Species At Risk

Social or Economic Benefit to Ontario Permit

Under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the Ministry of Natural Resources may issue a social or economic benefit to Ontario permit, to authorize an activity that will result in a significant social or economic benefit to Ontario. To qualify for this permit, your activity must benefit Ontario on a province-wide scale.

Example of an activity eligible for a social or economic benefit to Ontario permit

Building an international crossing at the Canada/U.S. border that is expected to increase trade and investment between Canada and the U.S., create thousands of construction jobs in Ontario, and increase border crossing capacity.

Requirements and Conditions

A number of requirements must be met for a significant social or economic benefit to Ontario permit to be issued:

  • the activity will result in a significant social or economic benefit to Ontario
  • the Ministry must consult with an expert on the possible effects of the activity on the species, and the expert must submit a written report to the Minister, including his or her opinion on whether the activity will jeopardize the survival or recovery of the species in Ontario
  • the Minister must be of the opinion that:
    • the activity will not jeopardize the survival or recovery of the species in Ontario;
    • reasonable alternatives have been considered, including alternatives that would not adversely affect the species, and the best alternative has been adopted; and
    • reasonable steps to minimize adverse effects on individual members of the species are required by conditions of the permit.

A social or economic benefit to Ontario permit may also include other conditions or requirements such as monitoring and reporting.

Social or economic benefit to Ontario permits must be approved by the Lieutenant Governor in Council (Cabinet) prior to being issued.

Process

Upon request, the Ministry will provide advice on whether or not your activity could qualify for a social or economic benefit to Ontario permit. If it is decided that this type of permit is appropriate, an in-depth process begins that requires two steps: a preliminary submission and a secondary submission.

The preliminary submission provides the information needed to determine if the legal requirements of the ESA are met. The secondary submission is an independent expert report that describes the possible adverse effects on the species, and whether, in the expert’s opinion, the activity will jeopardize the survival or recovery of the species in Ontario.

Once the submissions are reviewed by the MNR, a notice of the permit application will be posted on the Environmental Registry under the Environmental Bill of Rights for public comment. The results of this consultation are considered before a permit decision is made.

Map of ontario What's at risk in my area?

Figuring out if you need an authorization, like a permit or an agreement, starts with identifying which protected species are in your area.

How do I get a permit? How do I get a permit?

Find out what steps you need to take in order to get the permit you need.

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