II. The Forestry Workers Lien for Wages Act in Context: After that now
A. Introduction to FWLWA
Although 122 years of age, FWLWA continues to be in virtually initial kind. It provides that people performing labour on logs or timber may claim a lien over those logs or timber to secure their earnings. But the passing of time has rendered the meanings within the Act ineffectual, making its scope unclear.
“Labour” is defined inside language of 19th century logging practices to add anachronistic functions including running, rafting and booming logs, also work done by bush camp personnel including cooks and blacksmiths with now practically vanished through the industry. The Act provides defense to both signing employees and logging technicians it is not clear concerning whether or not it additionally addresses subcontractors. Because of the disconnected nature of industry, this makes the use of the Act to a large proportion of contemporary Ontario loggers in question.
The Act describes “logs or timber” as a list of products including telegraph poles, railroad ties, tan bark, pulpwood, shingle bolts and staves. This meaning is no much longer important. Some of the included things, particularly tan bark, are commercially obsolete and some essential outputs of modern-day logging, like woodchips and biomass, tend to be lacking from the meaning. The meaning even offers the effect of limiting the life of lien on duration where the “logs or timber” stay in recognizable kind. Once the logs tend to be prepared within mill, a lien can’t occur underneath the Act. This supply might have made good sense during the turn for the century when logs put inside bush throughout the winter months. But given that logs tend to be prepared more rapidly (often even when they’ve been nevertheless when you look at the bush), the provision substantially restricts the range associated with Act and the value of a lien.
The procedures in FWLWA tend to be equally anachronistic. The claimant must register a lien claim and an affidavit confirming the claim when you look at the regional workplace of Superior legal of Justice but there is no reliable method for 3rd functions to be alert to these statements. The Act’s processing deadlines believe that logging stays a seasonal rehearse. Like, the deadline for signing employees doing wintertime labour may be the April 30th after the work is done, whereas the deadline for logging staff members performing summer labour is 30 days following the tasks are done. The presumption let me reveal that loggers involved in the bush within the cold temperatures have a problem making camp to register a lien claim. Complicating issues more, a different sort of due date is specified for signing contractors processing a claim. This deadline could be the September 1st following the work is done.
After filing a lien claim, the Act provides that loggers have thirty days to bring an action to enforce the lien. an activity can be recorded in a choice of the Superior legal of Justice or the Small Claims legal, with respect to the quantity at risk. Both in instances, the fairly casual processes associated with the small-claims legal can be followed where possible. Although this provision might have been suitable for wage data recovery in 1891, it will not look at the large amounts which may be reported by modern logging contractors. Small-claims legal Rules are made for statements lower than $25, 000 and supply for an abbreviated development procedure in order to facilitate usage of justice. The drafters of this original work presumably failed to consider lien claims nearing $1 million.
The Act in addition provides that, where there was valid reason to believe that logs or timber are about to be taken out of Ontario or offered or cut to be able to be not identifiable, the legal may issue a writ of attachment and direct the sheriff to seize the logs. Within circumstance, the owner of the logs may regain control of those by posting a bond since the level of the lien plus prices.
The Act provides that lien statements have priority over-all various other claims or liens except for certain Crown claims eg a claim for delinquent stumpage charges. Although maybe sensible in 1891, its uncommon these days for a non-possessory commercial lien to leapfrog over almost all various other passions when you look at the property when you look at the absence of a registration requirement. The Act also provides that liens are effective against ordinary program product sales to third party purchasers. This also is contradictory utilizing the contemporary convention that will be to encourage the no-cost trade of products by enforcing alternative party sales into the ordinary training course.
Other arrangements of FWLWA may also be outdated. For instance, the Court is severely restricted inside costs so it may award about a lien proceeding. For uncontested statements in Superior Court of Justice, prices are capped at $5 where a solicitor is utilized. This increases to $10 for a contested claim. Also small amounts are offered for where the action is introduced small-claims Court.
Another provision provides that lien claimants may take proceedings beneath the Lakes and Rivers enhancement Act to procure the separation of logs seized by the sheriff off their logs with which they have now been intermixed. This supply seems to have already been orphaned since no such process stays in the present version of the waterways enhancement Act.
There is a geographical restriction constructed into the Act. The Act is applicable and then the County of Haliburton and also to the territorial areas in north Ontario. This boundary excludes a substantial area of commercial logging functions at this time taking place in southern the main province. Loggers doing work in northern Ontario may claim a lien beneath the Act but loggers doing similar work with Mazinaw-Lanark, like, are excluded from security.
B. Historical Backdrop to Forestry Employee Lien Legislation in Ontario
The introduction to FWLWA above illustrates how important the historical context is knowing the plan behind the enactment of a forestry worker lien regime in Ontario, as well as the appropriate framework chosen for the Act. Currently several of that historic framework in this section.
As soon as the forerunner to the Act was first introduced in 1891, the logging industry had been a central part of Ontario’s economic climate. It fed the saw mills which, subsequently, produced lumber essential to building the railways along with other infrastructure of a new country. During the second half of this nineteenth century, the practiced rapid growth. A raft of timbers really worth more or less $12, 000 mid-century had been worth $100, 000 by the turn for the century. Lumber barons capitalized about this growth and built large-scale sawmills to process the wood. Among they certainly were Michigan mill proprietors whom hired Ontario technicians called “jobbers” to oversee logging functions and, then, to tow huge booms of these logs to mills across Lake Huron.