The B.C. Court of Appeal dismissed an application by an Aboriginal offender for leave to appeal his summary conviction appeal. The applicant had been convicted under the Wildlife Act for the trafficking and illegal hunting of eagles. He was sentenced to imprisonment of 48 days and fined $1,310. The sole issue on appeal was the admissibility of “fresh evidence”. The chambers judge held that the appellant failed to satisfy the test for leave to appeal.

Stromberg-Stein J.A. provided an overview of the trial, which began in 2009, and the summary conviction appeal process. In September 2014, Madam Justice Gray of the B.C. Supreme Court dismissed an application by Mr. Seymour to adduce fresh evidence (2014 BCSC 1822), an application to declare that the Wildlife Act regulation was invalid in light of the Tsilhqot’in case (2014 BCSC 1878), and dismissed the summary conviction appeal (2014 BCSC 1886). These decisions of the summary conviction judge were summarized in our e-Newsletters of 2 October 2014 and 9 October 2014.

The sole issue stated in Mr. Seymour’s notice of application for leave to appeal was that new evidence had not been considered by the B.C. Supreme Court. During oral argument, the applicant also submitted that the Crown had withheld disclosure of certain documents. Stromberg-Stein J.A. held that the applicant did not satisfy the test for leave to appeal of a decision of a summary conviction appeal court. The issue of fresh evidence was a question of law, but there was not sufficient merit in the proposed appeal. The summary conviction judge had correctly applied the Palmer test for the admissibility of fresh evidence.


Scott Kerwin


Aboriginal Law