Keywords: Definition of wildlife; Wildlife Act – ss.1; 2; 20; Designation and Exemption Regulation – s. 16(h); officially induced error; unreasonable exercise of discretion
The Deputy Director of Wildlife denied Ms. Kuberski a permit to possess a Norwegian Blue Fox (the Fox). Ministry policy discourages people from keeping wildlife in captivity and the Deputy Director found no special reasons to deviate from the policy in this case. Ms. Kuberski appealed on the grounds that the Fox is not wildlife for the purposes of the Wildlife Act and that she was informed by a biologist with the Fish and Wildlife Branch that no permit was required for the Fox.
The Board found that the Fox was wildlife for the purposes of the Act and therefore a permit was required. The Board accepted Ms. Kuberskis evidence that a Ministry official had informed her that a permit was not required. The Board also found that the basis for the Ministry policy against allowing wildlife in captivity either did not apply in this case or could be addressed through conditions in a permit. In light of the above, the Board concluded that there were special circumstances in this case which warranted the issuance of a permit. In failing to consider these circumstances, the Deputy Director erred. The decision was set aside and the matter was remitted back to the Deputy Director with directions. The appeal was allowed.