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Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick
Status of Legislation - First Reading Bill
An Act to Amend the Forest Fires Act
 
Legislature :
54
Session :
5
Bill No. :
16
Member :
Hon. Volpé
First Reading :
2002-12-4
Second Reading :
2002-12-5
Committee of the Whole :
2002-12-6
Amended :
Third Reading :
2002-12-11
Royal Assent :
2002-12-20
Download PDF :
  Bill 16         
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Text of Bill :


   Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick, enacts as follows:

1                           Section 1 of the Forest Fires Act, chapter F-20 of the Revised Statutes, 1973, is amended

   (a)               in the definition "burning permit" by striking out "section 11" and substituting "subsection 11(3)";

   (b)               by repealing the definition "camp fire permit";

   (c)               by repealing the definition "Director";

   (d)               by repealing the definition "fire season";

   (e)               by repealing the definition "forest land" and substituting the following:

   "forest land" means

   (a)               any land lying outside the boundaries of a city or town and not cultivated for agricultural purposes, on which trees, shrubs, grass or other plants are growing,
   together with roads, other than public highways,
   
   (b)               any blueberry field lying outside the boundary of a city or town, or
   
   (c)                any peat bog lying outside the boundary of a city or town;
   
(f) by repealing the definition "forest travel permit";

(g)                      by repealing the definition "industrial fire warden";

(h)                      by repealing the definition "industrial operation" and substituting the following:

   "industrial operation" means

   (a)               any work within or upon forest land in which two or more persons are engaged, or
   
   (b)               where mechanical equipment is used, any work within or upon forest land in which one or more persons are engaged;

   (i)                by repealing the definition "regional resource manager";

   (j)                by repealing the definition "restricted travel area";

   (k)               in the French version in the definition «véhicule de camping» by striking out the semicolon at the end of the definition and substituting a period;

   (l)                in the definition "work permit" by striking out "section 18" and substituting "subsection 18(1)";

   (m)             by adding the following definition in alphabetical order:

   "mechanical equipment" means any vehicle or equipment that is designed primarily for the cutting, felling, bunching, extracting, delimbing, loading or removal of timber or for
performing any other similar function with respect to timber;

2                           Section 4 of the Act is amended by adding after subsection (2) the following:

4(3)                   Subject to the approval of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, the Minister may enter into an agreement with the owner or owners of private land to lease the private
land for the purposes of aerial fire suppression.

3                           Section 5 of the Act is repealed and the following is substituted:

5(1)                   Subject to subsection (2), the period from the third Monday in April to the thirty-first day of October, inclusive, shall be the fire season for each year.

5(2)                   Where the Minister considers it advisable and in the public interest, the Minister may vary the date the fire season commences or ends for the whole or any part of the
Province, and such variation is effective upon publication in at least two daily newspapers having general circulation throughout the Province.

4                           Section 6 of the Act is repealed and the following is substituted:

6                           Sections 10, 10.1, 10.2, 10.3, 11, 15, 17 and 18 apply only during the fire season.

5                           Section 7 of the Act is repealed.

6                           Section 8 of the Act is repealed.

7                           Section 9 of the Act is repealed.

8                           The Act is amended by adding after section 10 the following:

10.1                  A person who starts, ignites, tends, fuels, makes use of or is in charge of a fire or who causes a fire to be started or ignited

   (a)               shall take every reasonable precaution to prevent the fire from spreading, and
   
   (b)               shall not leave the fire unattended until it is completely extinguished.

10.2                  A person is liable for any damage or injury to property caused by a fire started or ignited by the person.

10.3                  The Minister shall, in accordance with the regulations, make available to the public information concerning burn days, non-burn days and restricted burn days for
each county of the Province or any part of such county in relation to any category of fire established by regulation.

10.4                  Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act or the regulations, a person may, with reasonable care and under the direction of a forest service officer, start or
ignite a backfire for the purpose of stopping a fire already burning.

10.5                  Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act or the regulations, a forest service officer may, with reasonable care, start or ignite a fire for the purposes of training
or education in fire investigation or suppression.

