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.