[1] Forestry Workers Lien for Wages Act, RSO 1990, c F28 [“Forestry Lien Act”].

[2] Buchanan Forest Products Ltd (Re), 2009 CanLII 50222 (ON SC), <http://canlii.ca/t/25qv7> retrieved on 2012-07-16 [“Buchanan”].

[3] This history focuses on Northern Ontario because the Act’s coverage is geographically restricted to only Northern Ontario (i.e. north of the French River) and the District of Haliburton.  See Forestry Lien Act, note 1, s 2.

[4] Ian Radforth, Bush Workers and Bosses: Logging in Northern Ontario 1900-1980 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1987) 3 [Bushworkers]. This book focuses on logging in the 20th century. For a comprehensive discussion of 19th century Ontario logging, see Radforth “The Shantymen” in Labouring Lives: Workers: Work and Workers in Nineteenth-Century Ontario (University of Toronto Press: Toronto, 1995) 204.

[5] Bushworkers, note 4, ch 2, esp 26-27; C Ross Silversides and Richard A Rajal, Broadaxe to Flying Shear: the Mechanization of Forest Harvesting East of the Rockies (Ottawa: National Museum of Science and Technology, 1997) 126-127 [Broadaxe].

[6] Bushworkers, note 4, 27-32.

[7] Bushworkers, note 4, ch 5.

[8] Forestry Lien Act, s 1.

[9] Bushworkers, note 4, 98-99.

[10] Broadaxe, note 4, 128.

[11] Broadaxe, note 4, 128, Bushworkers 53-54.

[12] Bushworkers, note 4, 54-57.

[13] Bushworkers, note 4, 57-59.

[14] Bushworkers, note 4, 49; 60.

[15] Bushworkers, note 4, 60-62; Broadaxe, note 4, 129.

[16] Broadaxe, note 4, 129-130; Bushworkers, note 4, 63-66.

[17] Broadaxe, note 4, 145; Bushworkers, note 4, 172-175.

[18] For an extremely comprehensive discussion of the mechanisation of the logging industry over the twentieth century, see Broadaxe, note 4, Part I. For specifics on the introduction of harvesters, see Bushworkers, note 4, 214-218.

[19] See Broadaxe, note 4, Part I..

[20] For discussion of the introduction of power skidders, see Bushworkers, note 4, 206-214.

[21] “Ontario’s Forest Industry: Where Have all the Loggers Gone?” online: Wildlands League <http://www.wildlandsleague.org/attachments/Where%20Have%20Loggers%20Gone%20FS1.pdf>

[22] Bushworkers, note 4, 42-44.

[23] Bushworkers, note 4, 37-40. As James Willard Hearst wrote in the context of Wisconsin (his observations also appear applicable in the Ontario context), one of the effects of the log lien laws was that lien rights gave workers some confidence that they would get paid at the end of the season, even if their employer suffered financial difficulties. Log liens thus performed necessary economic functions for both employers and employees. James Willard Hearst, Law and Economic Growth: The Legal History of the Lumber Industry in Wisconsin 1836-1915 (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 1964) 391-392.

[24] Bushworkers, note 4, 107-108.

[25] Broadaxe, note 4, 137.

[26] Broadaxe, note 4, 137-139.

[27] See discussion of the growth of unionism in chapters 6 and 7 of Bushworkers, note 4.

[28] See Bushworkers, note 4, 230-236.

[29] See Bushworkers, note 4, 230-236.

[30] Broadaxe, note 4, 134.

[31] Broadaxe, note 4, 143.

[32] Ontario, Legislative Assembly, Newspaper Hansard, 7th Parl, 2nd Sess, (3 April 1891) (Hon A S Hardy).

[33] Broadaxe, 133-134, note 4.

[34] Statistics in this paragraph drawn from Forest Products Association of Canada, Economic Backbone: Interactive Map. Online: http://www.fpac.ca/index.php/en/economic-backbone/ (last accessed August 17 2012).

[35] Forestry Lien Act.

[36] See for example Ex parte Deeze (1748) 1 Atk 228; 26 ER 146 (Ch), regarding the existence of a lien for packers. For a general discussion of the nature of liens, see generally Alfred H Silverton, the Law of Lien (Butterworths, London, 1988); CED (Ont 4th) vol 37, title 94.

