On March 27, 2019, three individuals in Quebec pleaded guilty to two counts each under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994, S.C. 1994, c. 22, (the “MBCA”) for unlawfully disturbing migratory bird nests and unlawfully taking migratory bird eggs.
The MBCA, section 5(a), makes it an offence to “be in possession of a migratory bird or nest” without a permit, and “migratory bird” is defined in the MBCA to include “eggs”.
The Migratory Birds Regulations, C.R.C., c. 1035, section 6, make it a further offence to “disturb, destroy or take” a nest or egg or to have a nest or egg in ones possession, without a permit.
Three individuals were caught on May 22, 2017, by Environment and Climate Change Canada enforcement officers and Parks Canada park wardens as part of a joint operation to stop the illegal collection of migratory bird eggs. They had a total of 189 migratory bird eggs in their possession, which had been illegally collected on islands near the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve.
They were fined a total of $17,000 for the MBCA violations, and one of the individuals was fined an additional $1000 for willfully obstructing an enforcement officer from carrying out his duties. All three people were prohibited from holding a migratory bird hunting permit for one year and prohibited from visiting any of the islands of the Mingan Archipelago in the sector between Rivière-Saint-Jean and Natashquan.