Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: June 13, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

Forest industry employers may be responsible for contractor safety: Supreme Court

The Tree Frog Forestry News
June 13, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

Two decisions by the Supreme Court of Canada suggest an expansion of employer responsibilities re: safety, particularly those in the forest industry that use contractors for their logging and road building work. In other Business news: US lumber consumption is forecast to grow through 2030; US aluminum tariffs are equated to lumber’s experience; and US executives arrive in Washington DC to oppose newsprint tariffs.

In Forestry news: Ontario’s cap-and-trade system may be scrapped; UBC’s forestry dean says government’s social licence may be at risk with big trees; New Brunswick forests are in line for beetle attack; Oregon’s public forests are touted as carbon reserves; and Arizona’s forests are not bouncing back after wildfires.

Finally; Portugal goes low-tech to beat wildfires. Send in the goats!

–Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Froggy Foibles

Caterpillars take over tree and turn it into entire web of silk

By Jen Mills
Metro UK
June 13, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

Amazing photos show how caterpillars totally took over a tree and covered it in a web of silk. The cherry tree, on the banks of the River Wharfe, near Kilnsey, in North Yorkshire, is now the spawning place for an army of caterpillars while they undergo their transformation into moths. They weave the webs in a bid to protect themselves from predators. Paul Kingston, who captured these pictures, said: ‘It truly was a weird and wonderful sight. ‘It was like something out of a fantasy novel or horror film. ‘It is absolutely incredible to think that such tiny creatures are capable of creating something so huge and beautiful.’

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Business & Politics

Trump tariff hiking newspaper costs

By Erin Arvedlund
The Allentown Morning Call
June 12, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

A single tariff benefiting one paper factory in Washington state could prompt the loss of thousands of U.S. newspaper jobs, industry executives say. The ripple effect started with One Rock Capital Partners, a New York private equity firm that bought a paper mill in Longview, Wash., and then petitioned the Trump commerce department for tariffs against Canadian paper. …Nearly 50 newspaper executives will meet in Washington D.C. on Wednesday and Thursday with policymakers regarding the paper mill’s tariff request. Those lawmakers will then testify at an International Trade Commission hearing on July 17. The Commerce Department is scheduled later this summer to decide whether to make the tariff permanent or to scrap it.

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US softwood lumber consumption on track for record highs

Timber Trade Journal
June 11, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Hakan Ekstrom

US consumption of softwood lumber is likely to reach record-highs by 2030, resulting in export opportunities for sawmills in Europe and Latin America, according to a new study from ForestEdge and Wood Resources International. Higher lumber demand from all end-use sectors in the US in the coming years will result in continued expansion of sawmill capacity in the US South and increased imports from overseas, while Western Canada will reduce its shipments to the US market. …The report forecasts US softwood lumber demand will grow at an annual rate of 2.3% through 2030. …Canadian lumber producers’ market share in the US is expected to decline in the coming years, with the biggest reduction occurring between 2017 and 2025. Overseas supply of lumber to the US is forecasted to increase both in volume and market share by 2025, followed by a decline until 2030.

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Free Trade Between Canada and Israel: A Success Story

By Rick Ekstein
The Times of Israel
June 12, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, International

International trade has been a hot topic in the wake of a jarring few weeks of American tariffs and Canadian counter-measures. At a time of uncertainty for many sectors, it is worth highlighting a bright spot on the trade front: the recent upgrading of the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement. …Having spent significant time in Israel, and as the head of a Canadian company that has shipped lumber to Israel for many years, I have seen firsthand that this is a market that should not be overlooked. …Following a week of difficult trade developments, and in an environment where, as an example, we can ship Canadian lumber duty free to Israel but not the United States, expanded trade with Israel is a good news story that Canadian leaders, entrepreneurs, and workers can celebrate.

