Montreal auction house fined $23,500 for environmental violations

February 18, 2016 - Montreal, Quebec - Environment and Climate Change Canada

IEGOR Hôtel des encans de Montréal Inc., an auction house, was fined $23,500 on February 11, 2016, in Montréal Provincial Court, following an investigation by Environment and Climate Change Canada’s (ECCC) Enforcement Branch. The company was ordered to forfeit artifacts after pleading guilty to 12 counts of unlawfully exporting products made from wildlife, and four counts of knowingly possessing controlled wildlife products for the purpose of transporting it from Canada under the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act (WAPPRIITA). They were also fined $10,000 for one count of contravening the Marine Mammal Regulations resulting from a concurrent investigation by Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Between April 2012 and November 2014, IEGOR Hôtel des encans de Montréal Inc. exported artifacts made from parts of protected species of wildlife to various countries in Europe, the Americas and Asia. The ECCC investigation revealed that the auction house did not obtain the required import and export permits for these items in contravention of WAPPRIITA. Artifacts that were seized on-site will be forfeited to the Crown and include one narwhal tusk, an elephant ivory base, and a coral statue. Objects that were unlawfully exported include 14 art objects containing elephant ivory, two with walrus ivory as well as one each of leopard and lynx fur. 

WAPPRIITA implements the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in Canada. CITES is an international agreement to regulate, or in some cases to prohibit, trade in specific species of wild animals and plants, as well as their respective parts and derivatives.

Canada joined CITES in 1975. ECCC is the lead agency responsible for CITES implementation in Canada.

The fine resulting from the WAPPRIITA offences will be directed to the Environmental Damages Fund.

Quick Facts

The Environmental Damages Fund is administered by Environment and Climate Change Canada. It was created in 1995 to provide a mechanism for directing funds received as a result of fines, court orders, and voluntary payments to priority projects that will benefit our natural environment.

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