Nunavut tourism operator found guilty of violating Nunavut Wildlife Act

Company’s sentencing scheduled for Jan. 23

Justice Paul Rouleau found tourism operator Arctic Kingdom guilty of all four charges it faced under the Nunavut Wildlife Act at the Nunavut Court of Justice on Jan. 20. (File photo)

By Emma Tranter

Nunavut tourism operator Arctic Kingdom has been found guilty of four charges it faced under the Nunavut Wildlife Act.

The Ontario-based company, which has operated in Nunavut for the last 20 years, faced four charges, in the form of tickets, for offering wildlife observation activities without a licence in March 2017, in contravention of section 117 (2) of the Wildlife Act.

Justice Paul Rouleau, an Ontario judge who serves as deputy judge in the Nunavut Court of Justice, stated his decision over the phone at the Nunavut Court of Justice on Monday, Jan. 20.

The company had initially pleaded not guilty, claiming that the wildlife law is too broad and infringes on Section 7 of the Charter of Rights, which guarantees life, liberty and security of the person.

But after a hearing on April 15, 2019, Rouleau dismissed that claim.

The Nunavut Wildlife Act, under a part of the law that’s headed “Commercial and other activities,” states companies need a licence to conduct activities in which wildlife is “the object of interaction, manipulation or close observation, including the making of a film or the provision of an expedition, safari or cruise.”

Arctic Kingdom could face a fine ranging from a minimum of $500 to a maximum of $1 million.

Sentencing is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 23, at 10 a.m. at the Nunavut Court of Justice.

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(7) Comments:

  1. Posted by Peter on

    This company makes it more difficult for other outfitters, all the things they have done, needing rescuing a number of times have brought the insurance cost up for everyone who does outfitting and tours, they interfere with wildlife, they leave a mess out on the ice or land, they should not be allowed to operate in Nunavut.

  2. Posted by they’re still laughing on

    they will pay the fine and be on their way……..
    they don’t give a care. I wish they’d be banned from operating in Nunavut 🙁

    • Posted by Red Bear on

      Not only that, but all this because they refused to pay for a permit in the first place. This is a company that sells tourism packages for tens of thousands of dollars, cutting corners on getting the proper licensing, and then dragging the issue out in court for almost THREE YEARS, wasting untold amounts of taxpayer money in the process on stupid arguments (“the law is too broad” wtf??) instead of just admitting that they screwed up.

  3. Posted by Silas on

    The Government of Nunavut is the licence issuer. Therefore, legitimate complaints with proof that their activities do not follow environmental laws would give the government reason not to issue new licences to this company.
    I believe, Peter, your comments are legitimate and any other persons who may have cause to give legitimate reasons for complaint should bring them up to the Government of Nunavut.

  4. Posted by they don’t care…. on

    The company refuses to pay permits, finds any short cut they can to get away with absolutely everything they can and treats its local staff so poorly compared to their flown in staff. Everything about the company is a miserable experience…if you are local….

    Locally hired guides, local governing bodies and local bystanders have tried to report on the company, have gone down the right channels to ‘deal with’ the issues and have even attempted to have the company suspended from returning to certain communities but no one supports the communities.

    Everyone is always so much more interested in the so called economic benefit. At the cost of lives? at the cost of modern hunting? what benefits? I have never heard any good thing spoken about this company and yet they are granted licenses annually; even when the community refuses to support. Nunavut Tourism does not care about the communities at all.

    This company puts so many lives in danger and risks so much, and yet it never seems to affect their reputation. If anything comparable ever happened to an Inuk outfitter they would be done with so fast. Everyone from every arm would be all other the Inuk outfitter. BUT this company got money so they can go on and on and on and still get away with everything they do.

    Its about time they have been brought to court.

  5. Posted by “Has Been Hunter” on

    It is good that they were found to have committed infractions regarding GN regulations and hopefully have to pay up for their misdeeds, but will this make them stop destroying our environment and stop them from overly disturbing our wildlife?.
    It is now everywhere that big business will try to override proper procedures so they will get what they want with no ramifications. We are seeing this attitude on the international scale, name entities like Trump, SNC, Baffinland and of course this company where their actions have no consequences even though their have been negative aftereffects. Atii Nunavummiut, keep working to retain a bit of what is still natural out there so our future generations can at least experience what was natural for us growing up.

    • Posted by Jim on

      These comments express pretty much my thoughts. I guess not disturbing wildlife or being hard on the environment is what the licensing process is designed to do. I do know that there are many unofficial/unlicensed groups of tourists on the trails in BC and the Yukon.

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