Decision Date: July 14, 1999
Panel: Toby Vigod
Keywords: angling guide licence; angler guide days; revert to Crown; Wildlife Act ss. 49, 52, 53, 70 and 19; Angling and Scientific Collection Regulation ss. 1, and 11; Wildlife Act Permit Regulations
This was an appeal by Keith Douglas of a decision by the Regional Manager refusing to grant him an angling guide licence and quota for the Class I section of the Zymoetz River (“Zymoetz I”). Mr. Douglas had been in the angling guide industry for 15 years. He was a licensed angling guide with quotas on 2 rivers and was an assistant guide on Zymoetz I for a number of years. Mr. Douglas applied for 25 guided angler days on Zymoetz I in 1992, 1993, 1994, 1997 and 1998. All of his applications were refused. Mr. Douglas appealed the 1998 refusal to the Board on the grounds that the Regional Manager did not properly exercise his discretion in refusing to issue him an angling guide licence and 25 rod days.
In his reasons for refusal, the Regional Manager stated that “conservation…was a concern.” The Board found that at the time the Regional Manager made his decision, there was evidence that the number of fish had increased during the past few years, but there was still a conservation concern for the long term and the refusal was therefore reasonable. The Board found, however, that the conservation concerns had lessened and the reasons for refusal in 1997 and 1998 were not applicable for the 1999-2000 licence period.
Further, the Board noted that for Zymoetz I, the maximum number of guides was 3 and the maximum number of guided angler days was 250. At the time of this appeal there were only 2 guides on Zymoetz I with a combination of 58 guided angler days. The Board noted that the third guide’s licence and quota of about 190 days had reverted to the Crown a number of years earlier. However, the Board found that the Regional Manager had no legal authority to dispose of an angling day quota which had reverted to the Crown. The Board concluded, therefore, that Mr. Douglas could not obtain a quota which had reverted to the Crown by way of the issuance of a licence.
However, the Board found that there were 2 ways in which Mr. Douglas could obtain guided angler days on Zymoetz I. One way was through the transfer of days from one of the existing guides pursuant to section 13(1) of the Angling and Scientific Collection Regulation. The other method is for the Regional Manager to issue a Permit pursuant to section 70(1) of the Wildlife Act. The Board found that the latter method was an appropriate remedy in this case. The Board appreciated that this would create a 4th guide on Zymoetz I, but there did not seem to be any legal impediment to the issuance of a Permit to a fourth guide, although there should be compelling reasons. The Board sent the matter back to the Regional Manager with directions to issue a Permit to Mr. Douglas for 1999-2000 for 25 guided angler days for Zymoetz I.