Emergency Meeting of the NBFTA Notice

Hello Fellow Technicians and Technologists;

I have felt it necessary to call an emergency meeting of the NBFTA general membership in regards to ‘Right to Practice’ legislation that was initiated by the Association of Registered Professional Foresters of New Brunswick. The meeting will be held Saturday, November 14th, at 9:00 AM  in Room 224, at the Maritime College of Forest Technology (most of you know it as MFRS), in Fredericton.

As a bit of a background for you, the NBFTA was involved in the RTP process for a number of years but after many meetings and much discussion the process was abandoned. This was due to lack of support and the government not wanting to invest the time or resources for a public bill.

In late 2008 until the present, RTP was revived by the ARPFNB, because their membership demanded it an an AGM. The new approach is to go forward with a private members bill and pay all of the associated costs out of pocket.

In the spring of 2009, at our AGM in Moncton, Jen Hacking, the Executive Director of the ARPFNB, asked if she could speak to the general membership at our AGM. We accepted and allowed her to speak. The result of her meeting was that Chris Finnamore and Gareth Davies agreed to be representatives for the NBFTA in all future RTP meetings.

As a result of feedback from those meetings, the NBFTA Executive has twice voted that we no longer be part of the process as we felt it was not in the best interest of New Brunswick Forest Technicians and Technologists.

So why am I calling this meeting? We will reveal the full transcript of events at the emergency meeting but in a nutshell, we have had verbal complaint(s) from our Membership that the Executive may have overstepped their authority in making this decision on behalf of the members. Also we have received a formal letter from John Kershaw, President of the APRFNB, where he has addressed our concerns. Whether we agree or not with his letter is up for debate.

The Executive works tirelessly on behalf of the Membership and we are always looking out for all of our best interests, so I take complaints seriously. The main reason that the NBFTA Executive voted against this is that we disagreed with the entire process to move forward with RTP. This is such an important issue because if the proposed legislation
becomes law, here are some of the significant changes that will occur:

– The NBFTA will merge with th ARPFNB and a new association will be formed.
– All Technicians and Technologists will have to join if you want to
practice forestry in New Brunswick.
– Membership dues will go up significantly as the cost of running the
new Association will increase dramatically.
– Our financial resources will be seriously depleted paying for legal
bills and getting the legislation passed through a Private Members Bill.
Any remaining funds will transfer to the new Association.

There are other concerns in the draft legislation that we would like to explain at the meeting and will prepare a presentation, followed by a question and answer period. At the end of our presentation any other member will be allowed to make a RTP-related presentation, followed by a Q & A. My only request is that you inform me at least 1 week prior to the meeting with your estimated time allotment.

No other issues will be on the agenda. At the end of the presentations, the general membership will vote and the decision will be final. I can not stress the importance of this meeting. We need a quorum to allow for
a vote, otherwise the decision on the Executive is final.

Attached you will find the most recent draft of the legislation and an OCR conversion of a letter that was mailed to me by ARPFNB President, John Kershaw. Please read it over before you attend so you are better informed. There may be some typos in the text below as it was created by computer software after scanning the document.

*note – I did not publish correspondence at this time as it is intended for Members viewing only. If you did not already receive a copy in your email (sent October 22, 2009), then that means that your email address on record is out of date or you did not provide us with one. I can be reached by sending an email to todd.macpherson@nbfta.org.

Thank you for your time,

Todd MacPherson
President NBFTA