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6 points of U.S.-Canada trade friction

By Rachel Layne
CBS News – MoneyWatch
June 12, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

President Donald Trump sure wasn’t happy with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after the G-7 meeting in Quebec this weekend. The president attacked Trudeau on Twitter about trade, citing the prime minister’s continued objections to metals tariffs imposed by the U.S. …However, the president may be presenting a lopsided portrait of how the world does business with the U.S. to rationalize his escalating trade dispute with allies, the Associated Press reported. …Here are some things you should know about trade between the two countries: 

  • Canada is the U.S.’s biggest export market
  • For some states, Canada is the biggest source of imports
  • Canada’s (legal) maple syrup cartel dominates world supply  
  • The U.S.-Canada dispute over lumber is decades long
  • Canada does charge 270 percent tariffs on some dairy products
  • Boeing lost its trade case against Canada’s Bombardier 

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Aluminum tariffs the latest in U.S. protectionist squeeze that has caught B.C. business

By Derrick Penner
The Vancouver Sun
June 12, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

For B.C.’s forestry sector, the latest round of American protectionist trade sanctions against steel and aluminum means getting to welcome a new group of targeted business to a club they wish they didn’t want. “I don’t think it’s helpful at all to have more sectors of the economy hit by protectionist tariffs,” said Susan Yurkovich, president of the B.C. Lumber Trade Council, the province’s key lobbying group for trade issues. While the U.S. tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum, extended to Canada, the European Union and Mexico on May 31, are relatively new, B.C.’s forestry sector has been in the grip of a more activist U.S. trade policy for more than a year in its decades-long dispute with the American industry.” … “We wish more sensible heads were prevailing on the U.S. side so we could get back to modernizing the NAFTA agreement.”

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Engineered wood, sustainability and a future built on bamboo?

By Lala Merlin
Blooloop
June 13, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Safari Thatch [has] a new start-up – GRASSBuilt – Green Renewable Affordable Sustainable Systems. The aim is to make the engineered wood industry a much greener space. Nick Wight is CEO of Safari Thatch and Vice President of GRASSBuilt. Blooloop talked to the man who might just be going to transform the construction industry – with an eco-conscious vengeance. …“About three years ago, we were approached with a concept where we would take the fibre that comes out of bamboo. Utilising multi-patented world-first technology we would press that fibre together with world record low quantities of resin which act as the glue. Essentially we make gigantic blocks of incredibly strong building materials. These could then be repurposed and milled into any number of different applications.” Wight sees GRASSBuilt as a way of using bamboo to create a greener construction industry globally.

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The Wood Fibre Solution to the world’s Plastic Problem

By Lee Williams
Eureka
June 13, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Plastic is a problem. There are almost two trillion kilos of waste plastic and more than seven billion kilos a year goes into the oceans… All the plastic ever made still exists somewhere on the planet, yet we are still making huge amounts – over 300 billion kilos a year. …Clearly we need a replacement for plastic. But where would we find such a super-material? What properties would it need? And what would it look like? How about a tree? It may sound weird, but many experts believe trees could provide a viable alternative to plastic in all its guises. One such believer is Finnish pulp and paper manufacturer Stora Enso. “Our philosophy is that everything that is currently fossil-fuel based can eventually be replaced by a tree,” says Markus Mannström, head of biomaterials at Stora Enso. …The applications look promising. 

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Forestry

Environmentalists accuse B.C. government of fudging the numbers to log some of the world’s biggest trees

By Tracy Sherlock
The National Observer
June 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Environmentalists have accused the B.C. government of lying about the amount of majestic, centuries-old trees left standing in the province. …The government responded, by saying that more than 55 per cent of Crown old growth forests on B.C.’s coast is protected, and that on Vancouver Island more than 40 per cent of Crown forests are considered old growth, including 520,000 hectares that will never be logged. But those numbers are “deliberately misleading,” said Vicky Husband, a B.C. environmental activist. …The problem of defining exactly types of forests should be considered old growth is complicated, said John Innes, professor and dean of the Faculty of Forestry at UBC. …“As a general principle, on Vancouver Island, where there is now a limited supply, … we need to be careful and steward what’s left,” he said. …“The B.C. government is at risk of losing social license over this,” Innes said.

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Correlieu Secondary students learn about careers in forestry

By Heather Norman
The Quesnel Cariboo Observer
June 13, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Students from Correlieu Secondary School donned fluorescent vests and hard hats as they joined forestry professionals and summer students, forest firefighters, a biologist, an archaeologist and the B.C. Council of Forest Industries for a hands-on introduction to careers in natural resource management. The event, hosted by COFI and West Fraser Mills in Quesnel, is part of a wider project to encourage local students to consider careers in the forest industry. …Jim Costley is COFI’s manager of forest education for Northern B.C. He says there are two reasons they host these events. One is to attract young people to the forest industry, while the second is to show them what it’s really like to work in those jobs.

