1998/99 Legislative Session: 3rd Session, 36th Parliament
THIRD READING


The following electronic version is for informational purposes only.
The printed version remains the official version.


Certified correct as passed Third Reading on the 29th day of June, 1999
Ian D. Izard, Law Clerk


HONOURABLE DAVID ZIRNHELT
MINISTER OF FORESTS

BILL 56 -- 1999

FOREST LAND RESERVE AMENDMENT ACT, 1999

HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of British Columbia, enacts as follows:

1 Section 1 (1) of the Forest Land Reserve Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 158, is amended

(a) by repealing the definition of "forest management plan", and

(b) by adding the following definitions:

"critical wildlife habitat" means critical wildlife habitat as defined by regulation;

"identified land" means private land that is

(a) forest reserve land, other than land included in any of the following:

(i) a tree farm licence area;

(ii) a woodlot licence area;

(iii) a community forest agreement area, or

(b) agricultural reserve land that is managed forest land;

"management commitment" means a management commitment submitted under section 17.3 that meets the prescribed requirements;

"official" means a member of the commission, or a person employed under the Public Service Act, who is authorized by the commission and is designated by name or title to be an official for the purpose of a specified provision of this Act or of the regulations;

"reforest" means to restock and establish, in accordance with the regulations, a stand of trees on areas where timber has been harvested or destroyed; .

2 Section 4 is repealed and the following substituted:

Object of the commission

4 The object of the commission is to work with owners, local governments, first nations and other communities of interest to achieve all of the following:

(a) protect the integrity of the working forest land base by minimizing the impact of urban development and rural area settlement on forest reserve land;

(b) encourage responsible forest management practices on forest land;

(c) promote conditions favourable for investment in private land forest management.

3 Section 11 (6) (a) is amended by striking out "a forest management plan" and substituting "a management commitment".

4 The following Part is added:


Part 3.1 -- Management Requirements on Identified Land

Compliance with environmental requirements

17.1 Subject to section 17.4, an owner of identified land must comply with prescribed requirements and constraints on the owner's land respecting each of the following:

(a) soil conservation;

(b) management of water quality and fish habitat;

(c) management of critical wildlife habitat.

Reforestation

17.2 Subject to section 17.4, an owner, in accordance with the regulations, must reforest the following areas:

(a) areas of identified land that meet the prescribed requirements and were or are harvested by the owner before or after the coming into force of this section;

(b) areas of land that meet the prescribed requirements and were harvested before the land became identified land;

(c) areas of identified land that meet the prescribed requirements if the timber was destroyed.

Management commitment

17.3 (1) Before identified land may be classified as managed forest land under the Assessment Act, an owner must submit to the chief officer, in writing, a management commitment that meets the prescribed requirements.

(2) An owner, at any time, may submit to the chief officer, in writing, an amendment to a management commitment if the amendment meets the prescribed requirements.

(3) The chief officer must

(a) review the management commitment or amendment to determine if the management commitment or amendment complies with this Act and the regulations, and

(b) notify the owner of his or her determination under paragraph (a) and provide reasons if the management commitment or amendment does not meet the requirements of paragraph (a).

(4) A management commitment that the chief officer determines meets the requirements of subsection (3) (a) is ineffective to the extent that it conflicts with a requirement of this Act or the regulations in effect on the date of the chief officer's determination.

Variances

17.4 (1) An owner of identified land may, in accordance with the regulations, submit a proposed variance from a requirement of section 17.1 or 17.2 to the following:

(a) an official, if the variance meets the prescribed requirements for a minor variance;

(b) the chief officer, if the variance meets the prescribed requirements for a significant variance;

(c) the commission, if the variance meets the prescribed requirements for a major variance.

(2) The official, chief officer or commission may approve a proposed variance, with or without conditions, if

(a) the request for the variance meets the prescribed requirements, and

(b) the official, chief officer or commission is satisfied that the proposed variance will adequately manage the matters referred to in sections 17.1 and 17.2 for the area affected by the variance.

(3) The person who makes a decision under subsection (2) must notify the owner in writing of the decision, including the specification of any conditions, and provide reasons if the proposed variance is not accepted.

(4) The owner who receives notice under subsection (3) that a proposed variance has been accepted must comply with the variance and any conditions specified in the notice.

