Service standards for Species at Risk Act permits

We issue permits to undertake certain activities that affect a wildlife species listed on Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act (SARA) each year. Our service standards tell you how long it will take us to process and respond to your permit application. We base these timelines on our targets and our experience.

Service standards summary

A 90-day service standard applies to any permit applications issued under section 73 of SARA which authorize an activity that affects a listed wildlife species, any part of its critical habitat or the residences of its individuals.

If your application is incomplete, we will notify you and the time limit will be suspended until we receive all of the missing information.

Note: The timeline begins on the date of the notice informing you that we received your application.

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, and
  • contribute to results-based management

Our service standards set the timeframe for the Minister to issue or refuse to issue a permit under SARA.

Performance targets

We present performance targets in percentages of decisions provided for permit applications within a reporting timeframe (i.e. from April 1st of a year until March 31st of the following year).

For SARA permits issued under s.73, 100% of the decisions must be made within the 90-day service standard, unless the time limit is not applicable due to one of the prescribed exceptions.

Performance reporting

ECCC measures service performance for permit decisions under s.73 of SARA annually and publishes performance information online no later than June 1st for the preceding reporting timeframe.

We attained a result of 79% against performance targets for all permit decisions, which include issued and denied permit applications, under s.73 of SARA from April 2018 to March 2019. Of the 43 permits for which the service standards applied, 34 were issued within the 90-day standard.

Statistics relating to processing times for the issuance of these permits are provided in the following table:

Performance for permits issued under s.73 of the Species at Risk Act permits from 2013 to 2020
Reporting timeframe Target Performance
April 2013 to March 2014 100% of permits issued within 90 days 79% of permits issued within 90 days
April 2014 to March 2015 100% of permits issued within 90 days 97% of permits issued within 90 days
April 2015 to March 2016 100% of permits issued within 90 days 93% of permits issued within 90 days
April 2016 to March 2017 100% of permits issued within 90 days 93% of permits issued within 90 days
April 2017 to March 2018 100% of permits issued within 90 days 92% of permits issued within 90 days
April 2018 to March 2019 100% of permits issued within 90 days 79% of permits issued within 90 days
April 2019 to March 2020 100% of permits issued within 90 days Performance data to be provided by June 1st, 2020

Service feedback

Contact us at ec.permislep-sarapermits.ec@canada.ca for any feedback on these service standards or on any issue related to Canadian Wildlife Service permits.

Apply for a permit

For submitting an application for a permit under the Species at Risk Act (SARA), please visit ECCC’s e-permitting system which allows applicants to submit a SARA permit application online.

For additional information please contact your regional Canadian Wildlife Service office or email ec.permislep-sarapermits.ec@canada.ca.

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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