Guide Licensing Regulations Enhanced

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Tom Osborne, Minister of Environment and Conservation, announced changes to the province’s guide licensing program.

Minister Osborne said the enhanced regulations will ensure that all guides are adequately trained, resulting in increased safety and professionalism for guiding in Newfoundland and Labrador.

"Anyone wishing to become a licenced guide in Newfoundland and Labrador will now have to meet minimum provincial standards," said Minister Osborne. "The new criteria will include proof of successful completion of a recognized firearm safety/hunter education course, a recognized boat safety course or equivalent and a valid emergency first aid certificate."

The enhanced guide licensing regulations apply to new applicants only. Individuals who held a Newfoundland and Labrador guide licence in the past will be grandfathered into the new licensing program.

The minister said improving the guide licensing standards will benefit the tourism and outfitting industry in our province. "The new standards will enhance the quality of guides that are available to the marketplace, as well as officially professionalize the guiding industry in our province, which plays an important role in our tourism sector."

Minister Osborne added that Canadians not resident in Newfoundland and Labrador will also be permitted to apply for a guide licence in the province, which demonstrates government’s commitment to the multilateral Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT). The AIT was signed by all provincial and territorial governments in 1994. Guides in Newfoundland and Labrador are permitted to obtain a guide licence in other provinces.

"Government is committed to meeting the terms and spirit of the AIT," said the minister. "Allowing the licensing of non-resident guides in the province ensures our compliance with the AIT, which aims to reduce barriers to the movement of persons, goods, services and investments within Canada."

The new guide licensing standards are effective January 1, 2005.

Enhanced Guide Licensing Program

* New standards for new guide licence applicants include:

* Proof of successful completion of a recognized firearm safety and hunter education course

* A recognized boat safety course or equivalent

* A valid emergency first aid certificate

* Graduation from a recognized guide training program through a private or public college would also meet the new standards

* The enhanced guide licensing regulations apply to new applicants only.

* Individuals already holding a Newfoundland and Labrador guide licence will not be impacted by the new licensing requirements. These guides will receive a renewal form in the mail.

* New applicants can obtain a guide licence application at any district office of the Department of Natural Resources or offices of the Inland Fish and Wildlife Division of the Department of Environment and Conservation. The new guide application will also be available on the Department of Environment and Conservation Web site.

* Canadians not resident in Newfoundland and Labrador will be permitted to apply for a Newfoundland and Labrador guide licence.

* Guides in Newfoundland and Labrador are permitted to obtain a guide licence in other provinces.

* There are over 5,700 residents registered in Newfoundland and Labrador as hunting and/or fishing guides.

* Guides have been required under the Wildlife Act and Regulations for certain non- resident hunting and angling activities since the 1960s.

For more information on the new standards or the guide licence application process, contact John Blake, Inland Fish and Wildlife Division at (709) 637-2354.