(5) A variance under this section does not affect any fine, imprisonment, fee, charge or penalty to which a person may be liable under this Act or the regulations if the offence or contravention occurred before the variance.

Records and reports

17.5 (1) The chief officer may request an owner of identified land to submit records in the possession of the owner if the chief officer considers it necessary in determining whether there is compliance with this Act and the regulations.

(2) An owner that receives a request under subsection (1) must comply with the request.

(3) Without limiting subsection (1), an owner of identified land must submit to the commission, at prescribed times, a declaration in writing specifying

(a) the location of harvesting activities on the identified land that have occurred since the preceding declaration, if any,

(b) the timing, location, nature and success of reforesting of areas carried out since the preceding declaration, if any, and

(c) other prescribed matters.

5 Section 22 (3) is amended by striking out "to which a forest management plan applies:" and substituting "classed as forest land as defined in the Assessment Act:".

6 The following Parts are added:

Part 5.1 -- Remedies, Orders and Appeals

Division 1 -- Inspections and Investigations

Entry on land and premises

29.1 (1) For any purpose related to the administration of this Act or of the regulations, including the application of administrative remedies under this Part, an official may enter,

(a) at any reasonable time, on identified land if the official has reasonable grounds to believe that the identified land is the site of an activity regulated under this Act or the regulations, and

(b) at any reasonable time and upon reasonable notice, the business premises of the owner of identified land where records are kept, unless the business premises is a private residence, for the purpose of inspecting or copying records that are required to be kept under this Act and the regulations.

(2) An official who enters on land or premises under subsection (1)

(a) may inspect any thing or any activity that is reasonably related to the purpose of the inspection,

(b) may require production for the purpose of inspection or copying of

(i) a plan or authorization that is required for the activity, and

(ii) a record required to be kept, related to a requirement under this Act or the regulations, and

(c) must, on the request of the person who has apparent custody or control of the property or activity being inspected, provide proof of identity to that person.

(3) A justice of the peace may issue a warrant under section 21 or 22 of the Offence Act to an official to enter premises and search for and seize evidence of a contravention of this Act or the regulations.

(4) The provisions of the Offence Act apply to the search and seizure under subsection (3).

(5) An official exercising powers or duties under this section may be accompanied by a peace officer.


Division 2 -- Administrative Remedies

Penalties

29.11 (1) The chief officer, in accordance with the regulations, may levy a penalty against an owner of identified land, up to the prescribed amount and in the prescribed manner, if the chief officer determines that this Act or the regulations have been contravened by

(a) the owner, or

(b) the owner's employee, agent or contractor, if the contravention occurred in the course of carrying out the employment, agency or contract.

(2) If a corporation contravenes this Act or the regulations, a director or officer of it who authorized, permitted or acquiesced in the contravention also commits the contravention.

(3) The time limit for levying a penalty against a person under subsection (1) is 3 years after the facts on which the penalty is based first came to the knowledge of the chief officer.

Remediation orders

29.2 (1) If the chief officer determines that an owner of identified land or the owner's employee, agent or contractor, in the course of carrying out the employment, agency or contract, has contravened this Act or the regulations, the chief officer, in accordance with the regulations, may order the owner to remedy the contravention by

(a) carrying out a requirement of this Act or the regulations that the owner has failed to carry out, or

(b) repairing or mitigating damage caused to identified land by the contravention.

(2) The time limit for making an order under subsection (1) is 3 years after the facts on which the order is based first came to the knowledge of the chief officer.

(3) Subject to subsection (4), if an owner fails to comply with an order under subsection (1), the chief officer, in accordance with the regulations, may do one or more of the following:

(a) in a notice given to the owner, restrict or prohibit the owner from carrying out the work referred to in the order;

(b) require security to be provided in accordance with section 35 and realize on that security;

(c) carry out all necessary work.

(4) Subsection (3) does not apply to an order under subsection (1) that was issued for a failure to comply with the requirements of section 17.2.

(5) The owner is liable to the commission for costs incurred by the commission under subsection (3).

Stop work order

29.21 (1) If an official considers that a person is contravening a provision of this Act or the regulations, the official, in accordance with the regulations may order that the contravention cease, or cease to the extent specified by the order.

