Keywords: Wildlife Act – ss. 1(1), 24, 42(1), 43, 61(1); Wildlife Act Commercial Activities Regulation – ss. 2.04, 3.14, 3.15, 3.19; Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks Procedural Manual, Volume 4, s.7(03.01.1), (03.02); previous unrelated convictions; improper exercise of discretion; procedural fairness; absence of statutory authority
Mr. Leroy and another trapper decided to trade registered traplines. The procedure involved relinquishment of their traplines and then re-registration of the traded trapline. The Regional Manager (the “RM”) refused to register the trapline transferred to Mr. Leroy on the basis that Leroy had two recent convictions and two recent warnings under the Wildlife Act, the Firearm Act and firearms regulations of the Criminal Code. He also stated that Leroy wasn’t eligible to hold a registered trapline for 5 years. On appeal to the Deputy Director (DD) the refusal to register was upheld, although the eligibility condition was reduced to 3 years. Leroy appealed to the Board.
The Panel found that the decisions below were unreasonable, arbitrary and based on irrelevant considerations. It found that registration of traplines were granted in perpetuity and that the provisions of the Act dealing with licence cancellation and reapplication did not apply to registration of traplines. Registration can only be cancelled for non-use which was not the case here. The Panel also found that the RM had not provided Leroy with an opportunity to be heard when he should have done so. Leroy’s convictions were not related to his trapline activities, and the Panel found that depriving Leroy of his livelihood for attempting to trade his trapline registration in these circumstances was unreasonable. The Panel sent the matter back to the Deputy Director with the direction that the trapline for which Mr. Leroy had traded be issued to him forthwith.