Species At Risk

How do I get my permit?

Under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), there are five types of permits:

Health and Safety

Health or Safety Permit

If your activity is necessary for the protection of human health or safety, you may be eligible for a Health or Safety Permit

Protection and Recovery

Protection or Recovery Permit

If the main purpose of your activity is to help protect or recover a species at risk, you may be eligible for a Protection or Recovery Permit

Social or Economic Benefit to Ontario

Social or Economic Benefit to Ontario Permit

If your activity will result in a significant social or economic benefit to Ontario, you may be eligible for a Social or Economic Benefit to Ontario Permit

Aboriginal permit

Aboriginal Permit

If you are a member of a band (as defined in the Indian Act), a tribal council, or an organization that represents a territorially-based Aboriginal community, you may be eligible for an Aboriginal permit

Overall Benefit

Overall Benefit Permit

If none of the above circumstances apply, an Overall Benefit Permit may be the right permit for you.


The Endangered Species Act


Contact your local ministry office


Often the best source of local information on species at risk is your nearest ministry office. Call with your questions or concerns.

Permitting Process

The process to obtain your permit will depend on which permit you will need; however, there are some basic phases that are followed. The process of applying for and obtaining an ESA permit has multiple phases, as shown in the figure below.

Completing the phases of the permitting process often involves multiple discussions between you and the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR). Contact your local MNR office early when planning and designing your activity. Also contact all other relevant land owners and authorities early in the process to identify any requirements they may have. This will help avoid unnecessary delays and ensure that species and habitat protection measures are considered early on.

While it is your responsibility to provide the necessary information to MNR throughout the permitting process, MNR staff can offer you support by:

  • sharing information on species at risk and habitat at or near the location of your activity
  • identifying whether more species at risk surveys are needed
  • providing advice on appropriate ways to conduct surveys
  • providing species-specific information, reports and policies, where available
  • providing advice on alternatives that would avoid adverse effects on species at risk and their habitat
  • advising whether you should get a permit for your activity
  • providing advice on preparing your permit application, if you choose to apply for one

There are many sources to learn whether species at risk or their habitat are located on or near your activity location. Learn more

Compliance

If you have a permit you must meet all of the conditions within your permit. If you don’t, you might contravene the ESA and could be prosecuted under the act. When you use a third party such as a contractor to meet one or more of the conditions of your permit, you are still responsible for ensuring conditions are met.

Other permissions, approvals or authorizations may be needed from land owners, agencies or levels of government, (e.g., a conservation authority, municipality, another ministry or the federal government) before you can perform your activity. Other MNR authorizations may also be needed for some activities. We encourage you to contact other land owners and authorities early in the process to identify any requirements they may have. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have all other permissions, approvals and authorizations before starting your activity.


Permit changes and cancellation

The Ministry may make changes to or cancel your ESA permit with your consent; the Ministry may also do so without your consent if doing so is:

  • necessary to prevent jeopardizing the survival or recovery of the species at risk specified in your permit, or,
  • necessary for the protection of human health or safety.

The Endangered Species Act


Contact your local ministry office


Often the best source of local information on species at risk is your nearest ministry office. Call with your questions or concerns.