The Tugboat Worker Lien Act By Emma Neill, Senior Tenures Forester, Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development he B.C. government is looking broadly at legislation governing commercial liens. The long-term goal is to ensure the legislation is used and protects a broad range of industries in our province. In 1927, the Tugboat Worker Lien Act (TWLA) was introduced to encourage tug owners to extend credit to small logging operators by giving tugboat owners a lien over the tow. However, the protection offered is limited, as the lien rights expire after 30 days, unless a statement of lien or affidavit is filed in a B.C. Supreme Court registry. There is little evidence that these lien rights are actually used. The Law Reform Commission of British Columbia Report (1994) on the TWLA found that the Act provided little additional benefit to other remedies available under general law, and recommended the Act be repealed. Effective protection for workers and forestry contractors now exists through liens provided under the Employment Standards Act and the Forest Service Providers Protection Act. The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development is responsible
for the TWLA, and intends to recommend that the Act be repealed as part of the broader law reform project involving B.C. legislation that applies to liens for commercial services. The Province is considering whether to adopt the Uniform Liens Act prepared by the Uniform Law Conference of Canada, which was recommended by the B.C. Law Institute in a 2003 report. The Uniform Liens Act covers liens that secure payment for commercial services provided to repair, store or transport goods and uses the rules and concepts in the Personal Property Security Act. The intention is to protect lien holders from losing their rights, and to provide fair and effective
enforcement procedures to anyone who has a legal interest in the goods subject to the lien. Anyone with questions on the proposed repeal of the Tugboat Worker Lien Act is encouraged to contact the Ministry. Ü
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There’s a lot going on in the tugboat industry. BC Ferries will soon be introducing the new Island Class Vessels. Two of the ferries will b...