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Canada Wildlife Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. W-9)

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Act current to 2022-11-16 and last amended on 2017-12-12. Previous Versions

Canada Wildlife Act

R.S.C., 1985, c. W-9

An Act respecting wildlife in Canada

Short Title

Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the Canada Wildlife Act.

  • R.S., 1985, c. W-9, s. 1
  • 1994, c. 23, s. 2(F)

Interpretation and Application

Marginal note:Definitions

  •  (1) In this Act,

    Chief Review Officer

    Chief Review Officer means the review officer appointed as Chief Review Officer under subsection 244(1) of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 and includes any review officer designated under subsection 244(3) of that Act to perform the functions of the Chief Review Officer; (réviseur-chef)

    conveyance

    conveyance means a vehicle, aircraft or water-borne craft or any other contrivance that is used to move persons or goods; (moyen de transport)

    Minister

    Minister means the Minister of the Environment or, in respect of any matter related to the Northern Pipeline referred to in the Northern Pipeline Act, the member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada designated as the Minister for the purposes of that Act; (ministre)

    public lands

    public lands means lands belonging to Her Majesty in right of Canada and lands that the Government of Canada has power to dispose of, subject to the terms of any agreement between the Government of Canada and the government of the province in which the lands are situated, and includes

    • (a) any waters on or flowing through the lands and the natural resources of the lands, and

    • (b) the internal waters and the territorial sea of Canada. (terres domaniales)

    wildlife

    wildlife[Repealed, 1994, c. 23, s. 4]

  • Marginal note:Possession

    (2) For the purposes of this Act,

    • (a) a person has anything in possession when the person has it in their personal possession or knowingly

      • (i) has it in the actual possession or custody of another person, or

      • (ii) has it in any place, whether or not that place belongs to or is occupied by the person, for their own use or benefit or for the use or benefit of another person; and

    • (b) where a person has anything in their custody or possession with the knowledge and consent of another person or other persons, it is in the custody and possession of each and all of them.

  • Marginal note:Aboriginal and treaty rights

    (3) For greater certainty, nothing in this Act shall be construed so as to abrogate or derogate from any existing aboriginal or treaty rights of the aboriginal peoples of Canada under section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.

  • Marginal note:Application

    (4) The provisions of this Act respecting wildlife apply in respect of

    • (a) any animal, plant or other organism belonging to a species that is wild by nature or that is not easily distinguishable from such a species; and

    • (b) the habitat of any such animal, plant or other organism.

  • R.S., 1985, c. W-9, s. 2
  • 1994, c. 23, s. 4
  • 2004, c. 25, s. 114(F)
  • 2009, c. 14, s. 41

Her Majesty

Marginal note:Binding on Her Majesty

 This Act is binding on Her Majesty in right of Canada or a province.

  • 1994, c. 23, s. 5

Powers, Duties and Functions of the Minister

Marginal note:Powers of the Minister

 The Minister may

  • (a) undertake, promote and recommend measures for the encouragement of public cooperation in wildlife conservation and interpretation;

  • (b) initiate conferences and meetings respecting wildlife research, conservation and interpretation;

  • (c) undertake programs for wildlife research and investigation, and establish and maintain laboratories and other necessary facilities for that purpose;

  • (d) establish such advisory committees as the Minister deems necessary and appoint the members of those committees; and

  • (e) coordinate and implement wildlife policies and programs in cooperation with the government of any province having an interest therein.

  • R.S., 1985, c. W-9, s. 3
  • 1994, c. 23, s. 6(F)

Marginal note: 

  •  (1) [Repealed, 1999, c. 31, s. 222]

  • Marginal note:Powers of Minister on public lands assigned

    (2) Where the administration of any public lands has been assigned to the Minister pursuant to any federal law by reason of being required for wildlife research, conservation or interpretation, the Minister may

    • (a) take charge of all wildlife research facilities operated on those lands;

    • (b) provide advice relating to any wildlife research, conservation and interpretation being carried out on those lands;

    • (c) subject to the regulations, carry out measures for the conservation of wildlife on those lands not inconsistent with any law respecting wildlife in the province in which the lands are situated; and

    • (d) subject to the regulations, establish facilities or construct, maintain and operate works for wildlife research, conservation and interpretation on those lands.

