Service standard for Species at Risk Act permits

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) issues permits to undertake certain activities that affect terrestrial wildlife species listed on Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act (SARA) each year. These permits are issued under s.73 of SARA which allows authorizing an activity that affects a listed wildlife species, any part of its critical habitat or the residences of its individuals. The service standard tells applicants how long it will normally take ECCC to process and respond to a permit application.

Service standard summary

Under the Permits Authorizing an Activity Affecting Listed Wildlife Species Regulations, ECCC is normally required to make a decision on a permit application within 90 days. Please consult the regulations for exceptions to the 90-day service standard.

The 90-day time period starts on the date of the notice informing an applicant that ECCC has received a complete application. If an application is incomplete, ECCC will notify the applicant and the time limit will be suspended until all of the missing information is received.

Why are service standards important?

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

The service standard for SARA permits sets the timeframe for the Minister to issue or refuse to issue a permit under s.73 of SARA.

Performance targets

ECCC presents 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.

ECCC attained a result of 94% against performance targets for all permit decisions, which include issued and denied permit applications, under s.73 of SARA from April 2019 to March 2020. Of the 53 permits for which the service standard applied, 50 were issued within the 90-day service standard. An additional 11 permits were issued for which the service standard did not apply.

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 2021
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

94% of permits issued within 90 days

April 2020 to March 2021

100% of permits issued within 90 days

Performance data to be provided by June 1st, 2021

Service feedback

Contact us at ec.permislep-sarapermits.ec@canada.ca for any feedback on the service standard or on any issue related to SARA permits delivered by ECCC.

Apply for a permit

For submitting an application for a permit under SARA, please visit ECCC’s e-permitting system which allows applicants to submit a SARA permit application online.

For additional information please contact ECCC through 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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