Keywords:Wildlife Act – s. 24(2), (12); Wildlife Act General Regulation – s. 7.03; B.C. Sport Fishing Regulations – s. 14(a)
This was an appeal against the decision of the Deputy Director of Wildlife to extend Mr. Kibala’s angling licence ineligibility period for an additional year. Mr. Kibala had already had his licence automatically cancelled for one year as a consequence of receiving two convictions under the B.C. Sport Fishing Regulations for catching fish far in excess of his daily quota. The Deputy Director exercised his discretion to extend the period of ineligibility for an additional year under s. 24(2) of the Wildlife Act, after giving Mr. Kibala an opportunity to be heard by way of written submissions. Mr. Kibala argued that he was not given an adequate opportunity to be heard before the Deputy Director as he could not write in English, and that the extension was not fair as he had already been punished for the two convictions.
The Board found that Mr. Kibala had been given an adequate opportunity to make submissions. The Deputy Director’s letter specifically allowed him to make an oral submission and provided him with a 1-800 number to call. Further, Mr. Kibala’s son wrote the notice of appeal to the Board, suggesting that Mr. Kibala had access to people that could have assisted him. Regarding the one year extension itself, the Board found that, pursuant to s. 24(12) of the Wildlife Act, the Deputy Director had authority to extend the period of ineligibility to obtain or renew a licence where a person has been convicted of an offence, but does not presently hold a licence. The authority does not come from s. 24(2), which was cited in the decision, as that section only applies to a person holding a licence and Mr. Kibala’s licence had already been cancelled. The Board concluded that there were no compelling reasons to alter the Deputy Director’s decision, given the seriousness of the offences and Mr. Kibala’s history of noncompliance. The appeal was dismissed.