Deputy Director of Wildlife v. Environmental Appeal Board and Lynn Ross

File Number:
BCSC Prince George Registry No. 01282

Decision Date: June 13, 1997

Court: S.C.B.C., Taylor, J.

Cite: Prince George Registry No. 01282

The Deputy Director of Wildlife suspended Mr. Ross’ guide outfitter licence and cancelled his certificate effective two weeks after the date of his decision. The Deputy Director stated that it would not be proper to consider a transfer of Mr. Ross’ guiding territory within that two weeks. Mr. Ross appealed to the Board. The Board upheld the cancellation and suspension but found that the Deputy Director erred when he, effectively, prevented a transfer of the licence within that two week period. The Board ordered that the licence be renewed for 90 days so Mr. Ross could apply for a transfer of the licence. The Deputy Director applied for a judicial review.

The Court found that, under the Wildlife Act, the Board’s jurisdiction was limited and it does not have special expertise on questions of law. The Board’s decision was, therefore, assessed on a standard of correctness. The Court found that the Deputy Director’s comments regarding the transfer of Mr. Ross’ licence were not part of the order and, accordingly, were not properly a matter before the Board: they were a direction in the event of an application for a licence transfer. The Court also noted that the cancellation and suspension of a licence is punitive, and the Board’s order to allow time to transfer the licence would undermine the Deputy Director’s sanction. The Court confirmed the Deputy Director’s decision and quashed the Board’s order.