This case was heard in the Nova Scotia Provincial Court.
Mr. Boudreau was charged with violating three regulations that had been made under the federal Fisheries Act. He was charged with breaking the conditions of a communal fishing license, fishing for snow crab without authorization, and possessing snow crab that had been caught without authorization.
The Court found that Mr. Boudreau could not be convicted of the first charge because he did not hold a communal license in the first place.
The Court held that Mr. Boudreau could not be convicted of the second or third charges because he had been fishing in compliance with the Fisheries Act. He met the criteria set out in section 14(2)(d) of the Atlantic Fisheries Regulations for who could legally fish for snow crab. The ship he was on was owned by Millbrook First Nation, which held a license that authorized it to fish for snow crab, and the license did not specifically name an operator for the ship.
The Crown tried to argue that Mr. Boudreau should be convicted because he was fishing without a communal licence from the Millbrook First Nation. The Court found that this was irrelevant. Fishing without a license from the Millbrook First Nation violated sections 4(2)(a) and (b) of the Aboriginal Communal Fishing Licences Regulations. However, Mr. Boudreau had not been charged with violating these regulations, so he could not be convicted of violating them.
Mr. Boudreau was acquitted.
This matter was also dealt with in R v Boudreau, 2009 NSPC 26 (CanLII), R v Boudreau, 2009 NSPC 7 (CanLII), and R v Boudreau, 2008 NSPC 78 (CanLII).