Green Bay farmer receives four charges at first court appearance

LEFT: Paul Skippen, far right, with his supporters following his court appearance in Gore Bay.

GORE BAY— Green Bay farmer Paul Skippen attended provincial court in Gore Bay last week with his supporters in a legal battle to win compensation for alleged extensive damage to crops by animals such as the Canada goose.

Claiming that geese have caused $10,000 in damages to his Bidwell Road farm, the farmer told The Expositor, “We must obtain permission to protect our own property.” Insisting he doesn’t want to kill the geese, Mr. Skippen says he is more concerned with Lyme disease from ticks carried by geese and with other fecally-transmitted diseases.

Four charges have been laid against Mr. Skippen, who represented himself in court: unlawfully hunting a migratory bird outside the open season, failing to immediately make every reasonable effort to retrieve a migratory bird, unlawfully discharging a firearm in the travelled portion of a right of way for public vehicular traffic and knowingly making a false statement to a conservation officer.

The first procedural hearing took place under the Provincial Offenses Act in Gore Bay on July 2 and on September 3 a trial date will be set.