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Ash doomsday ahead: Tens of thousands of trees in line of beetle attack

By Philip Drost
CBC News
June 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Mike Glynn

The City of Fredericton is warning residents to prepare for a catastrophic loss of tens of thousands of trees.  With the emerald ash borer on its way, ash trees in the capital are doomed, city forester Mike Glynn told the public safety and environment committee. The question the city is trying to answer is: should the trees be cut down now or after the beetle is already and obviously destroying them?  The beetle was found in Edmundston last month, and Flynn said it’s only a matter of time before it shows up in Fredericton, if it’s not here already.  “At this point, from a proactive perspective, there’s nothing we can do,” he said. “It’s a waiting game. “Removal is pretty much the only option, unfortunately.” …”[Standing dead trees] Eventually, start dropping branches, and then it becomes a huge liability factor for the public. 

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Port Hawkesbury Paper defends how it manages woodlands

By Aaron Beswick
The Chronicle Herald
June 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Nova Scotia — Last Wednesday, Travis MacEachern was stabbing spruce saplings into the ground of an Antigonish County clearcut. …But the province will pay for them, like it does for most of the silviculture done on the 522,000 hectares of Crown land Port Hawkesbury Paper manages in northern Nova Scotia. In 2017 the bill for that silviculture, obtained by The Chronicle Herald through an access to information request, was $4.4 million. That’s significantly higher than the $3.1 million the province got back from the mill in stumpage fees last year. …“The province also considers the benefits a given company provides Nova Scotia such as: GDP, labour, income, jobs, and general revenue,” Nunn wrote. …“All the silviculture we do is an investment for the province’s future,” said Marven Hudson, interim woodlands manager for Port Hawkesbury Paper.

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Public Forests Should be Carbon Reserves

By George Wuerthner
The Wildlife News
June 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

One of the biggest impacts resulting from logging our forests that is largely ignored by public land management agencies is the contribution that timber harvest makes to Green House Gas (GHG) emissions. Increasingly it is clear that the greatest value of our public forests might be to end all thinning/logging and protect them as carbon reserves. …What is surprising to many who continuously hear about the damage to tropical forests from logging is that more forest cutting and removal results from deforestation of both private and public lands in the United States than any other country in the world! Therefore, a reduction in US logging practices has significant potential to reduce US global GHG emissions.ivate lands one of Oregon’s biggest GHG polluters and a major impediment to Oregon’s ambitious GHG reduction targets.”

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How Companies Harness the Power of Trees to Advance Their Sustainability Goals and Bottom Lines

By Dan Lambe, president of the Arbor Day Foundation
Triple Pundit
June 13, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

With all the global issues we face today — including poor air and water quality, climate risk, deforestation, poverty, and hunger — more and more corporations are taking a proactive step to become part of the solution. And they are turning to trees to make a difference. Companies are drawn to tree planting and forests because there is an emotional and intuitive connection between trees and sustainability. …There is a compounding effect of so many corporations getting involved in tree planting, as each tree makes a measurable difference. One tree can grow to remove an average of 11.56 pounds of chemical air pollution and .317 pounds of particulate matter, capture 160 pounds of carbon, and intercept 71 cubic meters of water runoff. …If ever there was a time to plant trees, now is that time. 

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Foresters welcome potentially larger harvest

By Christine Souza
AgAlert California
June 13, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

California’s national forests face another dry year, continued tree mortality and high potential for more wildfires, so people in the timber business welcomed a recent announcement by the U.S. Forest Service that the agency expects the 2018 timber harvest to be the largest in 20 years. Steve Brink, vice president of public resources for the California Forestry Association, said the additional harvest would benefit the timber sector, fuels reduction and local economies. “It appears that the timber target by the Forest Service this year is the highest it has been in two decades,” Brink said. “That’s going in the right direction, there’s no doubt about it.” In 1998, he said, the sold volume was 2.95 billion board-feet, nationwide. This year’s target is 3.4 billion board-feet, the highest since then. …Even with a ramped-up pace of fuels-reduction projects, Brink said, to return millions of acres of forestland to a resilient condition of 20 to 100 trees per acre will be a challenge.