9                           Section 11 of the Act is repealed and the following is substituted:

11(1)               A person who wishes to start or ignite or cause to be started or ignited a fire of a category established by regulation in respect of which a burning permit is required
under the regulations shall

   (a)               apply to the Minister for a burning permit, and
   
   (b)               provide the information or documentation that the Minister requires or that is prescribed by regulation.

11(2)               The Minister may, before issuing a burning permit, enter upon the land on which the applicant proposes that the fire be started or ignited to inspect the land for the
purpose of determining whether the location and conditions are suitable for starting or igniting a fire of the category in respect of which the application is being made.

11(3)               Upon application and payment of the prescribed fee, if any, the Minister may issue a burning permit for the category of fire in respect of which the application is being
made.

11(4)               The Minister may refuse to issue a burning permit.

11(5)               In addition to any terms and conditions imposed in accordance with the regulations, the Minister may impose such terms and conditions on a burning permit as the
Minister considers necessary.

11(6)               The Minister may, in his or her discretion, cancel a burning permit.

11(7)               A person to whom a burning permit is issued shall comply with the terms and conditions of the burning permit.

10                        Section 12 of the Act is repealed.

11                        Section 13 of the Act is repealed.

12                        Section 14 of the Act is repealed.

13                        Section 15 of the Act is repealed and the following is substituted:

15(1)               Where, in the opinion of the Minister, an accumulation of debris

   (a)               in or near forest land,
   
   (b)               within one hundred metres of the centre of a railway track, or
   
   (c)                within fifteen metres of the centre line of a public highway,

is a fire hazard, the Minister may give notice in writing to the owner of the land on which the accumulation is located or an operator with respect to such land that a fire hazard
exists on the land.

15(2)               An owner or operator notified under subsection (1) shall dispose of the fire hazard without delay and to the satisfaction of the Minister.

15(3)               Where an owner or operator fails to comply with subsection (2), a forest service officer, having obtained the approval of the Minister, may enter upon the land on
which the accumulation is located to dispose of the fire hazard.

15(4)               Where a forest service officer enters upon land under subsection (3) and requests the owner or operator and the employees of the owner or operator to help dispose of
the fire hazard, the owner or operator and the employees of the owner or operator shall provide that help.

15(5)               Where a forest service officer enters upon land under subsection (3) and disposes of the fire hazard, the owner or operator notified under subsection (1) shall pay to
the Province all expenses incurred by the Minister in the disposal of the fire hazard by the forest service officer.

14                        Section 16 of the Act is repealed.

15                        Section 17 of the Act is amended

   (a)               in subsection (1) by striking out "sawmill" and substituting "stationary sawmill";

   (b)               in subsection (2) by striking out "sawmill" and substituting "stationary sawmill";

   (c)               in subsection (3) by striking out "sawmill" and substituting "stationary sawmill";

   (d)               by repealing subsection (4).

16                        Section 18 of the Act is amended

   (a)               by repealing subsection (1) and substituting the following:         

18(1)               Upon application and payment of the prescribed fee, if any, the Minister may issue a work permit to a person who conducts an industrial operation upon forest land.

   (b)               by repealing subsection (2) and substituting the following:

18(2)               The Minister shall, in the work permit issued under subsection (1), describe the forest land upon which the proposed industrial operation is to be conducted, and the
Minister may impose on the work permit such terms and conditions as the Minister considers necessary.

   (c)               by repealing subsection (3) and substituting the following:

18(3)               No person shall conduct or continue to conduct an industrial operation upon forest land, unless that person is the holder of a valid and subsisting work permit.

   (d)               by adding after subsection (3) the following:

18(3.1)          A person to whom a work permit is issued shall comply with the terms and conditions of the work permit.

   (e)               by repealing subsection (4) and substituting the following:

18(4)               In the interest of forest protection, the Minister may

   (a)               refuse to issue a work permit,
   
   (b)               limit the period of time for conducting an industrial operation, or
   
   (c)                cancel a work permit.

