Service standards and performance: permits for migratory game bird hunting

We issue many migratory game bird hunting (MGBH) permits each year. Our service standards tell you how long it will normally take us to process and respond to your permit application. We base these timelines on our resources and our experience.

Current service standards summary

The process for issuing MGBH permits is different from other permits issued by the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS).

MGBH permits must be purchased and they are issued automatically to any person who pays the necessary fees.

The service standards for MGBH permits are:

  • permits are available at select Canada Post outlets and select independent vendors, during normal business hours
  • the printable permits and the Canadian Wildlife Habitat Conservation (CWHC) stamp can be purchased online through the MGBH e-Permitting system, which is available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week during hunting season

Applicants are encouraged to contact CWS if they have any difficulties when attempting to purchase an MGBH permit (whether in person or online).

Background and detailed service standards

Service standards are necessary for good client service and important for managing performance because they:

  • set out expectations (both internally and externally)
  • drive improvement
  • contribute to results-based management

Our service standards set the timeframe for the Minister to issue or refuse to issue a permit under the Migratory Bird Regulations (MBR). We regularly analyze performance data and review service standards for all permit types issued under the MBR.

Performance reporting

We measure MGBH service standards by tracking the number of complaints received against the total number of MGBH permits sold in a given reporting timeframe (i.e. from April 1 of a year until March 31 of the following year).

We post performance information online no later than June 1 for the preceding reporting timeframe.

We issued approximately 190,000 - 200,000 MGBH permits from April 2017 to March 2018 through sales at select designated Canada Post offices and select designated independent vendors and the online MGBH e-Permitting system.

Statistics relating to processing times for issued permits are provided in the following table:

Performance targets and results for MGBH permits
Date Target Results: permits are available for purchase during normal business hours from select designated Canada Post outlets or select designated independent vendors during the hunting season Results: applicants are able to access the online e-Permitting system, complete the online purchase process and receive a printable electronic copy of their MGBH permit and related Canadian Wildlife Habitat Conservation Stamp during the hunting season
April 2013 to March 2014 99% 99% N/Aa
April 2014 to March 2015 99% 99% N/Aa
April 2015 to March 2016 99% 99% 99%
April 2016 to March 2017 99% 99% 99%
April 2017 to March 2018 99% 99% 99%
April 2018 to March 2019 99% 99% 99%b
April 2019 to March 2020 99% Performance data to be provided by June 1, 2020 Performance data to be provided by June 1, 2020

a Online service became operational in August 2015.

The e-Permitting system experienced some difficulties on a few occasions, which resulted in some purchasers not receiving an electronic copy of their permit upon purchase. However, permits continued to be available through Canada Post and independent vendors. A new e-Permitting system is being developed and implemented for the 2019-2020 hunting season to improve the quality and consistency of this service.

Service feedback

Contact us at for any feedback on these service standards or on any issue related to Canadian Wildlife Service permits.

Buy a permit

To hunt migratory game birds in Canada, you must have a valid federal MGBH permit (or e-Permit) with an affixed (or printed image of a) CWHC stamp. MGBH permits are made available annually starting August 1 for the upcoming hunting season.

You may buy an MGBH permit online though our e-Permitting system which sends you a printable version of your MGBH permit and CWH conservation stamp by email. Permits are also sold at select designated Canada Post outlets and select designated independent vendors. If you have any questions about the availability of the MGBH permits at a postal outlet, contact Canada Post customer service at 1-866-607-6301.

For more information

To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit the Canada Gazette and Consulting with Canadians websites.

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