Decision Date: September 9, 2014
Panel: Alan Andison
Keywords: Wildlife Act – s. 51, 60; guide outfitter; bull moose; mountain goat; quota; allocation; policy application; no evidence
Wilfred Boardman appealed the decision of the Regional Manager, Recreational Fisheries and Wildlife Program (the “Regional Manager”) Kootenay Region, Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (the “Ministry”), with respect to the quota and allocation of bull moose and mountain goats issued with his 2013-2014 guiding licence. Mr. Boardman is a guide outfitter in the Kootenay Boundary Region of British Columbia. He guides hunters who pay to take part in a hunt for a particular species of wildlife.
Mr. Boardman’s annual guide outfitter licences are issued with a one-year quota and a five-year allocation, which specify the maximum number of individuals of a specific wildlife species that Mr. Boardman’s clients may kill within his designated guiding territory.
The Regional Manager issued Mr. Boardman’s guide outfitter licence for the 2013/2014 season with the following quotas and allocations: one-year quotas of three bull moose and one mountain goat; and five-year allocations for 2012-2016 of nine bull moose and one mountain goat.
Mr. Boardman appealed the decision on the grounds that it was unfair and unreasonable. Mr. Boardman submitted that the Regional Manager failed to follow and apply the Minstry’s harvest allocation policies and procedures to correctly determine his quotas and allocations, and failed to take into consideration other appropriate factors.
Mr. Boardman sought an order from the Board increasing his quotas and allocations in accordance with the Ministry’s policies and procedures. In the alternative, he requested that the matter be sent back to the Regional Manager with directions to properly follow the Ministry’s policies and procedures, and to increase his quotas and allocations accordingly.
The Regional Manager opposed the appeal, and provided full submissions in support of his decision-making process. He explained how the policies and procedures were applied, and described his approach to calculating the 2012-2016 allocations and the 2013-2014 quotas for the guide outfitters in the Kootenay Region.
The Board noted that the Appellant has the ultimate burden of proving his or her case on a balance of probabilities. To meet this burden, the Appellant is obliged to lead some evidence that either the order made was wrong in law or fact, or that process leading to the order was flawed in some way. The Board held that it is not enough to come to the Board with a mere complaint that the Appellant did not like the decision that was made.
The Board found that Mr. Boardman did not meet the burden of proof in this case. The Board found that Mr. Boardman needed to describe which policies and/or procedures should have been applied but were not, and why they applied to his situation. However, Mr. Boardman provided no information, let alone evidence, to support his claim that the Regional Manager erred, or that the remedy sought was justified in the circumstances. Other than his Notice of Appeal, he provided no information or submissions to support the appeal. Although the Board could have dismissed the case on the basis of no evidence, it decided to consider the Regional Manager’s decision-making process.
The Board found no basis to vary Mr. Boardman’s quota or allocation based on the Regional Manager’s decision-making process. The Board could not find any clear errors in the Regional Manager’s calculation, or any improper consideration that would warrant a change in the quota or allocation. Also, the Board found no legal flaw in the decision or decision-making process sufficient to conclude that the Regional Manager should have made another decision.
Accordingly, the appeal was dismissed.