Keywords:Wildlife Act – s. 24; angling licence; cancellation; period of ineligibility
Tom Kyriakos appealed a decision of the Deputy Director of Wildlife (the “Deputy Director”) to cancel his angling licence and declare him ineligible to hold a licence for a period of two years. Mr. Kyriakos was apprehended ice-fishing with more than one line in a lake in violation of the British Columbia Sport Fishing Regulations, a regulation under the federal Fisheries Act.
The Board considered whether the licence should have been cancelled and whether the two-year period of ineligibility was excessive in the circumstances. The Board found that Mr. Kyriakos’ paying of the fine associated with the offence was an admission of guilt to the offence. The Board found that evidence presented by Mr. Kyriakos in his defence was insufficient to show, on the balance of probabilities, that it was his fishing partner who was responsible for the illegal fishing lines. The Board agreed with the Deputy Director that a cancellation was both appropriate and warranted.
In considering the appropriateness of the length of the period of ineligibility, the Board canvassed periods of ineligibility for similar offences and considered Ministry policy regarding licence offences. The Board considered the length of time between Mr. Kyriakos’ previous conviction for the same offence and the present one, the Ministry’s two-year delay in bringing the licence action, and the importance of fishing to Mr. Kyriakos as a family and social activity. The period of ineligibility was found to be excessive and was reduced to one year.