Frequently Asked Questions – Permits Authorizing an Activity Affecting Listed Wildlife Species Regulations

The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below are meant to provide Canadians and Canadian businesses with basic information about the Permits Authorizing an Activity Affecting Listed Wildlife Species Regulations.

Permits Authorizing an Activity Affecting Listed Wildlife Species Regulations

  1. What is the purpose of these regulations?
  2. What are the key elements of these regulations?
  3. How do these regulations affect Canadian businesses?
  4. What is the timeline for implementation?
  5. Where can I get more information?

1. What is the purpose of these regulations?

The primary purpose of the Permits Authorizing an Activity Affecting Listed Wildlife Species Regulations is to contribute to consistency, predictability and transparency in the Species at Risk Act permitting process by providing applicants with clear and measurable service standards.

2. What are the key elements of these regulations?

The Permits Authorizing an Activity Affecting Listed Wildlife Species Regulations specify the type of information that must be included by the applicants in the permit application form when applying for a permit under section 73 of the Species at Risk Act.

These regulations also impose a 90-day time limit on the Government of Canada to either issue or refuse permits under section 73 of the Species at Risk Act authorizing a person to engage in an activity affecting a listed wildlife species, any part of its critical habitat, or the residences of its individuals.

The 90-day time limit starts on the date that the Minister of the Environment or Minister of Fisheries and Oceans notifies the applicant in writing that the application has been received. This 90-day time limit will be paused however, if the required documentation is missing. The 90-day time limit will be restarted again once all the required information has been received.

The 90-day time limit may not apply in a few circumstances:

  • where additional consultations are required (e.g. consultations with Aboriginal people);
  • where another Act of Parliament or land claim agreement requires that another decision be made before the permit can be issued or refused (e.g. where an environmental assessment needs to be completed prior to a decision being made with respect to a SARA permit application);
  • where the terms and conditions of a permit previously issued to the applicant under s. 73 of SARA have not been met (e.g. if required reports related to earlier permits have not been received by the issuing department/agency);
  • where the applicant requests or agrees that the time limit not apply; or
  • where the activity described in the permit application is modified before the permit is issued or refused.

3. How do these regulations affect Canadian businesses?

Anyone seeking a Species at Risk Act section 73 permit, including scientific researchers and proponents of resource development projects, may be affected by the regulations. These regulations are anticipated to contribute to consistency, predictability and transparency in the Species at Risk Act permitting process by providing Canadian businesses with clear and measurable service standards.

The regulations do not apply to permits or authorizations issued by the Minister of the Environment or the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans under other Federal Acts(e.g. Fisheries Act authorizations or Migratory Birds Regulations permits), which have, under section 74 of SARA, the same effect as Species at Risk Act permits.

4. What is the timeline for implementation?

The Permits Authorizing an Activity Affecting Listed Wildlife Species Regulations, made under the authority of the Species at Risk Act, came into force on June 19, 2013.

5. Where can I get more information?

For more information on Permits Authorizing an Activity Affecting Listed Wildlife Species Regulations, please visit the Permits Authorizing an Activity Affecting Listed Wildlife Species Regulations Questions and Answers on the Species at Risk Public Registry.

You can also contact Environment Canada's Canadian Wildlife Service at ec.permisscf-cwspermit.ec@canada.ca or toll free at 1-855-869-8670. The appropriate regional office may also be contacted in writing.

Environment Canada's Canadian Wildlife Service Regional Offices

Atlantic Region
SARA Permit Coordinator
Canadian Wildlife Service
Environment Canada
17 Waterfowl Lane
Sackville, NB
E4L 1G6

Quebec Region
SARA Permit Coordinator
Canadian Wildlife Service
Environment Canada
801 - 1550, avenue d'Estimauville,
Québec, QC
G1J 0C3

Ontario Region
SARA Permit Coordinator
Canadian Wildlife Service
Environment Canada
867 Lakeshore Road
Burlington, ON
L7R 4A6

Prairie and Northern Region
SARA Permit Officer
Canadian Wildlife Service
Environment Canada
Eastgate Offices, 9250 – 49th Street
Edmonton, AB
T6B 1K5

Pacific and Yukon Region
SARA Permit Officer
Canadian Wildlife Service
Environment Canada
5421 Robertson Road
Delta, BC
V4K 3N2

This document is intended to provide contextual information on the Permits Authorizing an Activity Affecting Listed Wildlife Species Regulations. It does not replace the Species at Risk Act or Permits Authorizing an Activity Affecting Listed Wildlife Species Regulations. If there are inconsistencies between this document and the Species at Risk Act or the Permits Authorizing an Activity Affecting Listed Wildlife Species Regulations, the Act and Regulations prevail.