Keywords: hunting licence; cancellation; period of ineligibility; unreasonable delay; natural justice
Anthony Richardson appealed a decision of the Deputy Director of Wildlife (the “Deputy Director”) to cancel his hunting licence and declare him ineligible to hold a licence for a period of one year. Mr. Richardson mistakenly killed a grizzly bear in a closed area while hunting with a black bear licence.
The Board considered whether the cancellation was warranted in the circumstances and whether the one-year period of ineligibility was excessive in the circumstances. The Board agreed with the Deputy Director that Mr. Richardson did not exercise appropriate care in identifying his kill, and that a licence cancellation was appropriate. The Board then canvassed periods of ineligibility for similar offences and found that the one-year period was not excessive.
The Board also considered whether it was unfair to impose the period of ineligibility, given that the Deputy Director’s decision was issued almost four years after Mr. Richardson was convicted of hunting wildlife not within the open season. The Board found that this delay in issuing the Deputy Director’s decision was excessive and unreasonable. However, there was no evidence that the delay had seriously prejudiced Mr. Richardson. Therefore, the Board found that the delay did not breach the duty to afford natural justice.