Keywords: Wildlife Act – s. 24(1), 24(2)(a), 24(5), 24(8)(c), 82(1); irrelevant evidence; duty to give reasons; failure to give adequate reasons
Shayne Quintal appealed a decision of the Deputy Director of Wildlife (the “Deputy Director”) to cancel his hunting licence for one year and require him to complete the CORE program on the grounds that Mr. Quintal killed a mature bull moose without authorization and made a false statement to a Conservation Officer. Mr. Quintal argued that the cancellation should be reduced since the Deputy Director improperly considered two charges that had been stayed by the Crown in return for his plea of guilty to making a false statement. He also argued that the Deputy Director considered inaccurate information regarding the plea bargain and gave no consideration to important mitigating factors such as his remorse, his Metis background, and his family’s reliance on wild game for sustenance.
The Panel found that s. 24 of the Act allows the Deputy Director to consider the charges against an individual even if a court acquits the person of those charges, or the charges are stayed. The Panel found that the circumstances surrounding the guilty plea had no bearing on the Deputy Director’s decision in this case. It also found that information regarding the “mitigating factors” was before the Deputy Director. The fact that the Deputy Director did not specifically mention this evidence in his decision only indicates that it was not afforded much weight, and did not play a large part in the outcome. The Panel also noted that hunting meat for food, rather than for trophy, is not a mitigating factor. The Panel concluded that the penalty was within the normal range and was reasonable in the circumstances. The appeal was dismissed.