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3rd Session, 41st Legislature

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Bill 29

THE WILDLIFE AMENDMENT ACT (SAFE HUNTING AND SHARED MANAGEMENT)


  Bilingual version (PDF) Explanatory Note

(Assented to                                         )

HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:

C.C.S.M. c. W130 amended

1           The Wildlife Act is amended by this Act.

2           Section 1 is amended by adding the following definition:

"night" means the period beginning 30 minutes after sunset and ending 30 minutes before sunrise the following day; (« nuit »)

3           Section 12 is replaced with the following:

Night hunting prohibited

12(1)       No person shall hunt at night, except when permitted under section 12.1 or 12.2 or by regulation.

Conduct deemed to be night hunting

12(2)       Without limiting the conduct prohibited under subsection (1), a person is deemed to be hunting at night if

(a) they, or another person in their company, directs an artificial light at night into an area where a vertebrate animal may reasonably be expected to be found;

(b) they are in possession of a firearm or have ready access to a firearm; and

(c) their firearm is loaded or they have ready access to ammunition for their firearm.

Night hunting in northern Manitoba

12.1        Within the area designated as northern Manitoba in Schedule B, an aboriginal person may hunt at night if

(a) the person's hunting is an exercise of aboriginal rights or treaty rights or rights under paragraph 13 of the Memorandum of Agreement set out in The Manitoba Natural Resources Transfer Act; and

(b) the person complies with all prohibitions and requirements established by regulation.

Night hunting permit required in southern Manitoba

12.2(1)     Within the area designated as southern Manitoba in Schedule B, an aboriginal person may hunt at night if

(a) the person holds a valid permit that authorizes the person to hunt at night; and

(b) the person is hunting in an area specified in the permit and is complying with the terms and conditions imposed on the permit.

Application

12.2(2)     An application for a night hunting permit must be made in writing to the department and must include all information required by regulation.

Decision on application

12.2(3)     A night hunting permit may be issued if

(a) the applicant's proposed hunting involves an exercise of aboriginal rights or treaty rights or rights under paragraph 13 of the Memorandum of Agreement set out in The Manitoba Natural Resources Transfer Act;

(b) there is an area within or close to where the applicant proposes to hunt where the department has determined that night hunting may be conducted; and

(c) allowing the applicant to hunt at night will not threaten the viability of the species of wildlife the person proposes to hunt.

Terms and conditions

12.2(4)     A night hunting permit must set out

(a) the specific area where the holder of the permit is authorized to hunt at night;

(b) the period when the permit is valid; and

(c) any additional terms or conditions considered necessary to ensure that the night hunting is carried out safely or to address conservation management objectives.

No fees

12.2(5)     No fee is payable for a night hunting permit or for an application for a night hunting permit.

Considerations re night hunting areas

12.3        When determining whether night hunting may be conducted in an area for the purpose of clause 12.2(3)(b), the department must

(a) consider whether the area is a sufficient distance from residences, developed areas, areas used by livestock, roads and highways;

(b) have regard to the nature and topography of land in the area and the use of all lands adjacent to the area; and

(c) seek input from adjacent landowners, the applicable local government authority and aboriginal communities that are located in close proximity to the area.

No night hunting on private land

12.4        Night hunting on private land is not permitted under section 12.1 or 12.2, except in circumstances prescribed by regulation.

Use of lights while night hunting

12.5        An aboriginal person who is hunting at night in accordance with section 12.1 or 12.2 may use artificial lights, unless prohibited from doing so by regulation or by a term or condition imposed on a night hunting permit issued to them.

4           Section 13 is replaced with the following:

Offence and penalties

13          A person who contravenes a provision of this Division is guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of at least $3,000 and not more than $100,000, imprisonment for up to one year, or both.

5           Subsection 27(1) is replaced with the following:

No discharging firearm at night

27(1)       No person shall discharge a firearm at night unless

(a) the person is hunting at night as permitted under section 12.1 or 12.2 or the regulations; or

(b) the discharge occurs in prescribed circumstances.

6           Section 33 is amended by renumbering it as subsection 33(1) and adding the following as subsection 33(2):

Landowner access initiatives

33(2)       In order to facilitate access to private land for hunting and trapping by aboriginal persons and others, the minister may work with organizations representing hunters and trappers, aboriginal communities, local governments and other interested parties to promote the granting of written consent by landowners to enable hunting and trapping on private land.

7           The following is added after section 88:

Shared management committee

88.1(1)     The minister may appoint persons to a shared management committee that will make recommendations to the minister on measures to conserve and manage a specified species of wildlife in an area designated by the minister.

Membership

88.1(2)     A shared management committee must have

(a) at least half of its members be aboriginal persons who reside in or near the designated area;

(b) at least one member from an organization representing hunters and one member from an organization representing outfitters; and

(c) at least one person who owns land in or near the designated area, if there is privately owned land in or near the designated area.

Recommendations re regulations

88.1(3)     Without limiting its mandate under subsection (1), a shared management committee may make recommendations to the minister about regulations

(a) prohibiting all persons from hunting the specified species of wildlife in the designated area;

(b) requiring all persons to hold a special authorization in order to hunt the specified species in the designated area, and

(i) limiting the number of authorizations to be issued, and

(ii) establishing a process for allocating and issuing the authorizations to aboriginal persons and non-aboriginal persons;

(c) establishing seasons and times when the specified species of wildlife may be hunted in the designated area or in a specified part of the designated area;

(d) establishing limits on the number of animals of the specified species that may be killed in the designated area; and

(e) respecting the manner in which hunting of the specified species must be carried out in the designated area, including the equipment to be used.

Reasons required when recommendation not implemented

88.1(4)     If a shared management committee makes a recommendation and the minister does not implement the recommendation, the minister must give the committee written reasons for the decision not to implement the recommendation.

8           Section 90 is amended

(a) by replacing clause (v) with the following:

(v) prescribing circumstances when a person may hunt at night or discharge a firearm at night;

(b) by adding the following after clause (v):

(v.1) for the purpose of section 12.1, establishing prohibitions and requirements on hunting at night by aboriginal persons in northern Manitoba;

(v.2) respecting night hunting permits under section 12.2;

(v.3) prescribing circumstances when night hunting may occur on private land under sections 12.1 and 12.2;

9           Schedule B to this Act is added after Schedule A.

Coming into force

10          This Act comes into force on a day to be fixed by proclamation.

Explanatory Note

This Bill contains amendments to The Wildlife Act. They include the following:

  • A general prohibition on night hunting is established. In southern Manitoba, an aboriginal person may hunt at night if they have a permit and are hunting in the area set out in the permit where the department has determined that night hunting may be conducted. An aboriginal person exercising harvesting rights in northern Manitoba may hunt at night if they comply with prohibitions and restrictions established by regulation.
  • Minimum fines are established for persons convicted of dangerous hunting offences.
  • The minister may appoint shared management committees to provide recommendations on the conservation and management of wildlife in a specific area. At least half of the committee members must be aboriginal persons. A shared management committee must also have representation from hunters, outfitters and local land owners.
  • The minister may work with a variety of organizations to encourage private landowners to give consent to enable persons to hunt or trap on their land.