   (f)                by repealing subsection (5);

   (g)               by repealing subsection (8).

17                        Section 19 of the Act is repealed.

18                        Section 21 of the Act is repealed.

19                        Subsection 24(2) of the English version of the Act is amended by striking out "has burned" and substituting "has occurred".

20                        Section 27 of the Act is repealed.

21                        Section 29 of the Act is repealed and the following is substituted:

29(1)               A person who violates or fails to comply with section 10 or 10.1, subsection 11(7), 15(2), 15(4), 17(1), 18(3), 18(3.1), 18(7), 20(1) or 20(3.1) or with an order made under
subsection 17(2) commits an offence punishable under Part II of the Provincial Offences Procedure Act as a category H offence.

29(2)               A person who violates or fails to comply with a provision of the regulations commits an offence that is, subject to subsection (3), punishable under Part II of the
Provincial Offences Procedure Act as a category B offence.

29(3)               A person who violates or fails to comply with a provision of the regulations in respect of which a category has been prescribed under paragraph 31(k.2) commits an
offence of the category prescribed by regulation.

29(4)               Where an offence under subsection 17(1) or 18(3) continues for more than one day,

   (a)               the minimum fine that may be imposed is the minimum fine set by the Provincial Offences Procedure Act multiplied by the number of days during which the offence
   continues, and
   
   (b)               the maximum fine that may be imposed is the maximum fine set by the Provincial Offences Procedure Act multiplied by the number of days during which the offence
   continues.

22                        Section 30 of the Act is amended by striking out "national forest week" and substituting "forest fire awareness week".

23                        Section 31 of the Act is amended

   (a)               by repealing paragraph (a) and substituting the following:

   (a)               respecting, for the purposes of paragraph 11(1)(b), the information or documentation to be provided on application for a burning permit;

   (b)               by adding after paragraph (a) the following:

   (a.1)          prescribing the fees to be paid on the issuance of a burning permit or work permit;
   
   (a.2)          respecting the terms and conditions of a burning permit or work permit;
   
   (a.3)          exempting any person or class of persons from the requirement to hold a burning permit or work permit;

   (a.4)          establishing categories of fires for the purposes of section 10.3 or in respect of which burning permits are required;
   
   (a.5)          respecting categories of fires established under paragraph (a.4), including prohibitions, restrictions and requirements in relation to such categories of fires;
   
   (a.6)          respecting prohibitions, restrictions and requirements in relation to any fire that is not of a category established under paragraph (a.4);
   
   (a.7)          respecting the method by which information referred to in section 10.3 shall be made available to the public;

   (c)               by repealing paragraph (b) and substituting the following:

   (b)               respecting fire prevention in or about tents, industrial camps, industrial operations, recreational camps, mines or sawmills;

   (d)               by repealing paragraph (c);

   (e)               by repealing paragraph (g);

   (f)                by adding after paragraph (k.1) the following:

   (k.2)          prescribing, in relation to offences under the regulations, categories of offences for the purposes of Part II of the Provincial Offences Procedure Act;
   
   (k.3)          defining words and expressions used but not defined in this Act for the purposes of this Act, the regulations or both;

Consequential amendments
24(1)               The heading "Forest Fires Act" preceding section 53 of An Act Respecting the Penalties for Provincial Offences, chapter 61 of the Acts of New Brunswick, 1990,
is repealed.

24(2)               Section 53 of the Act is repealed.

25                        Subsection 2(2) of the Police Act, chapter P-9.2 of the Acts of New Brunswick, 1977, is amended by striking out "a peace officer under the Motor Vehicle Act, a
game warden under the Fish and Wildlife Act, and an industrial fire warden under the Forest Fires Act," and substituting "a peace officer under the Motor Vehicle Act and a
game warden under the Fish and Wildlife Act,".

Commencement
26                        This Act or any provision of it comes into force on a day or days to be fixed by proclamation.

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Legend
* Private Bill
** Bill referred to Standing Committee on Law Amendments
+ Private Member's Public Bill
++ Motion for second reading defeated
+++ Debate at second reading adjourned
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