• Richard Webster v. Regional Wildlife Manager

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    Decision Date: April 13, 2006

    Panel: Alan Andison

    Keywords: Wildlife Act – s.19; Permit Regulation – 3(2) and 5(1); Motor Vehicle Prohibition Regulation – s.1 and 3, Schedule 2 – s.28; hunting; moot appeal; persons with disabilities

    Richard Webster appealed the decision by the Regional Manager, Environmental Stewardship Division (the “Regional Manager”), Ministry of Environment, refusing Mr. Webster the issuance of a permit exempting Mr. Webster from the prohibition against motor vehicle use for the purpose of hunting in the Lawless-Jacobson Lake Forest Service Road, found in Management Unit (“MU”) 8-4 and MU 8-5, both of which are in the Okanagan Region.  Mr. Webster had applied for the permit on the basis that he needed to use a motor vehicle and All Terrain Vehicle (“ATV”) in order to hunt, due to certain medical conditions.

    Mr. Webster requested that the Board reverse the Regional Manager’s decision, and order the Regional Manager to grant Mr. Webster a permit.

    The Board noted that the hunting period for which Mr. Webster sought a permit had passed by the time all relevant documents were filed with the Board. Therefore, Mr. Webster’s appeal was moot.  However, the Board proceeded to consider the appeal, as its findings may provide some guidance to the parties should Mr. Webster choose to make an application in the future.  The Board also noted that there were no driving prohibitions for MU 8-4 under the Wildlife Act.  Consequently, the Board’s decision was in relation solely to MU 8-5.

    In his application for the permit, Mr. Webster stated he needed to use his vehicle and ATV for safety reasons.  In addition to the application form, Mr. Webster provided the Regional Manager with two hand-written notes from a medical doctor, stating that he was deaf and that he suffered from an inflamed heel.

    The Regional Manager submitted that Mr. Webster failed to demonstrate how using a motor vehicle would reduce his safety risk due his deafness, and also failed to demonstrate that his inflamed heel caused a permanent disability which forced him to use a motor vehicle.

    The Board found that the onus was on Mr. Webster to provide some detail and support for a permit application, and that he had failed to do so in the process of applying for the permit, as well as in the appeal process before the Board.

    Consequently, the Board found that Mr. Webster did not establish a sufficient basis for granting a permit to exempt him from the road closure in this case.

    Accordingly, the appeal was dismissed.