Decision Date: April 26, 1999
Panel: Christine Mayall
Keywords: ss.24(2) and 24(5) Wildlife Act, licence cancellation; deer
These appeals are by Marty Loring and Greg Loring against the decisions of the Deputy Director to cancel their hunting licences (5 years for Marty and 4 years for Greg), cancel their firearm carrying privileges (two years), and requiring that they successfully complete the Conservation Outdoor Recreation Education (CORE) examinations before their hunting licence privileges can be reinstated. The two appeals were held together. The Lorings, had been hunting with a Mr. Testawich and were spotted on private land. The conservation officers found that the hunting party had killed a three-point buck when the hunting season was only open for four- point bucks. Mr. Testawich is a status Indian with hunting rights under Treaty 8, and is therefore not bound by the four point restriction. The Lorings were found guilty of trespassing by a Provincial Court Judge, but were found not guilty of six charges under the Wildlife Act.
The Lorings argued that their role in the hunt was to assist Mr. Testawhich, who is disabled, in exercising his aboriginal right to hunt. They argued that the Deputy Director failed to consider the fact that neither of the Lorings discharged a firearm at any point during the incident, and that they were acquitted of the six charges under the Wildlife Act.
The Panel found that the acquittal from the charges did not prevent the Director from taking action against the Lorings. In addition, the Panel found that the Loring brothers’ evidence was not credible and should not be given much weight. The Panel concluded that Marty Loring was the driver of the truck that the hunting party had been using, and that on a balance of probabilities he fired at least one shot at the buck. The Panel found that Marty Loring’s actions in shooting the deer and Greg Loring’s participation in the illegal hunt constitute “sufficient cause” to cancel their hunting and firearm licences.
The Panel concluded that the length of the hunting suspensions was reasonable because the Lorings were involved in the illegal harvest of a deer. The failure of the Lorings to be truthful shows that they were not truly remorseful. Finally, the Panel concluded that the Lorings demonstrated poor hunting ethics and an intent to violate the law. The Panel found that the four year cancellation of Greg Loring’s hunting licence takes into account the lesser role played by Greg in the hunt. The Panel varied Greg Loring’s firearm suspension by reducing it to one year. Marty Loring’s appeal was dismissed. Greg Loring’s appeal was allowed in part.