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Policy Proposal Notice:   EBR Registry Number:   011-6751
Modernization of Approvals - A Proposed Policy Framework for Modernizing Approvals for Ontario's Natural Resources
Ministry of Natural Resources
Date Proposal loaded to the Registry:
September 27, 2012
Keyword(s):   Fish and Wildlife  |  Land  |  Water  |  Protected Areas  |  Parks  |  Forests  |  Aggregates
The comment period for this proposal is now over.
Description of Policy:

As announced in the 2012-13 provincial budget, the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) is moving forward with a three-year transformation plan. With our transformation plan, the ministry is taking a hard look at everything it does to make sure we’re modernizing our business where we can, focusing more closely on our core mandate, and reviewing our programs and services to become more efficient and sustainable.

The goal is to provide faster and improved services and to reduce the burden on individuals, businesses and government.

The ministry remains committed to its core business lines: fish and wildlife, endangered species, forestry, Crown land management, water, parks and protected areas, non-renewable resources, and public safety.

MNR is going to streamline the permitting, licensing and approvals processes to help individuals and businesses access these services faster and more efficiently.

MNR manages the province’s forests, lands, waters, fisheries, wildlife, aggregates, salt, oil and protected areas on behalf of the people of Ontario with a focus on:

  • Conserving the diversity of plants, animals, fish and their habitats
  • Protecting natural areas
  • Supporting the sustainable development and use of resources
  • Protecting people, property and communities from forest fires, flooding, and other natural hazards

Ontario’s natural resources are regulated under various pieces of legislation that together help manage these resources. One of the key ways that the MNR implements these requirements is by issuing approvals for activities including:

  • Licences (e.g., License to Possess a Pelt, Licence to Stock Fish)
  • Permits (e.g., Public Lands Act Work Permits, Crown Land Use Permits)
  • Authorizations (e.g., Provincial Park Research Authorizations or Scientific Collectors Authorizations)

Over time, the effort required by individuals and businesses to obtain the approvals they need for resource-related activities has grown and the number of approvals has increased. MNR is modernizing approvals to help businesses and individuals access services faster and more efficiently, to get the ministry on a financially sustainable path and assist the government to balance its budget. Streamlining approvals will allow MNR to allocate its resources to its core mandate, while continuing to deliver on our commitment to protect and sustainably manage natural resources.

MNR is releasing this Modernization of Approvals discussion paper to seek public input on the policy framework to modernize and streamline MNR’s current approach to issuing permits, authorizations and licenses. MNR will use the policy framework to guide changes to specific approvals (e.g., licences, permits, authorizations). Following consultation on the policy framework, the ministry will seek further input from the public, stakeholders and Aboriginal peoples as we make changes to specific approvals. We expect to start consulting on potential policy and regulatory changes for specific approvals in the coming months.

Purpose of Policy:

The purpose of this document is to inform the public, stakeholders and Aboriginal peoples on the modernization of approvals initiative being proposed by MNR and seek input on a policy framework that will help direct the future modernizing and streamlining of approvals (e.g. licences, authorizations, permits) delivered by the MNR.

Other Information:

The following weblinks provide supporting/additional information.

Modernization of Approvals – Policy Paper


Public Consultation:

This proposal was posted for a 47 day public review and comment period starting September 27, 2012. Comments were to be received by November 13, 2012.

All comments received during the comment period are being considered as part of the decision-making process by the Ministry.

Please Note: All comments and submissions received have become part of the public record.

Other Public Consultation Opportunities:

Additional consultation and outreach may occur with interested parties concurrent to this policy proposal posting. Further input will be sought as MNR proposes regulatory and policy changes to specific approvals in 2012/2013.


Modernizing Approvals

Ministry of Natural Resources
Policy Division
Modernizing Approvals
300 Water Street
Floor 5
Peterborough Ontario
K9J 8M5
Phone: (705) 755-1940
Fax: (705) 755-1957