[37] Dempsey v. Carson (1861) 11 UCCP 462 (UCCP); Tappenden v. Artus [1964] 2 QB (CA).

[38] See discussion of this issue in Silverton, note 36, chapter 3.

[39] Rust v. McNaught (1918) 144 LT Jo 440 (CA).

[40] Jones v. Pearle (1736) 1 Srt 557 93 ER 698. Note however that the lien is not lost if the loss of possession was the result of fraud or theft – see Wallace v. Woodgate (1824) Car & P 575 171 ER 1323.

[41] Liens can be either general or particular. The distinction between the two is described well in the Alberta Law Reform Institute’s 1992 Report on Liens as follows:

A particular lien gives the claimant the right to keep possession of goods until payment of charges relating to those goods. A general lien is wider in that it also secures charges that relate to goods which are no longer in the possession of the lien claimant. For example, the lien of a repairer is a particular lien which only secures repairs that relate to the goods in the possession of the lien claimant. … The general lien of a stockbroker secures charges that relate to securities in the possession of the stockbroker as well as previous charges that relate to securities that have been surrendered or sold. 

(Alberta Law Reform Institute, Report on Liens (Edmonton: Alberta Law Reform Institute, 1992, 7) [“ALRI Report on Liens”] The liens which will be discussed in this paper are, for the most part, particular liens.

[42] See for example the Forestry Lien Act, note 1, Livestock Lien Act RSBC 1996 c 272, Threshers’ Lien Act CCSM c T60. These liens were preceded by the similar Mechanics liens, supposedly adopted for the first time in North America (drawing on European practice) at the instigation of Thomas Jefferson in 1791.  These liens secured payment for tradespeople working in construction and were as much about encouraging those people to help build towns and cities in a rapidly expanding country as they were about protecting workers. See discussion in Samuel Louis Phillips, A Treatise on the Law of Mechanics’ Liens on Real and Personal Property (Washington, DC: Little, Brown, 2ed, 1883).  Mechanics lien legislation was passed in Ontario in 1873 (An Act to establish Liens in favour of Mechanics, Machinists and others SO 1873 c 27), and is the forerunner to the modern Construction Lien Act RSO 1990 c C-30.

[43] See discussion of the economic environment and early attempts at wage protection in Ontario in Jeremy Webber “Labour and the Law” in Labouring Lives: Workers: Work and Workers in Nineteenth-Century Ontario (University of Toronto Press: Toronto, 1995) 144-146.

[44] Woodman’s Lien for Wages Act SO 1891 c 22.

[45] The Buchannan group of companies became insolvent in February 2009, and 28 lien claims were advanced.  Preliminary issues relating to these liens were litigated in Buchanan. This is one of two cases the LCO could identify which invoked the Act in the last 40 years, the other one occurring in 1994 – Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce v. Levesque Lumber (Hearst) Ltd. [1994] OJ No. 2610 (Ont Ct Gen Div).

[46] Forestry Lien Act, note 1, s 3(1).

[47] Forestry Lien Act, note 1, s 1.

[48] Forestry Lien Act, note 1, s3(2).

[49] Forestry Lien Act, note 1, s 1. “Tan bark” is tree bark that is later processed to be used in the leather tanning process. “Shingle bolts” are blocks of wood from which wooden shingles used to be produced.  “Staves” are the individual pieces of wood from which barrels are made.

[50] Buchanan, paras 38-45.

[51] Forestry Lien Act, note 1, s 7.

[52] Implied by Forestry Lien Act, note 1, s 13(d).

[53] Forestry Lien Act, note 1, ss 5(1) and (2).

[54] Forestry Lien Act, note 1, ss 6.

[55] Forestry Lien Act, note1,  ss 5(3) and (4)

[56] A more comprehensive outline of the enforcement process is set out in chapter III(C)(1) of this paper.

[57] Forestry Lien Act, note 1, s 8(1)

[58] Forestry Lien Act, note 1, s 9(3)

[59] Forestry Lien Act, note 1,  ss 13 and 1