Decision Date: July 4, 2008
Panel: Alan Andison
Keywords: Wildlife Act – s. 19; Permit Regulation – ss. 2, 6; permit; possession; cougar
Ronald Janzen appealed a decision of the Regional Manager, Environmental Stewardship Division, Kootenay Region, Ministry of Environment (the “Ministry”), refusing to issue Mr. Janzen a permit to possess a dead juvenile cougar. Mr. Janzen requested that the Board reverse the Regional Manager’s decision and require the Regional Manager to issue him a permit to possess the cougar.
The Board found that Mr. Janzen 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. Janzen’s application, but the Regional Manager had not provided reasons in his decision for the conclusion that the cougar was worth over $200. The Board found that the Regional Manager’s failure to explain in his decision how he had determined the cougar’s value was a breach of procedural fairness. However, the Board found that the defect was cured by the appeal process because the Regional Manager provided the Board with an explanation and supporting information for his decision, and therefore, the Board was able to evaluate the merits of the appeal.
Based on the information provided by the Regional Manager regarding the average auction values for cougars and other wild cats, the Board found that a permit could not be issued in this case because the value of the cougar is greater than $200. Mr. Janzen provided no evidence to contradict the Regional Manager’s evidence, nor did Mr. Janzen provide information regarding the circumstances under which he found and retrieved the cougar. Therefore, the Board was unable to evaluate whether special circumstances existed to justify granting a permit in this case. There was also no indication that Mr. Janzen fits into any of the exceptions listed in sections 6(1)(d)(i) or (ii) of the Regulation. Specifically, there was no indication that he would be receiving the cougar as compensation for conducting work on behalf of the government, or that he was applying for the permit on behalf of a charitable organization in B.C. Consequently, the Board agreed with the Regional Manager that Mr. Janzen’s permit application must be denied, in accordance with the Regulation.