  • Marginal note:Powers in relation to lands administered by other ministers

    (3) If public lands under the administration of a minister of the Crown other than the Minister are, in the opinion of the Minister and the other minister, required for wildlife research, conservation or interpretation, the Governor in Council may, on the recommendation of both ministers, by order, authorize the Minister to exercise, with the concurrence of the other minister, the powers referred to in subsection (2) in relation to those lands or any portion of them specified in the order.

  • R.S., 1985, c. W-9, s. 4
  • 1991, c. 50, s. 47
  • 1994, c. 23, s. 7
  • 1999, c. 31, s. 222
  • 2002, c. 29, s. 134

Marginal note:Protected marine areas

  •  (1) The Governor in Council may establish protected marine areas in any area of the sea that forms part of the internal waters of Canada, the territorial sea of Canada or the exclusive economic zone of Canada.

  • Marginal note:Advice and conservation measures

    (2) The Minister may provide advice relating to any wildlife research, conservation and interpretation carried out in protected marine areas and may carry out measures for the conservation of wildlife in those areas.

  • 1994, c. 23, s. 8
  • 1996, c. 31, s. 107

Marginal note:Delegation by Minister

  •  (1) The Minister may delegate to any minister of the Crown in right of Canada any power conferred on the Minister under this Act. The other minister may then exercise the power subject to any terms and conditions that the Minister specifies.

  • Marginal note:Sub-delegation

    (2) The other minister may delegate any power delegated under subsection (1) to any person employed in any department for which that other minister is responsible.

  • 2002, c. 29, s. 135

Agreements

Marginal note:Agreements

 The Minister may, with the approval of the Governor in Council, enter into an agreement with the government of any province to provide for

  • (a) the undertaking of wildlife research, conservation and interpretation programs and measures, the administration of lands for those purposes or the construction, maintenance and operation of facilities and works related thereto; and

  • (b) the payment of contributions in respect of the costs of those programs and measures.

  • R.S., 1985, c. W-9, s. 5
  • 1994, c. 23, s. 9(F)

Marginal note:Provisions to be included

 Any agreement entered into pursuant to section 5 shall

  • (a) specify the portions, if any, of the cost of any program or measure to which the agreement relates that are payable by the Government of Canada and the government of the province or the amount of any contribution in respect of the cost of any program or measure that is payable by the Government of Canada and the time or times at which any amounts under the agreement will be paid;

  • (b) specify the authority that will be responsible for the undertaking, operation and maintenance of any program or measure to which the agreement relates or any part thereof;

  • (c) specify the proportions of the revenues from any program or measure to which the agreement relates that are payable to the Government of Canada and the government of the province; and

  • (d) specify the terms and conditions governing the operation and maintenance of any program or measure to which the agreement relates and the charges, if any, to be charged to persons to whom any of the benefits of the program or measure are made available.

  • 1973-74, c. 21, s. 6

Marginal note:Other agreements

  •  (1) Subject to subsection (2), the Minister may enter into an agreement for the purposes set out in paragraphs 5(a) and (b) with any municipal authority or other organization or with any person, subject to the provisions of section 6, with such modifications as the circumstances require.

  • Marginal note:Provincial approval

    (2) The Minister shall not conclude any agreement referred to in subsection (1) except with the approval of the government of the province in which the program or measure to which the agreement relates is to be implemented or the property to which the agreement relates is situated.

  • 1973-74, c. 21, s. 7

Endangered Wildlife

Marginal note:Measures for protection

 The Minister may, in cooperation with one or more provincial governments having an interest therein, take such measures as the Minister deems necessary for the protection of any species of wildlife in danger of extinction.

  • R.S., 1985, c. W-9, s. 8
  • 1994, c. 23, s. 10(F)

Acquisition of Lands

Marginal note:Acquisition of Lands

  •  (1) The Governor in Council may autho­rize the Minister to lease any lands, or purchase or acquire any lands or any interests or rights in any lands, for the purpose of research, conservation and interpretation in respect of

    • (a) migratory birds; or

    • (b) with the agreement of the government of the province having an interest therein, other wildlife.

  • Marginal note:Restrictions

    (2) Lands or interests or rights in lands purchased or acquired under subsection (1) shall not be disposed of, and no person shall use or occupy the lands, except under the authority of this Act or the regulations.

  • Marginal note:Disposition or lease of lands

    (3) The Minister may authorize the disposition or lease of lands purchased or acquired under subsection (1) if, in the opinion of the Governor in Council, the disposition or lease is compatible with wildlife research, conservation and interpretation.