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Daines adds slate of forest amendments to Farm Bill

By Rob Chaney
The Missoulian
June 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Steve Daines

The new version of the 2018 Farm Bill may have a lot of Montana-based timber policy changes, including restrictions on court challenges to logging projects and simplified forest management rules. Much of that will come from Sen. Steve Daines, R-Montana, who filed 20 amendments to the bill on Monday evening. Those additions will be discussed in mark-up sessions over this week. “Chairman Roberts asked me to take the lead on the forestry side,” Daines said on Tuesday, referring to Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kansas. “I’m using that as another vehicle to work on forest management reform.” …While the Farm Bill concentrates on farming and ranching … it also covers the U.S. Forest Service… Daines said his amendments fall in two loose categories: litigation relief, and relaxing regulations on forest management. “Litigation relief is something that is badly needed not only in Montana but across our country,” Daines said.

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Many forests not returning after wildfires

By Peter Aleshire
Payson Roundup
June 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The increasing failure of forests to bounce back after wildfires promises sweeping vegetation changes throughout the West — especially in dry forests like those surrounding Payson, Pine, Show Low and Springerville, according to a growing body of research. The latest research adds an ominous twist to other studies predicting a dramatic increase in the size and intensity of wildfires in the region in coming decades — with high-intensity fires covering huge areas the norm instead of the exception. The accumulating research therefore underscores the importance of towns and counties in forested areas to adopt building codes adapted to the new normal in wildfires… One study by researchers from the University of Arizona and elsewhere predicted a fivefold increase in the number and size of wildfires in the western United States in coming decades.

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Domtar and the American Forest Foundation Announce Partnership for Forest Conservation and Bird Habitat

By the American Forest Foundation
Cision Newswire
June 13, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Today, the American Forest Foundation (AFF) and Domtar together announced a new partnership to help family and private woodland owners in northwest Pennsylvania and southwest New York improve habitat for at-risk bird and wildlife species. … It will focus its efforts in the Upper Allegheny and Sinnemahoning watersheds… “A core of our business, beyond simply providing quality products, is to ensure that the places in which we source are healthy and sustainable,” said Paige Goff, VP Sustainability for Domtar.  “The AFF has been a key partner in bringing together a diverse group of stakeholders, who all want our forests to be sustainable…” The partnership will work with woodland owners to implement important forest practices to create better habitat for iconic bird species… In addition, the project intends to build awareness in the community around the importance of active forest management for birds and wildlife.

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Spruce Trees Are Recovering From Acid Rain, Years After Tighter Pollution Controls

By John Dillon
Vermont Public Radio
June 12, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

A University of Vermont researcher says red spruce forests in the Northeast that were once damaged by acid rain are recovering, thanks to stronger pollution controls. In the early days of acid rain research, red spruce trees on Camel’s Hump in Vermont were seen as the canaries in the coal mine. The conifers were dying from acid rain, caused by pollutants released mainly by Midwest fossil fuel power plants. The late UVM scientist Hubert “Hub” Vogelmann documented the trees’ decline on Camel’s Hump. His research provided compelling evidence of the environmental impact of acid rain. But 1990 amendments to the federal Clean Air Act limited nitrous oxide and sulfur dioxide emissions. And now the trees are recovering. …one reason the trees are showing increased growth is due to a longer growing season related to climate change.

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Michael Gove appoints UK ‘tree champion’

By Sandra Laville
The Guardian
June 13, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Sir Willian Worsley

The environment secretary, Michael Gove, has appointed a “tree champion” to stop the unnecessary felling of trees and boost planting rates. Sir William Worsley, chairman of the National Forest Company which oversees the National Forest, has been appointed to support government promises to plant 11 million trees, plus a further 1 million in towns and cities. The move, part of the pledges in the government’s 25-year environment plan, comes after a controversial tree-felling programme in Sheffield. The Guardian revealed last month how Network Rail has a five-year plan to target all leaf fall trees from alongside its tracks for removal in a policy of enhanced clearance. Tree planting in England is at its lowest rate for a generation, while the loss of existing woodland is happening at an accelerated rate due to weak planning laws, according to campaigners.

