The New Brunswick Forest Technicians Association votes to reject Draft Document and Process for Right to Practice Legislation
To Whom It May Concern;
At the Annual General Meeting of the New Brunswick Forest Technicians Association (NBFTA) on April 7th, 2011 the Membership voted on Right to Practice Legislation.
The Members were asked to cast their vote as either “Yes” or “No” on the following statement:
“I support the Act to Incorporate the Association of New Brunswick Forestry Professionals”.
The vote results were as follows:
25 Votes Cast
Yes Votes: 2 (8%)
No Votes: 23 (92%)
The vote was cast after a presentation from Dr. Roger Roy, President of the Association of Registered Professional Foresters of New Brunswick (ARPFNB) on Right to Practice (RTP), followed by a question and answer session. After Dr. Roy left the meeting the Membership discussed the issue and then a motion was made to conduct the vote.
Following this vote, and much focused discussion, the NBFTA has concluded that it cannot support and must now oppose the ARPFNB’s proposed RTP legislation. The NBFTA believes that the process by which the RTP document has been produced is fundamentally flawed thus yielding a flawed document. Further, this process has failed to gain the necessary participation of a broad base of the New Brunswick forest sector.
Based on Membership feedback, the NBFTA’s reasons for rejecting the current RTP document are as follows:
- The NBFTA required written letters of support from stakeholders when we became partners in the RTP process with the ARPFNB. This requirement had been previously agreed to by the ARPFNB, yet, as of the writing of this letter, none have been received. Generally speaking, the NBFTA Membership was not satisfied with the explanation given by the ARPFNB regarding why there are no letters of support.
- The RTP document has been changed significantly, from the early stages, when all forestry practitioners would be required to work within their competencies and continue their education. This is no longer the case in the current RTP document.
- Changes to the RTP document were made without any consultation with the NBFTA before voting for the changes. Rather than standing up for the original proposal, which was agreed upon by our two Associations, the ARPFNB chose to make significant changes to bring some of their members on board.
- Because of changes to the definition of forestry, the RTP document no longer requires that all practitioners become registered and, in fact, contains an ‘out’ clause which, in effect, would allow one person to assume the entire responsibility for an organization, no matter its size. If public accountability is the goal of the RTP document then this ‘out’ clause does a disservice to the public. In the opinion of the NBFTA the RTP document does not have anything to do with the best interest of the general public.
- The RTP Document has been changed and approved by a small number of members of the ARPFNB, yet non-members, who are practicing Foresters in New Brunswick, have had little or no input. The NBFTA finds this most troubling; that an organization would attempt to force something on professionals without allowing them to participate in the process.
- From the Government of New Brunswick website (underlined sections are important because the proposed Act would affect the rights and interests of many others not included, such as Technologists, and other forestry practitioners not represented by either association): Private Bills are those relating to private or local matters or for the particular interest or benefit of any person, corporation or municipality. Private Bills are not usually promoted by members of the Legislature, but by outside persons or bodies. They confer special powers upon companies, municipalities and private persons and are not of general public concern. Therefore, before any special favour of this nature is granted, the Legislative Assembly requires to be satisfied that no other rights or interests would be prejudiced by granting the special legislation sought to be obtained.
In conclusion the NBFTA feels that the approach to RTP has been a flawed process due to lack of written stakeholder support, changing the RTP Document without NBFTA consultation, resulting in sacrificing any apparent public good or accountability to the public by forestry professionals.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the New Brunswick Forest Technicians Association;
Todd MacPherson, Past President