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FORESTERS ACT

[RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 162

Contents

Section

 

1

Definitions

 

2

Association of British Columbia Professional Foresters

 

3

Purpose of the association

 

4

Members of the association

 

5

Meetings of the association

 

6

Council of the association

 

7

Powers of council

 

8

Bylaws of the association

 

9

Procedure for bylaw

 

10

Resolutions

 

11

Registrar

 

12

Registered members

 

13

Classes of membership

 

14

Registration

 

15

Enrollment

 

16

Board of examiners

 

17

Special permit

 

18

Fees

 

19

Certificate of registration

 

20

Use of title "Professional Forester"

 

21

Improper use of title

 

22

Unauthorized practice

 

23

Evidence

 

24

Injunction

 

25

Complaint

 

26

Penalty

 

27

Effect of a conviction for an indictable offence

 

28

Public complaints

 

29

Investigation

 

30

Confidentiality

 

31

Discipline

 

32

Appeal

 

33

Evidence

 

34

Protection from law suits

 

35

Application of Offence Act

Definitions

1 In this Act:

"association" means the Association of British Columbia Professional Foresters;

"board" means the board of examiners of the association;

"council" means the council of the association;

"practice of professional forestry" means, for a fee or remuneration, performing or directing works, services or undertakings which, because of their scope and forest management implications, require specialized knowledge, training and experience equivalent to that required for a professional forester under this Act, and includes the following:

(a) managing forests or forest land for the integration and optimum realization of their total forest resource values;

(b) assessing the impact of planned activities on forests and forest land;

(c) designing, specifying or approving methods for or directing the undertaking of

(i) the classification and inventory of forests and forest land,

(ii) silvicultural prescriptions and treatments of forest stands and forest land including timber harvesting,

(iii) the protection of forest resources,

(iv) the valuation of forest land, and

(v) research pertaining to the management of forests and forest land;

(d) planning, locating and approving forest transportation systems, including forest roads;

(e) examining and verifying forest management performance;

"professional forester" means a registered member or holder of a special permit granted under section 17 (1) (a);

"register" means the register of the association kept by the registrar under this Act;

"registrar" means the registrar of the association;

"registration" means admission of a person who qualifies under section 14 (1) and entering the person’s name in the register;

"special permit" means a permit granted under section 17.

Association of British Columbia Professional Foresters

2 (1) The association continues as a corporation under the name "Association of British Columbia Professional Foresters".

(2) The association may

(a) acquire and dispose of property,

(b) do anything necessarily incidental to the power under paragraph (a) and to the management, regulation, discipline and well being of the profession and its members, and

(c) pass bylaws for the purposes of paragraphs (a) and (b).

Purpose of the association

3 The purpose of the association is to uphold the public interest in the practice of professional forestry by ensuring

(a) the competence, independence and integrity of its members, and

(b) that every person practising professional forestry is accountable to the association and to the public.

Members of the association

4 The members of the association are those persons who become members of the association under this Act and the association bylaws.

Meetings of the association

5 (1) An annual meeting of the association is to be held at the time and place the council appoints, at least once in each calendar year and not more than 15 months after the preceding meeting.

(2) The council may on its own motion at any time call a general meeting of the association.

(3) On the written request of 100 or more members of the association, the council must call a meeting of the association.

(4) Notice of meetings of the association must be given in accordance with the bylaws.

Council of the association

6 (1) The council of the association is continued, consisting of the immediate past president, the president, the vice president, not more than 8 councillors who must be elected in accordance with the bylaws and not more than 2 lay councillors who may be appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

(2) Only Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada are eligible to be councillors and the councillors other than the lay councillors must be registered members of the association in good standing.

(3) The vice president

(a) must be elected annually by the members of the association, and

(b) becomes the president of the association in the next year of office, or sooner if the president is unable to continue in office.

(4) The councillors may appoint a registered member of the association to fill a vacancy caused by the incapacity, resignation or death of a councillor.

Powers of council

7 (1) The powers conferred on the association are to be exercised by the council.

(2) The council is to govern, control and administer the affairs of the association and may

(a) exercise all its rights and powers under this Act or the bylaws, and

(b) pass resolutions for those purposes.

Bylaws of the association

8 The council may pass bylaws for the following:

(a) the election of the council;

(b) the government, discipline and honour of the association members, including a code of ethics binding on the members;

(c) the setting of annual, admission and other fees;

(d) the levy, assessment, payment, remission and collection of fees, assessments and charges;

(e) the establishment and administration of standards of admission to membership and for maintaining membership and the enrollment and qualification of candidates for admission;

(f) regulating the practice of professional forestry, including bylaws for setting and maintaining of standards of practice and for conducting reviews of members professional practices;

(g) the establishment of different categories of membership in the association and the limitation of the rights of the members in each category;

(h) the conduct of meetings of the association and of council, including quorums, voting, balloting and associated matters;

(i) the establishment and regulation of categories of special permits and the standards of training and experience required for the enrollment and qualifications of candidates for special permits, including but not limited to special permits for applied science technologists;

(j) the management, regulation and discharge of the business and affairs of the association.

