Dear Forest Technicians and Technologists of New Brunswick;
The 2011 NBFTA Annual General Meeting will be held in Moncton at Ramada Crystal Palace on April 7th beginning at 1 PM Sharp. Although the Agenda has not yet been released, the primary topic will be Right to Practice. Your Executive and, in particular, Chris Finnamore, has been hard at work with this on behalf of the membership.
As you may recall we held an Emergency Meeting of the NBFTA on November 14, 2009 at which time the Membership voted to support Right to Practice Legislation. We, as an Executive, were tasked by the Membership to meet with the ARPFNB and tell them our conditions of support. We did that. To freshen your memories of those conditions I have copied and pasted them here:
It was motioned and accepted that the NBFTA Executive meet with ARPFNB Executive to confirm support of Right-to-Practice by contributing $5000.00 toward legal costs incurred to date, conditional on :
– no more money be spent on legal fees until stakeholder support is given
– consultation process to begin immediately, including written letters of support from stakeholders including, but not limited to :
- NB Federation of Woodlot Owners
- Crown Licensees and Sub Licensees
- U de M
- NBCC Miramachi
The NBFTA Executive met with the ARPFNB Executive on December 5th, 2009 and presented them with our conditions of support. They unanimously accepted the conditions as outlined above.
A joint letter from both Associations was mailed out to approximately 120 stakeholders province-wide late December – early January 2010. No letters of support were received, so at an NBFTA Executive Meeting on October 16th, 2010 it was decided that ample time had passed. The Executive felt that we no longer had a mandate and would bring this to the attention of the Membership at our AGM to decide which way to proceed.
On Friday January 28th, 2011, Chris Finnamore and myself were invited to attend the ARPFNB AGM. At that meeting their Membership voted to change the definition of Forestry from the original draft that the Membership of the NBFTA had supported. With this change in hand, their membership in attendance, which included representatives from two large Crown License holders and one Marketing Board, offered support, through their vote of presenting the document to their membership via a mail-in vote.
The ARPFNB felt that they did not have a strong enough quorum at their AGM to hold a vote to accept the document and begin the public process of having it become Legislation. They decided to send a cover letter and copy of the document to their membership, soliciting a mail-in vote in support of the draft Act.
This may be changing somewhat because recent correspondence that I have received shows that the ARPFNB may hire an on-line voting house to prepare an electronic ballot for their membership who have Internet access.
On Saturday, February 5th, 2011 the NBFTA Executive met and this was the main topic on our agenda. We, the Executive, felt that the NBFTA can not support this new draft of the Act because, with the change to the definition of forestry, we no longer have a mandate from our Membership.
Further, although three representatives of major players in the forest industry voted at the ARPFNB AGM to support the new version of the Act, there are no official letters of support, that our Membership had requested.
Acting on your behalf today, we decided that we would not be joining the ARPF in their mail-out / electronic vote campaign. It was decided that is beyond our scope and mandate and that we need to take the new draft of the Act directly to you, the member, at our upcoming AGM.
If you are a Forest Technician or Technologist working in New Brunswick you need to be at our AGM in Moncton on Thursday afternoon April 7th, 2011. Decisions made at this meeting will chart a course for your career in Forestry. I can not stress enough how important this meeting is. Even if you are not a member, you still need to come. While it would be nice to recruit new members into the Association, you are welcome to come and sit as an observer and listen to the work that has been done, on your behalf, to protect your interests. If what you see and hear inspires you to participate in the process, you are more than welcome to join the NBFTA.
Again, to all Technicians of New Brunswick. I implore you to be present at our AGM. This will be, without a doubt, the most important meeting that we have ever had. You need to be informed. You need to be involved. You need to be there. If you are reading this and are coming, I want you to bring at least one other Technician or Technologist with you.
It is estimated that there are over 1200 Forest Technicians and Technologists currently working in New Brunswick. It is my hope that every single one will be present in Moncton on April 7th. Please do not let the decisions of a few affect the careers of so many.
Todd MacPherson, President
New Brunswick Forest Technicians Association