Keywords: Wildlife Act – s. 19(1); Permit Regulation – ss. 2(k), 2(p), 6(1), 6(2), 6(3), 6(4); great grey owl; permit for possession; transfer of property
The Appellant appealed the decision signed by a District Conservation Officer (CO) refusing to issue him a permit for a dead great grey owl that he found. The Appellant asked that the decision be set aside, and that he be issued a permit to possess the owl.
The Board first considered whether the Regional Manager unlawfully delegated his statutory authority, fettered his discretion, or failed to exercise his statutory authority. The Board found that he did. Specifically, the Board found that the Regional Manager had no authority to delegate his power under section 6(2) of the Regulation to determine the owl’s value for the purposes of a permit transferring the right of property in the owl. The Board also found that the Regional Manager erred by directing staff not to issue any permits for great grey owls, and fettered his discretion by making a general determination about the value of great grey owls, rather than considering the value of the particular owl found by Mr. Eglin. However, the Board held that the appeal hearing before it had cured the defects in the previous decision-making process.
The Board then considered whether a permit should be issued to the Appellant. The Board found that the Appellant did not qualify for a possession permit under section 2(k) of the Permit Regulation, which allows persons to possess wildlife for ceremonial, societal or educational purposes. The Board also held that sections 6(1)(a) and 6(4) did not apply, as the owl was not killed illegally. Additionally, the Board found that there were no special circumstances that justified granting a permit under section 6(1)(b) of the Regulation. Lastly, since the Appellant failed to provide evidence that he was acting as an agent for an educational or scientific institution under section 6(3), the Board held that he was not entitled to a possession permit.