Procedure for bylaw

9 (1) A bylaw does not come into force unless ratified by 2/3 of the votes of the members cast by letter ballot.

(2) The registrar must file with the minister a copy of each bylaw certified under the seal of the association.

(3) A bylaw may be disallowed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council within 30 days after filing under subsection (2).

(4) Unless disallowed under subsection (3), a bylaw comes into force on

(a) expiry of the period referred to in subsection (3), and

(b) compliance with the other provisions of this section.

Resolutions

10 The council may pass resolutions for the following:

(a) investing and disbursing association funds and banking and borrowing money;

(b) the subjects of study, the examinations to be passed and the experience in forestry required of applicants for membership;

(c) the resignation, reinstatement and temporary withdrawal of members;

(d) calling meetings of the association and of council;

(e) the assistance, pecuniary or otherwise, to be given to individuals and organizations if in the opinion of the council the assistance will be of benefit to the public, the association or its members;

(f) promoting good public relations;

(g) the creation of committees and regional groups and the delegation to them of the powers and authority the council sees fit;

(h) the management, regulation and discharge of the business and affairs of the association.

Registrar

11 (1) The council must appoint a registrar of the association to hold office at the pleasure of the council.

(2) The registrar must keep a register containing the full name and address of each member, together with the date of registration for each registered member, date of enrollment for each enrolled member and date of grant of the permit for each special permit holder.

Registered members

12 Persons who have met the requirements of the council under section 14 (1) and whose names are entered in the register as registered members constitute the registered membership of the association.

Classes of membership

13 There are 5 classes of membership in the association as follows:

(a) registered members, comprised of professional foresters;

(b) enrolled members, comprised of foresters in training and forestry pupils;

(c) holders of special permits granted under section 17 (1) (a), comprised of professional foresters;

(d) holders of special permits granted under section 17 (1) (b);

(e) honorary members.

Registration

14 (1) The council, on payment of the examination and registration fees, must admit to registered membership as a professional forester an applicant who passes the examinations set by the council, and the registrar must enter the applicant’s name in the register, on submission by the applicant of evidence satisfactory to the council that the applicant

(a) has graduated from an institute of learning approved by the council, and has passed examinations in the courses approved or specified by the council,

(b) has satisfied the thesis or professional report requirements of the council,

(c) has had experience in British Columbia in forestry work determined by the council, and

(d) is of good character and repute.

(2) A person who obtains registration under this Act by a false or fraudulent representation, or a person who knowingly assists that person, commits an offence.

Enrollment

15 If an applicant satisfies the requirements specified by bylaw, the council must admit the applicant for enrollment as a forester in training or forestry pupil.

Board of examiners

16 (1) The board of examiners of the council is continued, consisting of the persons appointed under subsection (2), for the purpose of examining the proficiency of candidates for registration and of members for continuing membership.

(2) At least 5 registered members are to be appointed to the board of examiners by the council and at least 2 persons, who need not be registered members, are to be appointed to the board of examiners by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

(3) The council must appoint one of the councillors as the chair of the board of examiners.

(4) The board must conduct examinations and report the results to the registrar.

Special permit

17 (1) For the period and on the terms the council approves, the council may grant a special permit to practise professional forestry

(a) to an applicant who satisfies the council that the person

(i) has graduated from an institute of learning approved by the council, and has passed examinations in the courses approved or specified by the council,

(ii) has satisfied the thesis or professional report requirements of the council,

(iii) has had experience outside British Columbia in forestry work determined by the council, and

(iv) is of good character and repute, or

(b) with respect to a particular work or limited purpose, to a person who has the qualifications necessary under the bylaws.

(2) The council must conspicuously state on a special permit granted under subsection (1) (a) that it is a special permit granted under section 17 (1) (a) of the Foresters Act and entitles the holder to use the title of "Professional Forester" or the abbreviation "R.P.F.".

(3) The council must conspicuously state on a special permit granted under subsection (1) (b) that it is a special permit granted under section 17 (1) (b) of the Foresters Act and that it does not entitle the holder to use the title of "Professional Forester" or the abbreviation "R.P.F.".

(4) A person who obtains a special permit under this Act by a false or fraudulent representation, or a person who knowingly assists that person, commits an offence.

Fees

18 (1) Each member must pay to the association in accordance with the bylaws the fees, incidental to membership in the association, that are set under the bylaws.

(2) If a member does not pay a fee set in accordance with subsection (1), the council may remove the member’s name from the register and,

(a) in the case of a registered member, cancel the member’s registration,

(b) in the case of an enrolled member, cancel the member’s enrollment, or

(c) in the case of a special permit holder, cancel the member’s special permit.

