R v. Chute

In Fish Cases, Miscellaneous, Offences on (Updated )

This case involved a fisher who was charged with failing to permit an observer to go on board his vessel. He was convicted at trial level and acquitted by a summary conviction appeal court. Mr. Justice Roscoe, for the Court of appeal restored the conviction of the trial court and held as follows:

1) section 46 of the regulations gave the Regional Director-General the authority to issue a single blanket letter to herring fishers requiring them to arrange for observers; and

2) the Regional Director-General had not improperly delegated his authority to a private company which supplied observers.

In doing so, the court said that the Fisheries Act and regulations should be given a liberal interpretation. The rule of construction that Penal statutes should be construed narrowly, "becomes applicable only when attempts at the neutral interpretation suggested by s. 12 of the Interpretation Act will leave reasonable doubt as to the meaning or scope of the text of the statue."