The BC Government is trying to sneak some legislation on forest roads into law. In March 2012, there was the first reading of an amendment to the Occupiers Liability Act to reduce the liability of forest companies and the Government with respect to forest roads. The Occupiers Liability Act requires the owner or operator of any premises to ensure that things are safe for anyone who enters. You get some protection if you enter a grocery store. When the legislation comes into law, a member of the public, an owner of the public forest who goes on a forest or resource road will be in terms of the law: " a person who enters onto or otherwise uses a resource road is deemed to have willingly assumed all risks, "
This has not been reported by the press because they assume that the public is not much interested in their public forests. It is the job of government to see to the interests of the public. The duty probably should be greater in the case of something that the public owns.
You, or I as owners can fall into a hole in a forest road as far as the Government cares.
The attitude of the BC Government shows lack of regard for the public owners and a willingness to provide for the interests of forest companies. It shields government from its duty of forest stewardship. A further step in the gradual stealth privatization of BC's public forests.
What will the new legislation mean in practice for public users of forest and resource roads on public lands and forests? On forest roads that are actively being used by forest companies, road safety standards will remain similar to present because forest companies will still be required to see to the safety of their employees and contractors.