(Vancouver, BC) –BC Council of Forest Industries [COFI] President & CEO Susan Yurkovich issued the following statement responding to the report by Mark Haddock released today on professional reliance.
“We are disappointed with the professional reliance report. Mr. Haddock’s report misses the opportunity to focus on meaningful improvements to the governance of professional associations, drifting well beyond his terms of reference to propose unjustified changes to the forestry regulatory regime unrelated to professional reliance.
“The intent of this review was to identify and recommend good governance practices that could be applied by the resource professions’ governing bodies. Instead the report recommends a new ‘regulator of regulators’ be established. This would duplicate process, add unnecessary costs and create uncertainty, without any clear indication of how public interest will be served.
“This report further proposes significant changes to the regulatory regime for forestry, even though the forest industry is already highly regulated and audited by the Forest Practices Board. These audits show that while not perfect, the forest industry has a good record of compliance. Mr. Haddock’s proposals would effectively take us back 25 years to a ‘forest practices code’ system, that was ultimately rejected as unworkable due to its highly prescriptive, costly, and gridlocked regulatory scheme.
“Finally, the report’s proposals are made in the absence of any analysis of the cost of introducing these recommendations to government, industry, communities, or the economy as whole.
“We recognize that this report is but one piece of information that government will consider in making its decisions to enhance professional reliance. We are hopeful that government will focus on good governance, transparency and continuous improvement of individual professional associations, and not create redundant layers of regulators, or adversely impact the current regulatory regime. COFI looks forward to working with government to achieve that end.”
The BC Council of Forest Industries (COFI) is the voice of the B.C. forest industry in the province. Forestry creates one in every 17 jobs, or more than 140,000 jobs in British Columbia. The industry is adapting, evolving and innovating, and continues to be one of the most significant economic drivers in the province.