(2) An order under this section may be made to apply generally or to one or more persons named in the order.

Loss of managed forest land classification

29.3 (1) If the chief officer determines that an owner of managed forest land or the owner's employee, agent or contractor, in the course of carrying out the employment, agency or contract, has contravened Part 3.1 or the regulations under that Part with respect to the managed forest land, the chief officer may notify the assessment commissioner that the requirements of this Act and the regulations have not been met.

(2) If, after the assessment commissioner is notified under subsection (1) of the chief officer's determination,

(a) the chief officer, on further consideration under section 29.41,

(i) rescinds the determination, or

(ii) varies the determination to the extent that it impacts the decision to notify the assessment commissioner, or

(b) the commission, on appeal under section 29.7,

(i) rescinds or varies the determination, or

(ii) refers the determination back to the chief officer,

the chief officer must notify the assessment commissioner of the decision under paragraph (a) or (b).

Advisory panel review

29.31 (1) The chief officer may refer the following to an advisory panel established under and in accordance with the regulations:

(a) an application for a variance under section 17.4 (1) (b);

(b) contravention information if the chief officer considers that an owner of identified land may have contravened Part 3.1 or the regulations under that Part.

(2) If the chief officer refers the application or information to an advisory panel under subsection (1), the advisory panel must conduct a review in accordance with the regulations.

(3) The chief officer may, at any time, suspend the review by the advisory panel.

(4) At the conclusion of the review, the advisory panel, in accordance with the regulations, must submit to the chief officer a report that meets the prescribed requirements.

(5) The chief officer may consider the report of the advisory panel

(a) with respect to a variance application referred to in subsection (1) (a) when making a decision under section 17.4 (2), and

(b) with respect to contravention information under subsection (1) (b) when

(i) determining a penalty under section 29.11,

(ii) making a remediation order under section 29.2, or

(iii) making a notification under section 29.3 (1).

Power of an official to rescind or vary orders or decisions

29.4 (1) An official may rescind an order or decision made by the official under this Act or the regulations if the official determines that there were insufficient grounds for making the order or decision.

(2) An official may vary an order or decision made by the official under this Act or the regulations

(a) on new information being provided to the official, and

(b) with the consent of the person who was the subject of the order or decision.

(3) Despite subsections (1) and (2), an official may not rescind or vary an order or decision that is the subject of an administrative review under section 29.6 after the conclusion of the administrative review.

Power of the chief officer to rescind or vary
orders, decisions or determinations

29.41 (1) The chief officer may rescind an order, decision or determination made by the chief officer under this Act or the regulations if the chief officer determines that there were insufficient grounds for making the order, decision or determination.

(2) The chief officer may vary an order, decision or determination made by the chief officer under this Act or the regulations

(a) on new information being provided to the chief officer, and

(b) with the consent of the person who was the subject of the order, decision or determination.

(3) Despite subsections (1) and (2), the chief officer may not rescind or vary an order, decision or determination that is the subject of an appeal under section 29.7 after the conclusion of the appeal.

(4) The chief officer may rescind an order of an official under section 29.21 if the chief officer determines that there were insufficient grounds for making the order.

Power of the commission to rescind or vary
orders, decisions or determinations

29.5 (1) The commission may rescind an order, decision or determination made by the commission under this Act or the regulations if the commission determines that there were insufficient grounds for making the order, decision or determination.

(2) The commission may vary an order, decision or determination made by the commission under this Act or the regulations

(a) on new information being provided to the commission, and

(b) with the consent of the person who was the subject of the order, decision or determination.

(3) Despite subsections (1) and (2), the commission may not rescind or vary an order, decision or determination that is the subject of an appeal under section 29.71 after the conclusion of the appeal.

Order for compliance

29.51 (1) If the commission considers that a person is not complying, or has not complied, with

(a) an order, decision or determination under section 29.11, 29.21, 29.4, 29.41, 29.5, 29.6, 29.7 or 29.97 (3), or

(b) an order under section 29.2 unless the order is for failing to comply with the requirements of section 17.2,

the commission may apply to the Supreme Court for either or both of the following:

(c) an order directing the person to comply with the order, decision or determination or restraining the person from violating the order, decision or determination;

(d) an order directing the directors and officers of the person to cause the person to comply with or to cease violating the order, decision or determination.

