Keywords: Wildlife Act – s. 11(5); administrative penalties separate from judicial penalties; relevance of age; misleading conservation officers
Kevin Ratushniak appealed a decision of the Deputy Director of Wildlife cancelling his hunting licence for five years for illegally killing a bull moose without having a moose-species licence and for manipulating the evidence in an attempt to foil the conservation officers investigation into the hunt. Mr. Ratushniak argued that this penalty was excessive given that he was under the age of 19 at the time and he had been fined $2000 by the Court and had his firearm seized. He stated that peer pressure, inexperience and a fear of the consequences played a part in his lying and deceit after the kill.
The Panel found that the sanction imposed by the Deputy Director accurately reflected the seriousness of Mr. Ratushniak’s offence, and that the Deputy Director had not erred in imposing an administrative penalty in addition to the Court imposed penalty. The Panel found that the Deputy Director properly considered all of the relevant factors in making his decision, including Mr. Ratushniak’s age and the sanctions already imposed upon him by the Court. The appeal was dismissed.