Decision Date: August 30, 2010
Panel: Gabriella Lang
Keywords: Wildlife Act – ss. 16, 19; 101.1; Limited Entry Hunting Regulation; Permit Regulation; permit; moose; limited entry hunt; disabled hunter; duty to accommodate
Larry Hall appealed a decision of the Director of Wildlife (the “Director”), Fish and Wildlife Branch, Environmental Stewardship Division, Ministry of Environment (the “Ministry”), refusing to allow Mr. Hall to hunt with a rifle before the opening of the season for limited entry hunting of moose with a rifle.
The province regulates the hunting of wildlife through the Act and various regulations. Section 16 of the Act authorizes the Minister to make regulations that limit hunting for a species of wildlife in an area of the Province, and to provide for the issuance of limited entry hunting authorizations by means of a lottery. The Limited Entry Hunting Regulation is that regulation. Mr. Hall held a limited entry hunting authorization to hunt for moose with a rifle in a specific area, during specific dates. Mr. Hall sought a permit to hunt for moose with a rifle during the bow-only moose hunting season, which started several weeks before the season for hunting moose with a rifle. Mr. Hall sought the permit on the basis of his physical disability, which was not in dispute. The Director has discretion to issue permits, subject to the regulations, under section 19 of the Act. The Director issued a letter to Mr. Hall stating that he was unable to grant his request because the Director has no statutory authority to modify the dates of the limited entry hunting season.
Mr. Hall appealed to the Board on the basis that the Director has the authority to grant his request. Mr. Hall also submitted that the Director discriminated against him because his disability prevents him from hunting with a bow, and the Director failed to accommodate him as a disabled hunter by refusing to allow him to hunt moose with a rifle during the time when bow hunters can hunt for moose.
The Board considered whether the Director had the authority to change the dates of Mr. Hall’s limited entry hunting authorization. The Board found that the Director can only do what the Act and regulations specifically allow him to do, and neither the Permit Regulation nor section 19 of the Act authorize the Director to issue the type of permit Mr. Hall was seeking. Furthermore, the Board held that the Director had no authority to amend the Limited Entry Hunting Regulation, which sets out the dates of the open season for hunting moose with a rifle in the area where Mr. Hall wanted to hunt. The Board also held that it has no authority under section 101.1 of the Act to direct the Minister to amend that regulation.
Regarding Mr. Hall’s submission that the Director discriminated against him and failed to accommodate him as a disabled hunter, the Board found that there was no evidence that the Director denied Mr. Hall’s request on the basis of his disability, and the Director had no authority to accommodate Mr. Hall in the way he had requested.
Accordingly, the appeal was dismissed.