(2) On application of the commission under this section, the Supreme Court may make an order it considers appropriate.


Division 3 -- Administrative Reviews and Appeals

Reviews

29.6 (1) If a person is the subject of a decision of an official under section 17.4 (2) or receives a stop work order under section 29.21, the person, in accordance with the regulations, may require a review of the order by serving on the chief officer a request for review that meets the prescribed requirements.

(2) A review of the stop work order is to be conducted in accordance with the regulations by a person who meets the prescribed requirements.

(3) On a review, the person who carries out the review may

(a) by order, confirm, vary or rescind the order, decision or determination, or

(b) refer the matter back to the person who made the initial order, decision or determination, with or without directions.

Right of appeal from certain orders, decisions and determinations

29.61 (1) A person who is the subject of

(a) an order or decision of an official under section 17.4 (2) or 29.21, or

(b) an order, decision or determination of the chief officer under section 17.3 (3), 17.4 (2), 29.11, 29.3, 29.41 or 29.6

may appeal the order, decision or determination to the commission by serving on the commission a notice of appeal that meets the prescribed requirements.

(2) An appeal may not be made under subsection (1) (a) unless the order has first been reviewed under section 29.6.

(3) If an order or decision under subsection (1) (a) is varied on a review under section 29.6, the appeal to the commission is from the order as varied.

Appeals

29.7 (1) If a notice of appeal served under section 29.61 (1) meets the prescribed requirements, the commission must

(a) carry out an appeal in accordance with the regulations, and

(b) notify the parties in accordance with the regulations of the results of the appeal.

(2) On an appeal, the commission may

(a) by order, confirm, vary or rescind the order, decision or determination, or

(b) refer the matter back to the person who made the initial order, decision or determination, with or without directions.

(3) An order under subsection (2) that is filed in the court registry has the same effect as an order of the court for the recovery of a debt in the amount stated in the order against the person named in it, and all proceedings may be taken as if the order were an order of the court.

(4) Unless the commission orders otherwise, a review or an appeal under this Division does not operate as a stay or suspend the operation of the order, decision or determination under appeal.

Appeal to the courts

29.71 (1) In accordance with the regulations, a person who has appealed under section 29.61 to the commission may appeal the decision of the commission to the Supreme Court on a question of law or jurisdiction.

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


Division 4 -- Offences

Limitation period

29.8 (1) The time limit for laying an information respecting an offence under this Act or the regulations is 3 years after the facts on which the information is based first came to the knowledge of the chief officer.

(2) A document purporting to have been issued by the chief officer, certifying the day on which he or she became aware of the facts on which an information is based, is admissible without proof of the signature or official character of the individual appearing to have signed the document and, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, is proof of the matter certified.

Offence and penalty

29.81 (1) A person who contravenes the following sections commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $1 000 000 or to imprisonment for not more than 6 months or to both:

(a) section 17.1;

(b) section 17.4 (4) with respect to a variance

(i) from a requirement of section 17.1, or

(ii) from a requirement of a regulation under section 17.1;

(c) section 29.91.

(2) A person who contravenes section 17.5 (2) or (3) or an order under section 29.2 (1) or 29.21 commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $500 000 or to imprisonment for not more than 6 months or to both.

(3) The maximum fine to which a person is liable on a second or subsequent conviction for the same offence

(a) under subsection (1) is double the amount set out in that subsection, and

(b) under subsection (2) is double the amount set out in that subsection.

(4) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by regulation, provide that

(a) a contravention of a regulation made under section 17.1 or a contravention under section 17.4 with respect to a variance from a requirement of a regulation made under section 17.1 is an offence, and

(b) a person convicted of an offence for a contravention of

(i) a regulation made under section 17.1, or

(ii) section 17.4 with respect to a variance from a requirement of a regulation made under section 17.1

is liable to a fine not exceeding $1 000 000 or to imprisonment for not more than 6 months or to both.

(5) If the maximum fine or imprisonment provided by a regulation under subsection (4) (b) is less than that provided by a provision of this Act, the regulation prevails.

