Decision Date: April 16, 2021
Panel: Darrell Le Houillier
Keywords: Wildlife Act – ss. 19, 34, 101, 101.1; Permit Regulation – s. 3; Administrative Tribunals Act – s. 31(1)(a); permit; peregrine falcon; jurisdiction; standing; summary dismissal
Christopher Shawn Kitt appealed a permit issued to Mountainside Quarries Group Inc. (“Mountainside”) by the Deputy Regional Manager of Recreational Fisheries and Wildlife Programs, Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (the “Ministry”). The permit authorized Mountainside to remove or destroy peregrine falcon nests located at Mountainside’s rock and gravel quarry in Abbotsford, British Columbia.
The Appellant appealed the permit to the Board. The Appellant lives near the quarry and has long opposed quarrying operations there because those operations pose a danger to peregrine falcons that live and nest on a cliff at the site. The Appellant was also a professional biologist and held a hunting licence and an angling licence under the Wildlife Act. The Appellant asked the Board to rescind the permit.
Before the appeal was heard, the Board requested submissions from the parties on whether the Appellant had standing under the Wildlife Act to appeal the permit. Section 101.1 of the Wildlife Act states that, “The affected person referred to in section 101(2) may appeal the decision” to the Board. Therefore, the key question was: who is “the affected person referred to in section 101(2)”?
The Board found that section 101(1) of the Wildlife Act requires a regional manager or a director to give written reasons for a decision that affects a permit, licence, trapline registration, guiding territory certificate, or an application for those things. Section 101(2) of the Wildlife Act requires that notice of a decision referred to in subsection (1) must be given to “the affected person.” Reading section 101 together with section 101.1, the Board found that “the affected person” in sections 101(2) and 101.1 is one to whom section 101(1) applies in any given case. In this case, Mountainside, as the person that applied for and received the permit, was “the affected person” for the purposes of sections 101 and 101.1 regarding by the decision to issue the permit. As such, Mountainside had standing to appeal the permit if it had wanted to do so, but the Appellant did not have standing to appeal the permit.
In addition, although the Appellant held hunting and angling licences, he did not assert or provide sufficient evidence to conclude that those licences were, or would be, affected by the permit. Furthermore, the Board held that public interest standing is not available in appeals to the Board under the Wildlife Act.
For those reasons, the Board concluded that the Appellant’s appeal was not within the Board’s jurisdiction under the Wildlife Act. The Board summarily dismissed the appeal.