• Dennis Dunn v. Deputy Director of Wildlife

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    Decision Date: December 10, 1998

    Panel: Toby Vigod, Richard Cannings, Jane Luke

    Keywords: Wildlife Act – s. 2, 27(1)(c); 1993/94 BC Hunting and Trapping Regulations Synopsis; Hunting Regulation – s. 8(1) of Schedule 6; jurisdictional error; irrelevant considerations; fettering; officially induced error

    This was a rehearing of Mr. Dunn’s appeal of the Deputy Director of Wildlife’s decision to refuse him a permit to possess the head and cape of a male thinhorn mountain sheep. The Board had previously upheld the Deputy Director’s decision (Appeal No. 96/25), but the Board’s decision was set aside by the B.C. Supreme Court, by consent of the parties. Mr. Dunn sought an order from the Board requiring the Deputy Director to reconsider the permit application, notwithstanding that the parties agreed that the ram was not of legal size or age when killed. He argued that the Deputy Director had erred when he initially considered the application by either misconstruing evidence, failing to consider relevant evidence, taking irrelevant considerations into account, and/or fettering his discretion. He also argued that his killing of the undersized ram may have been the result of an officially induced error.

    The Board again upheld the Deputy Director’s decision. The Board found that while Mr. Dunn’s mistake as to the legality of the ram was honest, it was not reasonable given his hunting experience. Mr. Dunn had not reviewed the Hunting Regulation, and had mistakenly relied on a synopsis of the law regarding what constitutes a “full curl” ram horn. The Board found that the Deputy Director had not misconstrued or improperly considered the evidence before him and did not fetter his discretion. The Board also found that the Deputy Director had not exceeded his jurisdiction or taken irrelevant considerations into account when he referenced the judge’s findings in a prosecution of Mr. Dunn in relation to the kill. Mr. Dunn’s defence of officially induced error was also rejected by the Board. The appeal was denied.