The Supreme Court of British Columbia dismissed an application by two First Nations men, convicted of trafficking and illegal hunting of eagles, to adduce fresh evidence at the summary conviction appeal.

Much of the evidence that they sought to adduce consisted of testimony given in different Wildlife Act cases involving different accused. Other materials had been excluded from the evidence by the trial judge, and the appellants had not raised that issue in the appeal. Gray J. therefore dismissed the application on the basis that the test in R. v. Palmer (1980) had not been satisfied.

The Court also excluded four transcripts, dealing with matters such as the discipline history of a conservation officer, as being irrelevant. The appellants had admitted the facts of the underlying offences, and sought to rely upon the defences of entrapment and Aboriginal rights at trial. These transcripts therefore added nothing.

The appellants also sought to amend the notice of appeal to allege the invalidity of the Wildlife Act regulation in light of the Tsilhqot’in Nation decision of the Supreme Court of Canada. They argued that this was a “fresh matter”. Gray J. directed that further argument be made on this point.


Scott Kerwin


Aboriginal Law