• Kelly Hassell v. Regional Manager

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    Decision Date:  July 4, 2008

    Panel:  Alan Andison

    Keywords:  Wildlife Act – s. 19; Permit Regulation – ss. 2, 6; permit; possession; wolverine

    Kelly Hassell appealed a decision of the Regional Manager, Environmental Stewardship Division, Skeena Region, Ministry of Environment (the “Ministry”), refusing to issue Mr. Hassell a permit to possess a dead wolverine.  Mr. Hassell applied for the permit after finding the dead wolverine beside a highway.  Mr. Hassell requested that the Board reverse the Regional Manager’s decision and require the Regional Manager to issue him a permit to possess the wolverine for educational purposes.

    The Board noted that the Regional Manager had relied, in part, on section 6(1)(d) of the Permit Regulation (the “Regulation”) in denying Mr. Hassell’s application.  Section 6(1)(d) of the Regulation indicates that permits cannot be issued under section 2(p) for personal use if the value of the wildlife is greater than $200.  The Regional Manager’s decision stated that the wolverine was worth more than $200, and therefore, a permit for personal possession could not be issued under section 2(p).  There was no indication that the Regional Manager had considered whether Mr. Hassell should be granted a permit under section 2(k) for educational purposes.  The Board noted that the restrictions in section 6(1) of the Regulation regarding wildlife valued at over $200 do not apply to permits issued under section 2(k).  There was no information regarding whether Mr. Hassell had indicated in his permit application that he sought to possess the wolverine for educational purposes.  However, the Board noted that it is authorized under section 101.1(4) of the Wildlife Act to conduct an appeal by way of a new hearing, and therefore, the Board considered the merits of Mr. Hassell’s request based on his appeal submissions.

    The Board found that Mr. Hassell qualified for a permit under section 2(k) of the Regulation because he intended to use the wolverine for educational purposes.  Specifically, he intended to use it as a learning instrument in local schools.  In support of his appeal, Mr. Hassell provided two letters from staff at local schools.  The Board found that there was no indication that Mr. Hassell had any intention of disposing of the wolverine for personal financial gain, and in any case, a permit issued under section 2(k) does not transfer the “right of property” in wildlife.  Consequently, if Mr. Hassell is issued a permit under section 2(k) to possess the wolverine, the government retains the right of property in the wolverine, and Mr. Hassell has no right to sell it.

    Finally, the Board found that issuing a permit to Mr. Hassell under section 2(k) was not contrary to the proper management of wildlife resources, as required by section 5(1)(b) of the Regulation.

    Accordingly, the Board reversed the Regional Manager’s decision, and ordered that a permit be issued to Mr. Hassell allowing him to possess the wolverine for educational purposes.

    The appeal was allowed.