Decision Date: April 22, 2014
Panel: Alan Andison
Keywords: Wildlife Act – ss. 51, 60; guide outfitter; bull moose; quota; allocation; policy application; no evidence
Chris Condie appealed the decision of the Deputy Regional Manager, Recreational Fisheries and Wildlife Program, Thompson/Okanagan Region (the “Regional Manager”), Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (the “Ministry”), with respect to the quota and allocation of bull moose issued with his 2013/14 season guide outfitter licence. Mr. Condie is a guide outfitter operating in a guide territory located in the Thompson/Okanagan Region of British Columbia. He guides hunters who pay to take part in a hunt for particular species of wildlife.
Mr. Condie’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. Condie’s clients may kill within the guide outfitter’s territory.
The Regional Manager issued Mr. Condie’s licence with a quota of one bull moose for the 2013/2014 licence year, and a five-year allocation of one bull moose for 2012-2016.
Mr. Condie appealed this decision on the grounds that the Regional Manager incorrectly applied Ministry policy in assigning his allocation and quota, and “failed to utilize all means and methods at his disposal to meet his fiduciary responsibilities as defined by Ministry Policy”. However, Mr. Condie did not describe which policies and/or procedures should have been applied, but were not.
Mr. Condie sought an order from the Board increasing his quota and allocation for moose to a level equal to, or greater than, his pre-2008 levels, “subject only to conservation concerns”. However, Mr. Condie did not provide any evidence of the pre-2008 level being sought.
The Regional Manager opposed the appeal, and provided full submissions on his decision-making process. The Regional Manager submitted that he followed the Ministry’s Quota and Administrative Guidelines procedures to make his decision, and described the procedure used to determine Mr. Condie’s quota and allocation. The Regional Manager further submitted that the policies and procedures are not binding upon him, and that he largely, but not always, followed them.
The Board noted that, in an appeal, the Appellant has the ultimate burden of proving his or her case on a balance of probabilities. The Board found that Mr. Condie did not meet the burden of proof in this case. The Board found that Mr. Condie did not provide any information, let alone evidence, to support his claim that the Regional Manager erred and/or to justify the remedy he sought. Although the Board could have dismissed the case on the basis of no evidence, it decided to review the Regional Manager’s decision-making process.
The Board found no basis to vary Mr. Condie’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. Nor could the Board find any 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.