• Brian Chanski v. Regional Manager

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    Decision Date: August 29, 2007

    Panel: Cindy Derkaz

    Keywords: Wildlife Act – s. 19; Permit Regulation – s. 3; Motor Vehicle Prohibition Regulation – s. 2, 3; motor vehicle closed areas; motor vehicle hunting closed areas; discharging firearms from a motor vehicle; physical disability; discrimination; duty to give reasons

    Mr. Chanski applied for a permit to exempt him from the prohibition against discharging firearms from a motor vehicle, as set out in the Wildlife Act and from the Motor Vehicle Prohibition Regulation (the “Regulation”), which designates hunting areas in which motor vehicles may not be operated. The application was based upon his physical disability. The Regional Manager, Environmental Stewardship (the “Regional Manager”), denied the application on the basis that Mr. Chanski had not provided “sufficient justification to allow for an exemption.” Mr. Chanski appealed the Regional Manager’s decision.

    The Board found that there were errors in the Regional Manager’s decision-making process. More specifically, the analysis of Mr. Chanski’s application was inconsistent with Ministry policy and lacking in fairness.  Moreover, the reasons the Regional Manager provided in support of his decision were insufficient.

    The Board further found that the medical information Mr. Chanski provided supported a finding that he suffered from a severe disability which impeded his ability to walk while carrying a firearm. As a result, the Board determined that he should be accommodated by the issuance of a permit to hunt using a motor vehicle in closed areas. However, the Board determined that it did not have sufficient evidence to determine how Mr. Chanski should be accommodated, and, in particular, which closed areas should be included in the permit. In addition, the Board found that the medical evidence did not support the issuance of a permit authorizing him to shoot from a motor vehicle.

    Mr. Chanski argued that the Regional Manager’s decision to deny him the permit, and failure to accommodate him as a disabled person, amounted to discrimination on the basis of physical disability. However, the Board found that there was insufficient legal argument before it to issue a decision based on human rights law.

    Turning to the question of remedy, the Board determined that, because the permit period at issue had expired on March 31, 2007, the matter could not be sent back to the Regional Manager with directions. However, the Board expected that its decision would provide the Regional Manager with guidance in assessing and deciding Mr. Chanski’s 2007 application.

    Accordingly, the appeal was allowed, in part.