Certificate of registration

19 (1) The registrar on direction of the council must issue a certificate of registration to each registered member of the association, and the certificate must be prominently displayed by the member at the member’s office or other place of business.

(2) A certificate of registration and seal issued under a former Act constitutes evidence of registration under this Act.

(3) A certificate of registration must be signed by the president and the registrar and must bear the seal of the association.

(4) A certificate of registration constitutes evidence of registration as at the date of issue.

(5) On receipt of the annual fee in each year subsequent to registration, the registrar must give the member a receipt.

Use of title "Professional Forester"

20 (1) On receipt of a certificate of registration issued under section 19 or a special permit granted under section 17 (1) (a), a registered member or special permit holder is entitled to use the title of "Professional Forester" or the abbreviation "R.P.F." or any other designation approved by the council.

(2) A registered member or a holder of a special permit granted under section 17 (1) (a) may procure a seal or stamp, the impression of which must contain the name of the registered member or special permit holder and the words "Professional Forester – British Columbia" or any other designation provided for in the bylaws.

(3) Those estimates, specifications, reports, documents, plans and other professional papers that

(a) are prepared by or under the supervision of a member,

(b) relate to the practice of professional forestry, and

(c) are within a category of records designated under the bylaws as requiring a seal or stamp

must be sealed or stamped by the member.

(4) Only those persons whose names are entered in the register as registered members or who are the holders of special permits granted under section 17 (1) (a) are permitted to use the title of "Professional Forester" and the abbreviation "R.P.F.".

Improper use of title

21 A person commits an offence who, without being a registered member of the association or the holder of a special permit granted under section 17 (1) (a), assumes, in any manner, the title of "Professional Forester" or advertises, uses or permits to be advertised or used in any manner with that person’s name, business or otherwise the title of "Professional Forester" or the abbreviation "R.P.F." or any other designation, descriptive term or statement implying that the person is a registered member or the holder of a special permit granted under section 17 (1) (a).

Unauthorized practice

22 (1) A person must not engage in the practice of professional forestry unless that person

(a) is a registered member,

(b) is a holder of a special permit granted under section 17 (1) (a), or

(c) is a holder of a special permit granted under section 17 (1) (b) and does not engage in the practice of professional forestry except in accordance with the permit.

(2) Nothing in this Act affects the rights held by a person under another Act or under a registration, licence or certificate under that other Act.

(3) This Act does not apply to a member of Her Majesty’s armed forces while actually employed on duty.

(4) This Act does not prevent a person from doing any of the following:

(a) supervising, executing or inspecting work designed by a registered member or by a special permit holder acting in accordance with the special permit;

(b) appraising or valuing forest land or from quantity surveying on forest land if the appraisal, valuation or quantity survey has been designed by a registered member or special permit holder acting in accordance with the special permit;

(c) planning or engaging in any of the activities normally associated with the practice of a trade, craft or occupation if the person has the skills and qualifications necessary to practice that trade, craft or occupation;

(d) doing any work on the person’s own land for the sole use of the person or the person’s domestic establishment, if the work does not involve the safety, health and welfare of the general public;

(e) conducting scientific research on forest land;

(f) doing anything that constitutes professional forestry if the person does it under the supervision of a registered member or a special permit holder acting in accordance with the special permit.

Evidence

23 In a prosecution under this Act, it is sufficient proof of the offence alleged if it is proved that the defendant has done or committed a single act of the kind of offence alleged.

Injunction

24 If a person does or attempts to do anything in contravention of this Act or a bylaw, the doing of the thing may be restrained by an injunction granted by a court of competent jurisdiction on application by the association.

Complaint

25 A member of the association or a person appointed for that purpose by the council may be a complainant under this Act for a proceeding under the Offence Act.

Penalty

26 A person who commits an offence under this Act is liable, on conviction,

(a) for a first offence to a fine of not less than $500,

(b) for a second offence to a fine of not less than $2 500, and

(c) for every subsequent offence to a fine of not less than $5 000.

Effect of a conviction for an indictable offence

27 (1) On conviction in British Columbia or elsewhere for an indictable offence, a member is liable to have the member’s registration, enrollment or special permit cancelled, and by direction of the council the member’s name may be erased from the register.

(2) If a person who is known to have been convicted of an indictable offence applies for registration, enrollment or special permit, the council may reject the application.

Public complaints

28 (1) A person who believes that a member or former member of the association is guilty of incompetence, professional misconduct or a contravention of this Act or the bylaws may request the registrar to investigate the matter.

(2) A request for an investigation must be in writing and include particulars.

(3) The registrar,

(a) on receipt of a request for an investigation, must acknowledge the request, and

(b) must inform the person who requested the investigation of the disposition of the matter.

