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John Drayton

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Hours of Service for B.C. Log Haulers

B.C. log haulers have special rules applying to them, different from the general rules for commercial drivers. For those readers inclined to do so, I invite you to go to the B.C. government’s website at http://www.th.gov.bc.ca/cvse/national_safety_code.htm and examine the entire regulation, paying particular attention to section 37.15. For those who want a simplified version, the government has posted a summary on its website called “Hours-of-Service Rules—Loggers”.

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Collection Remedies for Loggers - Part 2

Despite all of the remedies available to unpaid loggers, sometimes there simply aren't enough debtor assets available to pay the priority creditors and the unpaid loggers. Government created the Forestry Service Providers Compensation Fund to compensate contractors who are not paid due to licensee insolvency. There are certain Rules that are set out for the trustee to follow, when deciding whether to pay a claim and in what amount. These rules are set out at the Fund's website, and they are...

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Collection Remedies for Loggers - Part 1

Like any unpaid creditor, the ability exists to sue the debtor, to seek from the court a judgment against the debtor. A claim up to $35,000 can be brought in the Small Claims Court. A claim of any size can be brought in the Supreme Court. Once a judgment is obtained, there are various remedies available to enforce that judgment.

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Stumpage Payable Under B.C. Timber Sales

A log harvester that successfully bids on a B.C. Timber Sale will harvest the timber and sell it to one or more mills. Usually the sale price is negotiated, and the mill indicates that it will deduct stumpage from that price and remit that directly to the government. In most cases, that system works just fine. In some cases, however, where that mill is suffering financial difficulties, that can become a real problem for the log harvester. Sometimes the mill pays late; sometimes it...

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Negotiating Logging Rates - It's About Comparables

In my law practice I frequently deal with real estate appraisals. If an appraiser wants to estimate the fair market value of property X, he or she will likely take a direct comparison approach. The appraiser will select three recent sales of similar properties as a starting point. Because no two properties are alike, adjustments are made to the three comparable sales, to bring them in line with property X. The intent is to make an apples-to-apples comparison. So, if one comparable has a larger...

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Obtaining Information from Government

The Provincial Government offers two resources that loggers should be aware of. I use them all of the time. The first of them is the Harvest Billing System. This is an online resource, and users should simply type ‘Harvest Billing System’ into their search engine. The resource is free and instantaneous. Anyone can use it. The Harvest Billing System can provide much in the way of information. I’m often wanting to know the volume of timber harvested under any license or...

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Legal Worries and Urban Myths

Obtaining Information from Government Kara Walton of Claymont, Delaware, collected $12,000 from a nightclub for knocking out two front teeth while falling from a bathroom window to avoid a $3.50 cover charge for entering the club. The jury also awarded her dental care to fix her teeth. This story, like many others like it, is an urban myth that circulates through cyberspace, and often gets repeated in the media and at coffee shops. Unfortunately, many people do not have a good grasp as to...

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Equipment Financing

Most people who buy a home and obtain mortgage financing will retain a lawyer to have their rights protected and their obligations explained. A new piece of heavy equipment can cost more than a house, and yet equipment is usually purchased and money borrowed with very little explanation, and no legal representation. If anyone does seek legal advice respecting the transaction, it is usually after the borrower has defaulted on the agreement. By then, explaining the borrower’s rights and...

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Employment Standards Updated

Effective November 30, 2002, the Provincial Government has brought some reform to the Employment Standards Act. There continue to be a number of special regulations unique to the forest and transportation industries. The purpose of this article is to provide a guide to employers and employees. These rules and regulations are quite intricate, and this article may be regarded as a summary of the more basic requirements. I want to preface my comments by saying that the Employment Standards Act...

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Downloading Wildfire Costs onto the Contractor

Obtaining Information from Government There can be many causes of a wildfire: a carelessly discarded cigarette; a lightning strike; a machine fire that spreads to the surrounding forest. Sometimes a logger will say, “We had a fire on our block, but we have no idea how it started.” The logger, at least initially, will be expected to fight that fire, and there will be costs associated with that. The government may take over the firefighting. Once the fire is extinguished, the issue...

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