Remedies preserved

29.9 (1) A proceeding, conviction or penalty for an offence under this Act does not relieve a person from any other liability.

(2) The provisions of this Part are in addition to the provisions of any other enactment or rule of law under which

(a) a remedy or right of appeal or objection is provided, or

(b) a procedure is provided for inquiry into or investigation of a matter,

and nothing in this Act limits or affects that remedy, right or procedure.

Interference, non-compliance and false statements

29.91 A person commits an offence who

(a) without lawful excuse intentionally interferes with,

(b) without lawful excuse intentionally fails to comply with a lawful requirement of, or

(c) intentionally makes a false statement to or misleads or attempts to mislead

another person who is

(d) an official, a member of the commission or a person appointed under section 29.31 or 29.97, and

(e) exercising a power or duty under this Act or the regulations.

Court orders

29.92 (1) If a person is convicted of an offence under this Act or the regulations, in addition to any other punishment that may be imposed, the court may order the person to do one or more of the following:

(a) refrain from doing anything that may result in the continuation or repetition of the offence or contravention;

(b) take any action the court considers appropriate to remedy or avoid any harm to the environment that may result from the act or omission that constituted the offence;

(c) publish, at the person's own cost, the facts relating to the conviction;

(d) compensate the commission for all or part of the cost of any remedial or preventative action taken by or caused to be taken on behalf of the commission as a result of the act or omission that constituted the offence;

(e) pay court costs;

(f) pay costs of the investigation;

(g) pay compensation to make restitution.

(2) The court that convicts a person of an offence under this Act or the regulations may increase a fine imposed on the person by an amount equal to the court's estimation of the amount of the monetary benefit acquired by the person as a result of having committed the offence.

(3) A fine under subsection (2)

(a) applies despite any enactment that provides for a maximum fine, and

(b) is in addition to any other fine under this Act or the regulations.

(4) Nothing in this section prevents a court that is determining the amount of a fine from taking into consideration

(a) the payment of an administrative penalty, or

(b) actions taken by the person before, during and after the offence has been committed.

Employer liability

29.93 (1) In a prosecution for an offence under this Act or the regulations it is sufficient proof of the offence to establish that the offence was committed by the defendant's employee, agent or contractor.

(2) Subsection (1) applies even if the employee, agent or contractor has not been identified or prosecuted for the offence.

Offence by directors and officers

29.94 If a corporation commits an offence under this Act or the regulations, a director or officer of the corporation who authorized, permitted or acquiesced in the offence also commits the offence.

Section 5 Offence Act

29.95 Section 5 of the Offence Act does not apply to Parts 3.1, 5.1 and 5.2 of this Act or to the regulations made under any of those Parts.


Division 5 -- Miscellaneous

Powers cumulative

29.96 The powers in this Act and the regulations for the official, chief officer, commission or government to

(a) make an order,

(b) impose a fine or penalty, or

(c) commence a proceeding

may be exercised separately, concurrently or cumulatively and do not affect the powers of the government under this or any other enactment.


Part 5.2 -- Audits

Audits may be carried out

29.97 (1) In accordance with the regulations, the commission may appoint auditors that meet the prescribed requirements to carry out audits to determine compliance with this Act and the regulations by an owner of identified land.

(2) Auditors appointed under subsection (1)

(a) must carry out audits in accordance with the regulations, and

(b) must, in accordance with the regulations, submit an audit report that meets the prescribed requirements.

(3) The commission may, by written notice, require an owner to prepare and submit to the commission an action plan to address one or more recommendations specified in the audit report.

(4) An owner who receives a notice under subsection (3) must promptly comply with the requirements of the notice.

(5) On the commission approving an action plan, the owner must carry out the action plan to the satisfaction of the commission.

7 Section 31 is repealed.

8 Section 32 (2) is amended by striking out "a regulation under this Act, a forest management plan or" and substituting "a regulation under this Act or".

9 Sections 33 (1) and 34 (1) are amended by striking out "the regulations, an applicable forest management plan or" and substituting "the regulations or".

10 The following sections are added:

Protection against libel and slander

34.1 For the purposes of any Act or law respecting libel or slander

(a) anything said, all information supplied and all records and things produced in the course of an investigation, an inquiry or proceedings before the commission under this Act are privileged to the same extent as if the investigation, inquiry or proceedings were proceedings before a court, and

(b) a report made by the commission and a fair and accurate account of the report in a newspaper, periodical publication or broadcast is privileged to the same extent as if the report of the commission were an order of the court.

