Decision Date: September 20, 2017
Panel: Alan Andison
Keywords: Forest and Range Practices Act – s. 52(1); contravention; unauthorized timber harvesting; administrative penalty; consent order
Glory Pit Mines Inc. (“GPM”) appealed a determination issued by the Acting District Manager (the “Manager”), Selkirk Resource District, Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development (the “Ministry”). The Manager determined that GPM had contravened section 52(1) of the Forest and Range Practices Act (“FRPA”) by harvesting Crown timber without authorization. The Manager levied an administrative penalty of $17,887.30 against GPM for the contravention.
The matter arose from GPM’s timber harvesting activities in 2015. GPM held a licence to cut Crown timber for the purpose of mineral exploration. However, during the logging operations, GPM’s faller cut 1.2 hectares outside of the area covered by GPM’s licence to cut.
Following an investigation by the Ministry, the Manager concluded that GPM had harvested 601.5 cubic metres of Crown timber without authorization. The Manager also concluded that the defence of due diligence did not apply, because GPM did not take reasonable steps to ascertain the boundaries of the area covered by the licence to cut. The Manager levied a penalty consisting of $14,887.30 to remove the estimated economic benefit that GPM had received from the contravention, plus an additional $3,000 to act as a deterrent.
GPM appealed the determination to the Commission. GPM acknowledged that it had contravened section 52(1) of the FRPA, but argued that the penalty should be reduced to $3,000 because GPM received no economic benefit from the contravention.
Before the appeal was heard, GPM and the Government negotiated an agreement to resolve the appeal. Based on the parties’ agreement, the Commission issued an order confirming that GPM had contravened section 52(1) of the FRPA, and varying the penalty by reducing it to $7,000.
Accordingly, by consent of the parties, the appeal was allowed in part.