  • R.S., 1985, c. W-9, s. 9
  • 1994, c. 23, s. 11(F)
  • 2004, c. 25, s. 115

General

Marginal note:Property acquired by gift or bequest

 Where Her Majesty has acquired any money, securities or other property by gift, bequest or otherwise for any purpose relating to wildlife, the Minister shall expend, administer or dispose of the money, securities or other property subject to the terms, if any, on which the money, securities or other property was given, bequeathed or otherwise made available to Her Majesty.

  • R.S., 1985, c. W-9, s. 10
  • 1994, c. 23, s. 12(F)
  • 2004, c. 25, s. 116(F)

Marginal note:Designation of wildlife officers and analysts

  •  (1) The Minister may designate any person or class of persons to act as wildlife officers or analysts for the purposes of this Act and the regulations.

  • Marginal note:Designation of provincial government employees

    (2) The Minister may not designate any person or class of persons employed by the government of a province unless that government agrees.

  • Marginal note:Certificate of designation

    (3) Every wildlife officer and analyst must be provided with a certificate of his or her designation as a wildlife officer, or as an analyst, as the case may be, in a form approved by the Minister and, on entering any place under this Act, the officer or analyst shall, if so requested, show the certificate to the occupant or person in charge of the place.

  • Marginal note:Powers of peace officers

    (4) For the purposes of this Act and the regulations, wildlife officers have all the powers of a peace officer, but the Minister may specify limits on those powers when designating any person or class of persons.

  • Marginal note:Exemptions for law enforcement activities

    (5) For the purpose of investigations and other law enforcement activities under this Act, the Minister may, on any terms and conditions the Minister considers necessary, exempt wildlife officers who are carrying out duties or functions under this Act, and persons acting under their direction and control, from the application of any provision of this Act or the regulations.

  • Marginal note:Obstruction

    (6) When a wildlife officer or an analyst is carrying out duties or functions under this Act or the regulations, no person shall

    • (a) knowingly make any false or misleading statement either orally or in writing to the wildlife officer or analyst; or

    • (b) otherwise wilfully obstruct the wildlife officer or analyst.

  • R.S., 1985, c. W-9, s. 11
  • 1994, c. 23, s. 13
  • 2009, c. 14, s. 42

Marginal note:Inspections

  •  (1) For the purpose of ensuring compliance with this Act and the regulations, a wildlife officer may, subject to subsection (3), at any reasonable time enter and inspect any place in which the officer believes, on reasonable grounds, there is any thing to which this Act or the regulations apply or any document relating to the administration of this Act or the regulations, and the wildlife officer may

    • (a) open or cause to be opened any container that the wildlife officer believes, on reasonable grounds, contains any such thing or document;

    • (b) inspect the thing and take samples free of charge;

    • (c) require any person to produce the document for inspection or copying, in whole or in part; and

    • (d) seize any thing by means of or in relation to which the wildlife officer believes, on reasonable grounds, this Act or the regulations have been contravened or that the wildlife officer believes, on reasonable grounds, will provide evidence of a contravention.

  • Marginal note:Analysts

    (1.1) An analyst may, for the purposes of this Act, accompany a wildlife officer who is carrying out an inspection of a place under this section, and the analyst may, when accompanying the wildlife officer, enter the place and exercise any of the powers described in paragraphs (1)(a) and (b).

  • Marginal note:Conveyance

    (2) For the purposes of carrying out the inspection, the wildlife officer may stop a conveyance or direct that it be moved, by the route and in the manner that the officer may specify, to a place specified by the officer where the inspection can be carried out.

  • Marginal note:Dwelling-place

    (3) The wildlife officer may not enter a dwelling-place except with the consent of the occupant or person in charge of the dwelling-place or under the authority of a warrant.

  • Marginal note:Warrant

    (4) Where on ex parte application a justice, as defined in section 2 of the Criminal Code, is satisfied by information on oath that

    • (a) the conditions for entry described in subsection (1) exist in relation to a dwelling-place,

    • (b) entry to the dwelling-place is necessary in relation to the administration of this Act or the regulations, and

    • (c) entry to the dwelling-place has been refused or there are reasonable grounds for believing that entry will be refused,

    the justice may issue a warrant authorizing the wildlife officer to enter the dwelling-place subject to any conditions that may be specified in the warrant.

  • 1994, c. 23, s. 13
  • 2009, c. 14, s. 43
 
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