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Faster, Easier Services For Businesses

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Faster, Easier Services For Businesses

McGuinty Government Setting Five-Month Service Guarantee

Ontario is making it easier and faster for landowners and developers to do work in areas where endangered species live.

New changes will help save businesses time and money while continuing to protect species such as barn owls and spotted turtles. Changes include:

  • A five-month service guarantee for completed permit applications under the Endangered Species Act, such as applications for land development. This guarantee would give landowners and developers precise timing so they can better plan.
  • Eliminating permits for developers and landowners for the removal of up to 10 butternut trees as long as they replant two to 20 butternut trees for each one they remove.
  • Accelerating permit timelines with earlier permit posting and providing better access to information online.

The proposed measures are part of Ontario's Open for Business initiative to create faster, smarter and streamlined government-to-business services, and a more competitive environment for businesses - supporting jobs for Ontario families.

Quick Facts

  • To access information on federal, provincial and municipal programs and services, businesses may now call the new 1-888-745-8888 toll-free line, instead of navigating through 160 different numbers.
  • Ontario's Endangered Species Act, which came into effect in 2008, makes the province a North American leader in the protection and recovery of species at risk and their habitats.
  • About 200 different kinds of plants and animals are currently listed as at risk in Ontario.
  • The butternut tree proposal is now posted on the Environmental Registry for comment for 45 days. A policy on the five-month service standard for Endangered Species Act overall benefit permits will be available on the registry in coming weeks.
  • The five-month service guarantee would begin once applicants have finalized a complete application package with the ministry.

Additional Resources


“We need a predictable approach to land development that is clear, fair and timely. These proposed changes are good for businesses while still protecting endangered species.”

Linda Jeffrey

Minister of Natural Resources

“Home builders respect the Ontario government's commitment to species protection. The service guarantee demonstrates that the government is committed to making the Endangered Species Act work for Ontario businesses.”

Bob Finnigan

President, Ontario Home Builders' Association

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