• Kenneth Hall v. Deputy Director of Wildlife

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    Decision Date: September 23, 1998

    Panel: Toby Vigod

    Keywords: Wildlife Act – s. 24; Hansen v. Willett, unreported, B.C.S.C. Vancouver Registry No. A872239, September 8, 1987; R. v. Wigglesworth [1987] 2 S.C.R. 541

    Kenneth Hall appealed a decision of the Deputy Director of Wildlife (“the Deputy Director”) to cancel his hunting licence for 7 months. Mr. Hall was apprehended after being observed shooting at a deer decoy on private land in an area where illegal hunting had been a problem for many years. Mr. Hall was convicted in court of hunting over cultivated land without consent and fined $650. He was also charged with two other offences, which were stayed by the Crown as part of a plea bargain. Mr. Hall submitted that the conviction and fine were sufficient penalty, and that suspension of his licence was unduly harsh. He admitted that he committed the offence, but stated that it was due to a mistake as to property boundaries. He stated that he has been a Conservation and Outdoor Recreation Education instructor for many years, and has shown himself to be a responsible member of society.

    The Panel found that the Respondent was correct in suspending Mr. Hall’s licence for 7 months. Notwithstanding that Mr. Hall was not convicted of two of the three charged offences, the Deputy Director could properly consider the other two charges. The Panel found that the factors which guided the Deputy Director in making his decision were relevant and appropriate, including the nature of the charges, intent and remorse, and the need for general and specific deterrence. The Panel also found that the appropriate standard of proof is the civil standard, as the revocation of a hunting licence is not a “penal consequence”. Finally, the length of the suspension was relatively short compared to other cases of illegal hunting, and was appropriate given the facts of the case. The appeal was dismissed.