Byron Dalziel v. Deputy Director of Wildlife
Decision Date: July 9, 1993
Panel: Linda Michaluk
An appeal against the decision of the Deputy Director suspending Mr. Dalziel’s guide outfitter license and cancelling his guide outfitter certificate.
Byron Dalziel was a guide outfitter in a northern remote area of British Columbia. In 1988, he entered into a contract with Turnagain Holdings Ltd. In August 1992, the regional manager was informed through the Conservation Officer Service that Mr. Dalziel had contravened sections 49(3) and 55 of the Wildlife Act. The regional manager decided to convene a hearing under section 62 of the Act and requested the hearing be undertaken by the Deputy Director so as to avoid any appearance of bias. After the hearing, the Deputy Director decided to cancel Mr. Dalziel’s guide outfitter certificate and to suspend his guide outfitter license. The Deputy Director decided that Mr. Dalziel could apply for an assistant guide license upon the expiry of five years. Before the Board, the Appellant argued that as Turnagain stood to be affected by the Deputy Director’s decision, the Deputy Director erred by not granting Turnagain party status at the hearing. Further, the Appellant argued that as Turnagain was not allowed to cross-examine witnesses during the hearing before the Deputy Director, the decision was made by considering one-sided evidence which breached the rules of natural justice. Lastly, the Appellant argued that by cancelling his guiding certificate, the Deputy Director destroyed his career and Turnagain’s entire investment. The Appellant argued there was no precedent for a penalty of this magnitude and that the decision was patently unreasonable.
The appeal was denied. On its reading of section 103, the Board found that the Deputy Director did not err in law in finding Turnagain was not entitled to party status in the section 62 hearing of Mr. Dalziel. The Board found that the section 62 hearing procedures set by the Deputy Director did not breach the rules of natural justice. Finally, given the circumstances of the case, the Board found that the Deputy Director did not act unreasonably in deciding to cancel the Appellant’s certificate and suspend his license.