Decision Date: July 12, 2013
Panel: Alan Andison
Keywords: Wildlife Act – s. 61; assistant guide licence; consent order
Abraham Dougan appealed a joint decision issued by the Regional Manager, Cariboo Region, and the Deputy Regional Manager, Thompson/Okanagan Region, Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (the “Ministry”), denying his application for an assistant guide licence.
Guide outfitters take non-resident hunters on hunts for wildlife in BC. For several years, Mr. Dougan has operated as a guide outfitter in one guiding area, and an assistant guide outfitter in another guiding area. The guiding area where he has been an assistant guide covers both the Thompson/Okanagan Region and the Cariboo Region.
In 2013, Mr. Dougan applied for and received a guide outfitter license for the 2013/2014 licence season. However, the Regional Managers denied Mr. Dougan’s application for an assistant guide licence for 2013/2014, on the basis that he had received warnings and tickets for violations of the Wildlife Act.
Mr. Dougan appealed the Regional Managers’ decision to the Board on several grounds, including that he was given no opportunity to respond to the allegations against him regarding violations of the Wildlife Act. He also submitted that one alleged incident was scheduled to be heard in court in December 2013, and he intended to vigorously defend against that allegation.
Before the appeal was heard, the parties reached an agreement to settle the appeal. The Regional Managers conceded that they did not follow the process set out in section 61 of the Wildlife Act before denying Mr. Dougan’s application for an assistant guide licence. Section 61 states that, if a person holding an assistant guide licence is convicted of an offence under the Wildlife Act, a regional manager “may conduct a hearing to determine whether the person should continue to enjoy the privileges afforded him or her by the licence…”, and may consider whether to suspend, cancel, or refuse to issue or renew the person’s licence. Section 61 also requires that, if a regional manager holds such a hearing, the affected person must be given reasonable notice, in writing, of the time and place for the hearing. The Regional Managers agreed to issue Mr. Dougan’s assistant guide licence for 2013/2014, as they were not ready to proceed with a section 61 hearing.
By consent of the parties, the Regional Managers’ decision was reversed, and the Board directed the Regional Managers to issue an assistant guide licence to Mr. Dougan, without prejudice to their jurisdiction to convene a hearing under section 61 concerning his guiding privileges.
Accordingly, the appeal was allowed, by consent.