The following is a transcript of a letter which was forwarded to Minister Shelley, Tom Marshall, and Danny Williams regarding the legality of Bill 45 (Mandatory Trail Permits).
Outdoor Rights Legal Fund
P. O. Box 174
Main Brook, NL
March 24th, 2005
Minister Paul Shelly
Department of Tourism, Culture & Recreation
P. O. Box 8700
St. John’s, NL
Dear Mr. Shelly:
I recently had the opportunity to review Bill 45 - an amendment to the Snowmobile Act and its regulations. And upon the advice of legal counsel, I have arrived at this following conclusion that the trail sticker fee as set forth in the regulations has all the hallmarks of being a tax. However, the statute is not a taxing statute and does not provide for taxation.
Therefore, the mandatory trail sticker fee is an unlawful tax and is “ultra vires” (beyond the power) the Act.
Therefore, if our members purchase a trail sticker by paying this tax, they are advised to do so under protest. Thereby laying foundation for civil law suit to recover all trail sticker fees that have been paid. If any charges are laid for failure to pay this tax, based upon the invalidity of the regulation then the Outdoor Rights Legal Fund reserves the right to commence legal proceedings on this matter.
I would appreciate a timely reply on this matter. My telephone number is (709)865-4107
I _______________________________________ do hereby purchase a
Mandatory Trail Permit,
as required under Bill 45. However, I consider this to be an unlawful tax and I reserve any right to commence legal proceedings to recover the amount remitted as an individual plaintiff in a small claim action or as a class action suit against Bill 45.
Signature of Permit Holder