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Send in the goats: Portugal goes low-tech to beat wildfires

By Barry Hatton
Associated Press in Yahoo! New Zealand
June 13, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

MOITA DA GUERRA, Portugal — Unaware that time is short, more than 200 brown-and-white goats slowly munch their way through the thick undergrowth that covers the hills of southern Portugal. …The government is hiring this herd, and dozens of others nationwide, as part of its race against the clock to guard rugged parts of the Iberian nation against a repeat of last year’s catastrophic wildfires. That includes trying to clean up as much woodland as possible before temperatures rise and the land becomes a tinderbox. …In recent decades, people [have moved to] bigger towns and cities. [Leaving] forests in the hands of mostly elderly people who often lack financial resources. Portuguese farmers often plant long, unbroken stretches of eucalyptus, a fast-growing tree that offers a quick financial return from the country’s important paper pulp industry. But eucalyptus also burns like a fire torch.

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Forest Fires

A bin for butts

By Chantelle Deacon
Castanet
June 12, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

A product designed to help minimize the impact on the environment while reducing the number of wildfires was used for the first time at the Shambhala Music Festival a few years ago. The air sealed Pocket Ashtray and BUTT BIN has proved to be a success at multiple music festivals and most recently at the annual Lumby Days event. Both The Pocket Ashtray and BUTT BIN work hand in hand. The Pocket Ashtray is a clean and safe way to store cigarette butts before properly disposing of them in a marked BUTT BIN. …The products are so well received the Village of Lumby and Monashee Community Forest purchased 2,000 Pocket Ashtray’s and are handing them out for free to smokers.

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Wyoming wildfire grows rapidly, more firefighters on way

The Billings Gazette
June 13, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

LARAMIE — The fire burning in the Snowy Range near the Colorado border spread six miles eastward and had engulfed 2,300 acres by Monday night, according to the U.S. Forest Service. Strong winds and dry weather both contributed to blaze’s spread. About 70 firefighters were fighting the blaze, which has closed highways in southern Wyoming and northern Colorado. …The fire has burned mostly beetle-killed forest in the area. Several small communities of permanent and seasonal residences are under evacuation orders. They include about 100 people in the Woods Landing and Jelm areas. So far, no structures have been lost.

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New wildfire erupts near Colorado ski resorts, houses

By Colleen Slevin
Associated Press in The Star-Telegram
June 13, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

A wildfire erupted Tuesday in an area of Colorado known for its ski resorts, forcing the evacuation of more than 1,300 homes and marking the latest in a series of blazes that have ignited in the drought-stricken U.S. West. The fire in central Colorado had burned only about 100 acres but was dangerously close to two densely populated housing developments near the town of Silverthorne, about 60 miles (97 kilometers) west of Denver. “This area, there is a lot of homes that are pretty tightly packed together,” U.S. Forest Service spokesman Adam Bianchi said. …About 50 firefighters were battling the blaze initially, but more were on the way, along with heavy air tankers and helicopters. …Colorado’s largest blaze also kept burning in the San Juan National Forest, which has been closed to the public to try to prevent additional fires.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Ford determined to scrap Ontario’s ‘disastrous’ cap-and-trade system: spokesman

By Paola Loriggio
The Canadian Press in the Times Colonist
June 12, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

Doug Ford

TORONTO — A spokesman for Doug Ford says Ontario’s incoming premier is determined to deliver on his campaign promise to scrap the “disastrous” cap-and-trade system and fight a federal carbon tax. Ford’s pledge is causing concern in Quebec, a province that introduced a cap-and-trade system in 2013 and shares a carbon market with Ontario and California. …Asked what it would mean for Quebec if Ontario pulled out of the carbon market, Melancon said it was too early to comment on that possibility. “I want to have those discussions before talking about a possible withdrawal,” she told The Canadian Press in French. “There are international treaties, we have signatures with the Western Climate Initiative, that are important,” she said.

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Health & Safety

Supreme Court ‘put employers on notice’ they’re responsible for workplace deaths, harassment — even for people who aren’t their employees

By Aelx McKeen
The Star Vancouver
June 12, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER—B.C. labour law experts say two decisions by the Supreme Court of Canada “put employers on notice” that… they could be responsible for the safety and rights of people who aren’t traditional employees. …The Workers’ Compensation Board of B.C. penalized forestry company West Fraser Mills for the death of a tree faller who died on land owned by the company. Although owners always have some liability with respect to workers on their property, what was new about this decision was that the majority on the high court agreed with the WCB board decision to fine West Fraser Mills under rules meant for employers — a precedent that may be referenced in the future in B.C. and other jurisdictions. …Legal experts say the decisions should be of concern to employers — especially those who may have tried to delegate their liability by contracting companies.

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