Amendments to the Authorization Regime under the Species at Risk Act as part of the Responsible Resource Development Plan

As part of the Responsible Resource Development plan announced on April 17, 2012, some changes have been made to the Species at Risk Act (SARA) which will reduce regulatory burden while strengthening environmental protection.

Under section 73 of the SARA, the competent Minister may, in certain circumstances, authorize activities that would otherwise be prohibited. Formerly, these authorizations were limited to three years for permits, or five years for agreements, and the conditions of granting an authorization were not directly enforceable.

The amendments to SARA:

  • Allow for longer-term authorizations, with enforceable conditions of permits for activities affecting a listed species at risk.
  • Enable the Minister of the Environment to make regulations to establish legally-binding timelines for issuance of SARA section 73 permit decisions.

With longer durations, authorizations can be issued for a time-period better suited to large projects and can be aligned with provincial / territorial permits, where appropriate.

The amendments which allow legally-binding timelines to be set in regulation ensure a consistent approach across Federal statutes with respect to timelines for issuing permits.

Environment Canada will continue to evaluate SARA authorization requests rigorously to determine what risk the proposed activity poses to protected species, and if the activity can be authorized without jeopardizing the survival or recovery of species at risk.

| Introductory Page|