|Sept. 2004||Ministry of Forests|
B.C. FORESTRY REVITALIZATION TRUST
Revitalizing B.C.’s forest economy will require adjustments by industry, workers, communities and government.
For this reason, government set aside $75 million in the B.C. Forestry Revitalization Trust to be used for transition assistance for workers and contractors affected by timber reallocation. Transition assistance will be available both in the Interior and on the Coast. It is expected that a proportionately higher share of the funds will be spent on the Coast, where the province’s forest sector has experienced the most serious decline, and where the greatest adjustment may be necessary.
Transition funding will be available to two groups:
In March 2004, government appointed Eric van Soeren, C.A., as fund trustee, who along with a seven-member advisory board, will administer the trust. Board members represent impacted stakeholder groups, including workers, logging contractors, licensees and government.
The advisory board will set guidelines for who will receive payments and advise the trustee on how much will be paid under what conditions, so the funds provide the most benefits for those who need them. Application details are expected to be available this fall.
Providing one-time transition funding will help workers and contractors build new futures as the forest industry reshapes itself to achieve long-term revitalization. Though there may be some dislocation in the short-term, in the longer term timber reallocation will create new opportunities. This will ultimately create a stronger economy for the province, and will generate revenue to pay for public services that benefit all British Columbians.
B.C. Forestry Revitalization Trust – Trustee and Advisory Board membership
Trustee: Eric van Soeren
Eric van Soeren was appointed as sole trustee of the Coast Sustainability Trust in July 2002. Before that he served for five years as the B.C. Job Protection Commissioner. Van Soeren is a chartered accountant with an MBA in finance, and currently works as a management consultant.
Peter Affleck (representing Interior licensees)
As vice president of forestry for the Council of Forest Industries, Peter Affleck assists member companies in the interpretation and application of forestry legislation and policy. Affleck has a master’s degree in Forest Resources and more than 29 years’ experience in forestry management and planning.
Jim Girvan (representing the Truck Loggers Association)
Jim Girvan was appointed executive director of the Truck Loggers Association in February 2003. Girvan is a registered professional forester with a master’s degree in business administration, and has more than 25 years’ experience in forestry and finance.
Monty Mearns (representing the I.W.A. Council of United Steelworkers of America)
Monty Mearns is president of the Industrial Wood & Allied Workers of Canada (IWA) Local 1-85. Mearns has held several positions within Local 1-85 since 1979, and has a background in logging. This is his fourth year serving as president of Local 1-85.
Tim Menning (representing Interior contractors)
Tim Menning has served as chair of the Central Interior Logging Association (CILA) and has 20 years’ experience as a logging contractor. Menning served as a negotiator for the Cariboo-Chilcotin Land Use Plan, and most recently as one of the CILA’s representatives in discussion with government regarding amendments to Bill 13.
Julian Paine (representing the Ministry of Forests)
Julian Paine joined the Ministry of Finance and Corporate Relations in 1986. In 1994, Paine transferred to Forest Renewal BC as director of policy and program development and later served as executive director of corporate planning and evaluation. Paine is now the executive director of tenure and revenue at the Ministry of Forests. Paine graduated from the University of Victoria with a master’s degree in public administration.
Darrel Wong (representing the I.W.A. Council of United Steelworkers of America)
Darrel Wong began working for Industrial Wood & Allied Workers of Canada (IWA) in 1983, and has served as president of Local 2171 since 1992, representing 4,300 members in coastal logging operations and sawmills. Wong has been a member of the IWA Canada National Executive Board since 1992, and is a member of the provincial negotiating committee. He began working full time in the forest industry in 1976.
Berni Zimmermann (representing Coastal licensees)
Berni Zimmermann is involved on the boards of both the Coast Forest and Lumber Association (CFLA) and Forest Industrial Relations Ltd. (FIR). Zimmermann began his career with McMillan Bloedel in 1973, after graduating with a bachelor of science degree in forestry. He is the general manager at Western Forest Products, overseeing their timber harvesting operations.