Investigation

29 (1) An officer or committee of the association or a person designated by the council may

(a) investigate the competence or conduct of a member or former member of the association to determine if grounds exist for disciplinary action under section 31, and

(b) conduct a practice review of a member by inspecting the member’s professional practice for the purpose of identifying any deficiencies in the practice or the competence or conduct of the member.

(2) If the officer, committee or person is satisfied on reasonable and probable grounds that a member or former member possesses any information, record or thing that is relevant to an investigation of a member or former member, the officer, committee or person may demand in writing that the member or former member

(a) answer inquiries of the officer, committee or person relating to the investigation, and

(b) produce the record or thing for examination by the officer, committee or person.

(3) A member or former member must comply with a demand made in accordance with subsection (2).

(4) If a member or former member who receives a demand under subsection (2) refuses or neglects to promptly comply with the demand, the association may apply to the Supreme Court for an order requiring the person to comply.

(5) The Supreme Court, on being satisfied that a member or former member has contravened subsection (3), may order that member or former member to comply and may impose requirements as to the time and manner of compliance.

(6) On application by the association, the Supreme Court may order that a person produce to an officer or committee of the association or a person designated by the council any record or thing if the court is satisfied that the record or thing is relevant to and reasonably required by the officer, committee or person for

(a) an investigation of the conduct of a member or former member, or

(b) a review of the professional practice of a member.

(7) A member or former member or other person must not refuse to comply with this section on the grounds of confidentiality.

Confidentiality

30 (1) Every person acting under the authority of section 29 must keep confidential all

(a) information, and

(b) records

obtained or furnished under this Act or the bylaws, except insofar as the person’s public duty requires, or this Act or the bylaws permit the person to make disclosure of them or to report or take official action on them.

(2) Except in respect of a proceeding under this Act or the bylaws, a person to whom subsection (1) applies must not be compelled in any civil proceeding to give evidence respecting any information or records obtained in the course of the person’s duties.

Discipline

31 (1) A committee appointed by the council may inquire into a member’s or former member’s competence or conduct, on at least 10 days written notice setting out particulars of the complaint or matter for inquiry.

(2) For the purposes of this section, the committee appointed by the council may designate a subcommittee of not less than 3 members to conduct an inquiry.

(3) If, after an inquiry, the committee appointed by the council is satisfied that a member or former member is incompetent or has committed professional misconduct or has contravened this Act or the bylaws, the committee, by order, may do one or more of the following:

(a) reprimand the member or former member;

(b) suspend the member from membership;

(c) expel the member from membership;

(d) impose conditions on the continuance of the member’s membership;

(e) impose on the member or former member a fine payable to the association of not more than $10 000;

(f) impose costs against the member or former member.

(4) The committee appointed under subsection (1), and any member of the committee, has the same power for the purposes of an inquiry

(a) to summon and enforce the attendance of a witness,

(b) to compel a witness to give evidence on oath or in any other manner, and

(c) to compel a witness to produce records and things in the possession or control of the witness,

as the Supreme Court has for the trial of civil actions, and the failure or refusal of a person

(d) to attend,

(e) to take an oath or affirmation,

(f) to give evidence, or

(g) to produce the records or things in the person’s possession or control

makes the person, on application to the Supreme Court, liable to be committed for contempt as if in breach of an order or judgment of the Supreme Court.

(5) A member or former member whose status or conduct is under inquiry may at the member’s or former member’s own expense be represented by counsel at the inquiry.

(6) At an inquiry, the testimony of witnesses must be taken under oath or affirmation.

(7) Witnesses may be cross examined and evidence may be given in defence and in reply.

(8) Witnesses required to attend at an inquiry are entitled to the same allowances as witnesses attending the Supreme Court.

(9) If a member or former member fails to attend at an inquiry, the committee appointed by the council, on proof of service of notice, may proceed with the inquiry in the member’s or former member’s absence and may make its finding and its decisions without further notice to the member or former member.

Appeal

32 (1) A person aggrieved by an order made by a committee of the council under section 31 (3) may appeal the order to the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court may confirm, vary or reverse the order or refer the matter, with instructions, back to the committee.

(2) An appeal to the Supreme Court must be brought within 30 days after the date of the order.

(3) An appeal from the decision of the Supreme Court lies to the Court of Appeal with leave of a justice of the Court of Appeal.

Evidence

33 In a proceeding or prosecution under this Act in which proof is required that a person is or is not a member or former member of the association, a certificate purporting to be signed by the registrar that the person is or is not a member or former member is evidence of the fact so certified.

Protection from law suits

34 An action may not be brought against the association, its officers or servants, the council or a member or former member of the association for a proceeding taken, enforced or attempted in good faith under this Act or the bylaws.

Application of Offence Act

35 Section 5 of the Offence Act does not apply to this Act or to the bylaws.