Confidentiality and disclosure

34.2 (1) Each of the following persons must take an oath that he or she will not disclose information or records obtained under this Act or the regulations except as permitted by this section and the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the regulations under that Act:

(a) a member of the commission;

(b) a specialist or consultant retained by the commission;

(c) a person who is a member of an advisory panel;

(d) a person appointed under section 29.97.

(2) A person referred to in subsection (1)

(a) must not disclose any information or record obtained in exercising or performing a power, duty or function under this Act or the regulations except as required for the performance of his or her duties under this Act or the regulations or as permitted in this section or the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the regulations under that Act,

(b) may disclose to the government any information or record obtained in the exercise or performance of a power, duty or function under this Act or the regulations, and

(c) must not disclose, or be compelled to disclose, any information or record obtained in the exercise of a power, duty or function under this Act or the regulations to a court, or in a proceeding of a judicial nature, except in the following matters:

(i) a trial of a person for perjury;

(ii) a proceeding to enforce powers of investigation under this Act;

(iii) a prosecution for an offence under section 29.91;

(iv) a review or appeal under this Act.

Designation or delegation

34.3 (1) A document purporting to have been issued by the commission certifying that the commission has designated a person as an official under this Act is admissible as evidence of the designation without proof of the signature or character of the members of the commission purporting to have signed the document.

(2) In this Act or the regulations, a reference to

(a) the commission includes a reference to a person authorized by the commission to act on its behalf, and

(b) the chief officer includes a reference to a person authorized by the chief officer to act on his or her behalf.

(3) A document purporting to have been issued by the commission certifying that the commission has delegated a power or duty to a person under this Act or the regulations is admissible as evidence of the delegation without proof of the signature or character of the members of the commission purporting to have signed the document.

(4) A document purporting to have been issued by the chief officer certifying that the chief officer has delegated a power or duty to a person under this Act or the regulations is admissible as evidence of the delegation without proof of the signature or character of the chief officer purporting to have signed the document.

(5) A person who exercises a power through a delegation referred to under subsection (3) or (4) is required to comply with the requirements of this Act and the regulations in respect of the exercise of that power and a decision of the delegate is a decision of the person who delegated the power.

Annual notification to the assessment commissioner

34.4 Before October 31 of each calendar year, the chief officer must submit a report to the assessment commissioner specifying land in respect of which, during the previous 12 months, the owner of identified land did any of the following:

(a) submitted a management commitment or amendment that meets the requirements of section 17.3 (3) (a);

(b) for managed forest land,

(i) complied with the requirements of this Act and the regulations, or

(ii) was the subject of a determination under section 29.3 that the requirements of this Act and the regulations have not been met.

11 Section 36 is amended by adding "or because it is identified land" after "forest reserve land".

12 Section 37 is amended

(a) in subsection (2) by adding the following paragraphs:

(e.1) for the purposes of section 17.1 (a) and (b), respecting requirements and constraints for management of soil conservation, water quality and fish habitat on identified land;

(e.2) for the purposes of section 17.1 (c), respecting the following requirements and constraints for management of critical wildlife habitat on identified land:

(i) identification of critical wildlife habitat;

(ii) notification to prescribed persons;

(iii) limitation on carrying out of an activity within critical wildlife habitat provided that such limitation on activity, unless otherwise agreed to by the owner, does not exceed

(A) 1% of the total area of identified land owned by that person, and

(B) a 1 year time period;

(e.3) for the purposes of section 17.2, respecting the requirement to reforest, including, without restriction,

(i) the attributes that must be attained by a crop of trees on an area before the area is considered to be reforested, including species, density and distribution of crop trees as defined by regulation, and

(ii) the time period within which the area must be reforested;

(e.4) for the purposes of section 17.3, respecting management commitments, and the form and content of those commitments;

(e.5) for the purposes of section 17.4, respecting variances, including, without restriction, establishing the following:

(i) in what circumstances an owner may apply for a variance;

(ii) the form and content of a variance application;

