The Law Commission of Ontario (LCO) has launched a public consultation for its project on the Modernization of the Forestry Workers Lien for Wages Act. The public consultation is the first stage of a project that will develop recommendations for changes to the Act. The LCO's Consultation Paper is available at www.lco-cdo.org.
Under the Act, which applies only to Northern Ontario and the County of Haliburton, forestry workers are entitled to claim a lien for wages on certain wood products. The outdated drafting of the Act, which dates back more than a century, frustrates workers' attempts to protect their interests since complex and costly litigation is required to interpret the Act in contemporary circumstances, according to the LCO.
“Recent cases have shown that the Act does not reflect modern logging practices or legal processes," said the executive director of the LCO, Dr. Patricia Hughes, “and if it is to fulfill its purpose of protecting workers in the logging industry, reform is essential."
The Consultation Paper outlines a number of problems with the Act, sets out issues for consideration, and asks a series of questions about those issues. Written submissions on the Consultation Paper will be accepted until December 14, 2012. The Paper also explains how people may provide feedback in more informal ways.
The LCO operates independently of government to recommend reforms to enhance access to justice.