• Ron Thompson v. Deputy Director of Wildlife

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    Decision Date: January 27, 1997

    Panel: David Perry

    Keywords: Wildlife Act – s.53, s.53.1, s.58, s.62, s.65; Angling and Scientific Collection Regulation – s.11; bias; improper exercise of discretion; proportional use; historic use

    This is an appeal from two different decisions of the Deputy Director upholding decisions of the Regional Manager allocating Mr. Thompson 450 angler guide days on the West Road River, and denying him any angler guide days on the Horsefly River. Mr. Thompson appealed the West Road River decision on the grounds of bias and improper exercise of discretion because, in a previous decision, the Board had directed the Regional Manager to allocate him days based on his proportional historic use of the river, which would amount to more than 450 days. Mr. Thompson appealed the Horsefly River decision on the grounds that he should receive an angler’s guide licence even without any historic use of that river because another angler had been granted a licence in the same situation.

    On the evidence presented, the Board found that the Regional Manager did not make a biased decision about Mr. Thompson’s quota. Rather, the Board found the decision was made on the basis of a memo from the Deputy Director directing the Regional Manager to minimize the impact of the Board’s previous decision by considering other factors besides proportional historical use when allocating Mr. Thompson’s angler days. The Board held this was made without statutory authority, and therefore was an improper exercise of the Regional Manager’s discretion. However, during the hearing, the Deputy Director agreed to raise Mr. Thompson’s quota to 600 angler guide days. Consequently, the Board directed that Mr. Thompson’s angler days on the river be raised to 600 for present and future seasons. With regard to the Horsefly River decision, the Board held that the Deputy Director was correct in denying Mr. Thompson’s request for an angling licence for that river. The Regional Manager has no authority to issue an angling guiding licence to Mr. Thompson if he had no historic use of the river. The West Road River appeal was allowed. The Horsefly appeal was dismissed.