(iii) the process of evaluating an application for a variance, including prescribing constraints on where a variance may be granted; ,

(b) in subsection (2) by repealing paragraph (m) and substituting the following:

(m) for the purposes of Part 5.1,

(i) establishing administrative remedies, including fees, charges and penalties in cases where there is a failure to comply with the requirements of this Act or the regulations,

(ii) with respect to advisory panels, prescribing

(A) the establishment of advisory panels, including their composition and any remuneration,

(B) the mandate of the advisory panels,

(C) the requirements for reports, including their form and content,

(D) the cancellation of advisory panels, and

(E) the reimbursement of expenses incurred by an advisory panel during a review, and

(iii) with respect to reviews and appeals, prescribing

(A) the circumstances in which a review or appeal may be made,

(B) who may be parties to an appeal,

(C) the content of a request for a review and appeal,

(D) the practice, procedure and form for reviews and appeals,

(E) the forms of evidence that are admissible,

(F) the requirements to make written submissions,

(G) the making of interim orders,

(H) requirements for the attendance of witnesses, the conduct of witnesses and compelling of witnesses to give evidence under oath or some other manner, and

(I) the costs of reviews and appeals and the apportionment of those costs between the parties;

(n) for the purposes of Part 5.2, with respect to audits, establishing

(i) the appointment of auditors and the qualifications of auditors,

(ii) the manner of conducting an audit, including

(A) the power of the auditor to obtain information,

(B) requirements for consultation with the owner that is the subject of the audit and the making of representations, and

(C) the form, content and submission of audit reports,

(iii) the commission response to audit reports, including requiring action plans to be developed and implemented by the owner of identified land, and

(iv) the dissemination of audit results. , and

(c) by adding the following subsections:

(4) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations respecting matters that are

(a) referred to in this Act as having to be in accordance with the regulations, or

(b) indicated by this Act as being a matter for a regulation.

(5) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make a regulation defining a word or expression used but not defined in this Act.

(6) In making a regulation under this Act, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may do one or more of the following:

(a) delegate a matter to a person;

(b) confer a discretion on a person;

(c) make different regulations for different places, things, transactions or special concerns.

(7) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations respecting the criteria that a person must use when exercising a discretionary power conferred on the person by this Act or the regulations.

(8) If the Lieutenant Governor in Council is satisfied that the matters referred to in sections 17.1 and 17.2 will be adequately managed, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations respecting an exemption of a person, place or thing from a provision of Part 3.1 of this Act or the regulations under that Part, and may make the exemption subject to conditions.

(9) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations respecting the recovery of money that is required to be paid to the government under this Act or the regulations.

13 The following sections are added:

Transitional -- environmental and reforestation requirements and administration

41 (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations considered necessary or advisable for the purpose of more effectively bringing into operation Part 3.1, 5.1 or 5.2, and amendments to this Act, and to remedy any transitional difficulties encountered in doing so.

(2) For a period the Lieutenant Governor in Council specifies, a regulation made under this section may amend this Act, a regulation made under this Act or an enactment that amends this Act.

(3) A regulation made under this section may be made retroactive to a date not earlier than January 1, 2000.

(4) This section is repealed on January 1, 2002, and on its repeal any regulations made under it are also repealed.

Transitional -- management commitments and managed forest land classification

42 (1) On the coming into force of this section, any parcel of land that was managed forest land on the current assessment roll is deemed to be managed forest land without the owner having submitted a management commitment under section 17.3.

(2) Within one year after the coming into force of this section, an owner referred to in subsection (1) must submit a management commitment that meets the requirements of section 17.3.

(3) If an owner fails to comply with the requirements of subsection (2), the chief officer may make an order under section 29.3 notifying the assessment commissioner that the requirements of this Act and the regulations have not been met.


