Keywords: Wildlife Act – ss. 25(2); Commercial Activities Regulation – s.2.08; entrapment; notification of hunting licence at risk; improper exercise of discretion
Mr. Lamotte plead guilty in Provincial Court to illegally purchasing bear parts. On reviewing the file, the Assistant Deputy Director of Wildlife suspended Mr. Lamottes hunting licence for 7 years and his fur purchasing licence was suspended indefinitely. Mr. Lamotte appealed the decision of the Assistant Deputy Director to the Board. Mr. Lamotte argued that he was entrapped and the license suspension was excessive.
The Board held that entrapment was not a defence to a licence suspension. However, the Board noted that section 25(2) of the Wildlife Act gives the Director of Wildlife discretion to suspend hunting licenses for sufficient cause. The Board found there was not sufficient cause in this case, since there was no rational connection between hunting privileges and trafficking bear parts although it was appropriate for his fur purchasing license to be suspended indefinitely. Consequently, the Board directed the Assistant Deputy Director to immediately end the suspension of Mr. Lamottes hunting licence. The Board also recommended that the Wildlife Branch implement a system of advising people when their hunting privileges are at risk, as the Board had heard from Mr. Lamotte and other appellants that they were unaware a conviction under the Wildlife Act would put their hunting privileges at risk. The appeal was allowed.