Decision Date: June 10, 2008
Panel: Alan Andison
Keywords: Wildlife Act – s. 19; Permit Regulation – ss. 2, 6; permit; possession; Northern Hawk Owl
A. Stanley Daykin appealed a decision of the Regional Manager, Environmental Stewardship Division, Skeena Region, Ministry of Environment (the “Ministry”), refusing to issue Mr. Daykin a permit to possess a dead Northern Hawk Owl. Mr. Daykin applied for the permit after finding the dead owl. He intended to display the owl in his home where it could be viewed by family, friends and business clients. Mr. Daykin requested that the Board reverse the Regional Manager’s decision and require the Regional Manager to issue him a permit to possess the owl.
The Board found that Mr. Daykin did not qualify for a permit under section 2(k) of the Permit Regulation (the “Regulation”) because he did not intend to use for any of the purposes listed under that section; namely, scientific, educational, societal or ceremonial purposes.
The Board considered whether he could be issued a permit for personal use under section 2(p) of the Regulation. Section 6(1)(d) of the Regulation indicates that permits cannot be issued under section 2(p) if the value of the wildlife is greater than $200. The Board noted that the Regional Manager had relied, in part, on section 6(1)(d) in denying Mr. Daykin’s application, but the Regional Manager had not provided reasons in his decision for the conclusion that the owl was worth over $200, and he provided no appeal submissions to support his decision. In addition, the Board noted that section 6(2) of the Regulation sets out the process for determining the value of wildlife for the purposes of possession permit applications, but the decision contained no indication that the Regional Manager had followed that process.
The Board found that the Regional Manager’s failure to explain in his decision how he had determined the owl’s value to be over $200 was a serious defect in the decision-making process. Further, the Board found that the defect was not cured by the appeal process because the Regional Manager had provided no information or submissions to the Board. The Board concluded that the inadequacy of the reasons for the Regional Manager’s decision amounted to a denial of procedural fairness.
However, the Board also found that Mr. Daykin had provided no evidence regarding the value of the owl, the owl’s size and condition, or the circumstances under which he found it. Therefore, the Board was unable to evaluate whether a permit should be granted.
Accordingly, the Board decided to send the matter back to the Regional Manager for a new decision with proper reasons regarding the value of the owl.
The appeal was allowed, in part.