Decision Date: August 30, 2010
Panel: Gabriella Lang
Keywords: Wildlife Act – ss. 16, 60, 101.1; Limited Entry Hunting Regulation; guide outfitter; quota; limited entry hunt; Stone’s sheep; jurisdiction
Arthur Thompson appealed a decision of the Regional Manager (the “Manager”), Recreational Fisheries and Wildlife Programs, Peace Region – North, Ministry of Environment, to issue Mr. Thompson an annual guide outfitter licence with a quota of 10 Stone’s sheep.
Under the Wildlife Act (the “Act”), non-resident hunters may hunt for big game only if guided by a licensed guide outfitter, and only within the territory in which the guide is permitted to operate. Section 60 of the Act authorizes regional managers to issue species quotas to guide outfitters as a condition of their annual guide outfitter licence. Species quotas are based on many considerations including conservation, First Nations’ interests, resident hunters’ interests, and commercial hunting interests. For big game such as sheep, the provincial policy provides resident hunters with a minimum of 60 percent of the available hunt, after accounting for species conservation and First Nations’ interests. Resident hunters may hunt without a guide, but resident hunting of certain big game species is restricted in some areas of the province under the Limited Entry Hunting Regulation. However, in the area where Mr. Thompson operates, resident hunters may hunt for Stone’s sheep under a general open season, rather than under a limited entry hunt.
Mr. Thompson requested that the Board send his licence back to the Manager with directions to remove his quota and allow his clients to hunt in a general open season, or alternatively, to impose limited entry hunting on resident hunters for Stone’ sheep. He submitted that it is unfair and discriminatory to allow resident hunters to hunt for Stone’s sheep in a general open season, while imposing a quota on guide outfitters.
The Board found that neither it nor the Manager has the jurisdiction to provide the remedies sought by Mr. Thompson. The Board noted that limited entry hunting is regulated by the Minister under the Limited Entry Hunting Regulation. The Manager has no authority to amend the Limited Entry Hunting Regulation. In addition, the Manager has no discretion to change the provincial policy that gives resident hunters priority over non-resident hunters in the harvest of big game. The Manager’s discretion is limited to setting big game quotas for guide outfitters, who guide non-resident hunters. Further, Mr. Thompson appealed the Manager’s issuance of his licence and quota, and therefore, only those matters were properly before the Board in this case.
In addition, the Board found that here was no evidence that the Manager treated Mr. Thompson unfairly or discriminated against him.
Accordingly, the appeal was dismissed.