Consequential Amendments

Assessment Act

14 Section 24 of the Assessment Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 20, is repealed and the following substituted:

Classification and valuation of forest land

24 (1) In this section:

"forest land" means land, other than farm land, that

(a) is forest reserve land, other than forest reserve land that is not used for the production and harvesting of timber, or

(b) although not forest reserve land, has as its highest and best use the production and harvesting of timber;

"forest reserve land" means land that is private reserve land within the meaning of the Forest Land Reserve Act;

"managed forest land" means land, other than farm land,

(a) that is

(i) forest reserve land, or

(ii) agricultural reserve land as defined in the Forest Land Reserve Act,

(b) that is being used for the production and harvesting of timber,

(c) that is managed in accordance with

(i) the Forest Land Reserve Act, or

(ii) the Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act,

(d) with respect to paragraph (c) (i), for which the commissioner receives, by October 31 of the year in which the assessment roll is completed, notification under section 34.4 of the Forest Land Reserve Act that the requirements of that Act and the regulations made under that Act are being met,

(e) that is land for which

(i) a management plan has been approved under the Forest Act, or

(ii) a management commitment has been submitted that meets the requirements of the Forest Land Reserve Act, and

(f) that is classified under subsection (2) as managed forest land;

"timber" means timber as defined in the Forest Act;

"unmanaged forest land" means forest land that is

(a) other than managed forest land, and

(b) classified under subsection (3) as unmanaged forest land.

(2) The assessor must classify as managed forest land any land that meets the requirements of paragraphs (a) to (e) of the definition of "managed forest land" in subsection (1).

(3) The assessor must classify as unmanaged forest land any land described in paragraph (a) of the definition of "unmanaged forest land" in subsection (1).

(4) The assessor must declassify all or part of a parcel of land as managed forest land if

(a) the commissioner receives, by October 31 of the year in which the assessment roll is completed, notification under section 29.3 of the Forest Land Reserve Act that the land is not being managed in accordance with the requirements of that Act and the regulations made under that Act, or

(b) the assessor is not satisfied, on October 31 of the year in which the assessment roll is completed, that the land meets all requirements to be defined as "managed forest land".

(5) On receipt of a notice under section 29.3 (2) of the Forest Land Reserve Act, the commissioner, or an assessor if directed by the commissioner, must make any amendment to the assessment roll necessary to give effect to the information contained in the notice.

(6) The actual value of forest land is the total of

(a) the value that the land has for the purpose of growing and harvesting trees, but without taking into account the existence on the land of any trees, and

(b) a value for cut timber determined in accordance with subsection (9).

(7) The actual value of forest land must be determined on the basis of its topography, accessibility, soil quality, parcel size and location.

(8) For the purpose of valuing forest land, the commissioner must prescribe land value schedules for use by assessors in determining the actual value of the land.

(9) The value of cut timber referred to in subsection (6) (b) must be determined by the assessor as follows:

(a) for the purpose of taxation during an odd numbered year, the value must be determined on the basis of

(i) the scale of that timber under the Forest Act during the last odd numbered year before that taxation year, and

(ii) schedules of timber value prescribed by the commissioner under subsection (10);

(b) for the purpose of taxation during an even numbered year, the value must be determined on the basis of

(i) the scale of that timber under the Forest Act during the last even numbered year before that taxation year, and

(ii) schedules of timber value prescribed by the commissioner under subsection (10).

(10) The commissioner must prescribe schedules of timber values based on the following factors:

(a) the species and grade of logs;

(b) the locality in which the timber is cut;

(c) in relation to timber cut from a coastal area as defined in the regulations, the average price for logs in the year of cutting determined on the basis of the value reported for the Vancouver log market and the distance from Howe Sound of the parcel on which the cutting occurred;

(d) in relation to timber cut from an interior area as defined in the regulations, the average price in the year of cutting for logs delivered to the nearest sawmill, determined on the basis of the selling prices of timber products, the costs of milling and the distance from the nearest sawmill of the parcel on which the cutting occurred.

(11) An owner of forest land must submit to the commissioner the following information respecting the forest land:

(a) the volume of timber scaled under the Forest Act;

(b) other matters established by regulation of the commissioner;

(c) other information that the commissioner may require that is not inconsistent with this Act and the regulations.

15 Section 74 (2) (j) is repealed.


Environmental Assessment Act

16 Section 3 (3) (b) (i) of the Environmental Assessment Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 119, is repealed and the following substituted:

(i) the land is identified land, as defined in the Forest Land Reserve Act, and .


Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act

17 Section 217 of the Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 159, is repealed.

Commencement

18 This Act comes into force by regulation of the Lieutenant Governor in Council. 


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