent them from removing the things referred to in paragraphs (1)(a) to (c) within the specified period.
Coming into Force
9 These Regulations come into force on the day on which they are registered.
REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT
(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)
The Timber Regulations, 1993 (the Regulations) are made under the Forestry Act (the Act) and relate to the cutting and removal of timber on federal lands. These Regulations outline the general terms and conditions under which permits may be issued and agreements may be entered into with forest companies and/or individuals.
The Regulations pertain only to timber harvesting on federal lands, which represent only 4% of lands that are federally controlled, and which consist largely of national parks, Canadian Forces bases and federal research forests. Due to this ownership structure, there is very little commercial forestry on federal lands, and the bulk of the harvesting that does take place is in the form of silviculture treatments (silviculture treatments are actions taken to improve a stand or help it regenerate) undertaken in federal research forests for the purposes of scientific investigation.
These Regulations were prepublished in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on October 1, 2016, and no comments were received.
Issues and objectives
The Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations (SJCSR) and the Department of Justice reviewed the Regulations and identified the following issues:
- minor inconsistencies between the French and English versions of the Regulations;
- minor concerns of a technical nature (e.g. the clarification of the applicable fee structures and the time allotted to the operators for removal of buildings, equipment and debris); and
- a redundant definition (as it is already defined in the enabling act).
The objective of the proposed changes is to bring greater clarity and cohesiveness to the Regulations in response to the issues raised by the SJCSR.
A complete description of the changes suggested by the SJCSR is summarized below.
- Under section 2, removal of the definition of the word “Minister,” as this is already defined by the enabling act: the Forestry Act.
- Under section 6, the words “officially published” have been removed from this section to clarify that whenever stumpage fees apply on federal lands, they will be equivalent to the provincial fees in effect in that province as these provincial fees can vary considerably within and between various regions. This section now reads as follows: “The fees that are to be paid for a permit issued under section 7 are those that are imposed by the province in which the forest area is located and to which the permit applies.”
- As suggested by the SJCSR, under paragraph 7(6)(d), the word “such” has been replaced with the word “the” for the purpose of grammatical correctness and uniformity. The words “that will allow” have been added for further clarification.
- The Department of Justice drafters suggested that paragraph 17(b) and subsection 18(1) be regrouped under section 12 so that items pertaining to “permits” would be grouped under the same heading, thus adding to the cohesion of the document. Therefore, under section 8, the reference to paragraph 17(a) has been removed as this paragraph is now regrouped under section 12. The phrase “pursuant to” has been replaced by “under.”
- Under paragraph 12(1)(c), the following words were added to clarify the clause: “that pertain to forest activities in the forest area to which the permit applies.” This text was added to qualify that this paragraph of the Regulations should be limited to forest legislation that is applicable in the forest region where the permit is granted.
- The SJCSR suggested that subsection 15(2) be changed from the wording “The amount of the security deposit referred to in subsection (1) shall be not less than 10% of the tender price.” to the wording “The amount of the security deposit, that is determined by the Minister in the agreement, shall be not less than 10% of the tender price.” This wording change is intended to clarify the tender price as specified in the agreement.
- As suggested by the SJCSR, sections 17 and 18 are repealed. Removing these sections corrects what the SJCSR considers to be a legal mistake. To be clear, it is still a criminal offence to cut timber on federal lands without an agreement, contract or permit. The repeal of these sections would mean that it would be no longer a criminal offence to break a contract or agreement, which is considered by the Committee to be “illegal.”
- Under subsection 19(1), wording changes would allow the permit holder or operator 12 months after the expiration of the permit or completion of work (or in the time frame specified in the permit or agreement) to remove buildings and works, equipment and debris; previously, the time frame was three months. This time extension allows for minimizing environmental damage in the case of unforeseen circumstances, such as extreme weather events. Under section 19, the addition of subsection 19(2) would allow the forestry officer, at their discretion, to give permit holders up to an additional 12 months to remove buildings and works, equipment and debris, when circumstances warrant such a time extension. This greater time frame is intended to place greater emphasis on maintaining environmental integrity rather than the original emphasis on prompt building and equipment removal.
The key stakeholders relevant to this proposal are federal land managers and research scientists, academics, and occasionally, small forestry operators contracted to do silviculture treatments. The operations managers for several federal research forests were consulted during the drafting process for these regulatory changes. Land managers were very supportive of the change to allow greater time for the removal of buildings and equipment from harvesting sites, as this flexibility would have the possible effect of minimizing environmental damage to the areas in question.
The “One-for-One” Rule does not apply to this proposal, as there is no change in administrative costs to business.
Small business lens
The small business lens does not apply with respect to this proposal, as there are no costs (or insignificant costs) to small business.
The regulatory amendments address recommendations made by the SJCSR and the Department of Justice, and improve the clarity and cohesiveness of the Regulations.
There is very minimal impact as a result of these changes, as they are technical in nature and only apply to timber harvesting on federal lands.
Implementation, enforcement and service standards
The Regulations Amending the Timber Regulations, 1993 come into force on the day on which they are registered.
Strategic Analysis and Policy Development Division
Canadian Forest Service
Department of Natural Resources
580 Booth Street