Appendix B: Licensing Process for New Applications & Guidelines for Preparing an Application

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1.0 Background
2.0 Sample Work Plan for Processing New Applications
2.1 Advisory Committee
2.2 Notification
2.3 Adequacy Review
2.4 Right of First Refusal
2.5 Meeting of the Advisory Committee
2.6 Review of the Recommendation Submitted by the Advisory Committee
2.7 Preliminary Screening
2.8 Permitting
3.0 Guidelines for Preparing an Application
3.1 Maintaining Distinct Licences
3.2 Mandatory Information Requirements
3.3 Certifications to Demonstrate Due Diligence
3.4 Evaluation of Essential Qualifications
4.0 Document checklist
5.0 Best practices, terms and conditions for operations have been reviewed

List of Figures & Tables
Table 1. Notification and Work Plan (Example)
Table 2. Essential Qualifications

1.0 Background

Nááts’įhch’oh and Nahanni National Park Reserves are committed to offering quality visitor experiences and licensing operators who can deliver them. The Superintendents of both parks will work closely with the Dene and Métis groups of the Dehcho and Sahtu to determine visitation trends and appropriateness of introducing new licences. When it is determined that capacity exists to introduce a new licence, a notification may be used to seek out a new, market ready tourism operator that is capable of delivering professional and high quality client services.

Nááts’įhch’oh and Nahanni National Park Reserves may consider these guidelines when assessing capacity for licences on the South Nahanni River and its tributaries. Nááts’įhch’oh and Nahanni National Park Reserves are aware of the constraints of operating a small business in a remote northern setting and new licence(s) will be managed carefully in consideration of long term sustainability for guided river outfitting.

Although it is expected a Superintendent will consider and take into account this document, nothing in this document binds, or fetters the discretion of, a Superintendent to decide to issue a notification or in setting the processes, procedures, work plan, rules, terms and conditions, and formality or informality of the notification. This document must be interpreted and applied accordingly. This document is to assist a Superintendent in the exercise of discretion. Once a notification is made, an applicant must not rely on this document but must instead look to the specific notification in question for the processes, procedures, work plan, rules, terms and conditions, and formality or informality of notification.

A notification does not guarantee that a licence will be issued and a Superintendent can postpone, suspend or terminate the process if it is necessary for the proper management of the park(s). The notification process is not a requirement under the Regulations, but serves as a best practice.

2.0 Sample Work Plan for Processing New Applications

The park reserve(s) are not obligated to make joint notifications, a single or shared notification will determine the work plan(s). When a notification is made, it is recommended a draft work plan with calendar dates will be included, see Table 1 for an example of a potential work plan. The work plan serves as a guideline for potential interested parties and can be subject to change as required, as it does not provide for unforeseen circumstances which may impact timelines. The following sections highlight key tasks to be completed and suggested timelines.

Sample Work Plan for Processing New Applications

Table 1. Shows and example of a potential work plan for processing new applications.
*If right of first refusal is excised and results in issuance of a licence to a Tulita District Member business, the review process for new applications from a notification stops in month nine.

2.1 Advisory Committee

An Advisory Committee may be established and tasked with reviewing applications and making recommendations in response to a notification. Prior to the issuance of a notification, the Superintendents may coordinate with the Nahʔą Dehé Consensus Team and the Nááts’įhch’oh Management Committee to establish an Advisory Committee. The Nahʔą Dehé Consensus Team and the Nááts’įhch’oh Management Committee may provide recommendations to the Superintendent regarding the composition. Advisory Committee members should have adequate knowledge and/or experience for evaluating an outfitter. Care should be taken to evaluate committee members to reduce or eliminate actual or perceived conflicts of interest.

2.2 Notification

(1 – 2 months)

A notification should indicate the scope of licence(s) that are included, see Appendix A for information about licences. Applications are to be submitted by email at a date and time as described in the notification. As a general guideline, a 1 - 2 month period may be allocated for a notification. It is possible that a delayed resubmission of an application that does not meet the closing date may not be evaluated by of the Advisory Committee. The park reserve(s) are not obligated to make joint notifications, a single or shared notification will determine the work plan(s).

2.3 Adequacy Review

(Approximately 30 days)

The adequacy review begins when a notification has closed and is conducted by Nááts’įhch’oh and/or Nahanni National Park Reserves for its respective Superintendent. This is a first step to ensure that information included in an application is complete to ensure efficient use of limited time and resources for the Advisory Committee. To pass an adequacy review, an application must meet the following minimum conditions:

  • Clearly outline to which park reserve the application is being made.
  • Requested information outlined in sections 3.1 Maintaining Distinct Licences, 3.2 Mandatory Certification requirements, 3.3 Certifications to Demonstrate Due Diligence, and 3.4 Evaluation of Experiential Merit must be detailed and clear.

Nááts’įhch’oh and/or Nahanni National Park Reserves will endeavour to complete the adequacy review within 30 days of the closing of a notification. This time frame mirrors the right of first refusal period for Nááts’įhch’oh applications. Incomplete applications may be considered inadequate and may be returned to the applicant. Additional time may be granted for inadequate applications where simple points of clarification are required. However, applications with significant information gaps may not be considered further. The Superintendent(s) may provide written reasons for decision for any applications that do not meet the requirements outlined above. If it is determined that an application has false or misleading information, that application may not be considered further.

2.4 Right of First Refusal

(Minimum 6 months if exercised)

A Right of First Refusal is described in the Nááts’įhch’oh National Park Reserve Impact Benefit Plan. The Sahtu Land Corporations will have 30 days from the closing of a notification to exercise their right of first refusal in Nááts’įhch’oh. If a right of first refusal is initially triggered, the Sahtu Tulita District Land Corporations will have 6 months from the closing of a notification to submit an application to the Superintendent. Failure to provide an application in this time means the right of first refusal is deemed to have not been exercised. When new applications are placed on hold pursuant to the right of first refusal, applicants may be notified that their application is on hold pending a right of first refusal. When a right of first refusal is not exercised the Nááts’įhch’oh Superintendent may consider a recommendation from the Advisory Committee.

2.5 Meeting of the Advisory Committee

(Approximately 5 business days)

The Advisory Committee may meet as soon as practical following the conclusion of the adequacy review and when appropriate following a right of first refusal for a Type C Licence. The Advisory Committee may follow the guidelines established in this document when evaluating applications. The Nááts’įhch’oh Superintendent will not consider recommendations from the Advisory Committee until a right of first refusal process is completed. The time designated for the meeting of the Advisory Committee should reflect the time required for travel of committee members and to evaluate applications. Five (5) business days should provide a reasonable timeframe for the Advisory Committee to review, score, and rank applications and develop a recommendation to the Superintendent.

2.6 Review of the Recommendation Submitted by the Advisory Committee

(Approximately 30 days)

The Superintendent(s), in consultation with the Nahʔą Dehé Consensus Team and/or the Nááts’įhch’oh Management Committee may consider and evaluate recommendations of the Advisory Committee. The Superintendent should respond to a recommendation of the Advisory Committee within 30 days.

If the Superintendent(s) accept the Advisory Committee’s positive recommendation, then that application may proceed to preliminary screening and permitting. If the Superintendent(s) do not agree with recommendations of the Advisory Committee, he/she/they must consult with the Nahʔą Dehé Consensus Team and the Nááts’įhch’oh Management Committee and clearly provide their reasons for decision and determine next steps to resolve the discrepancy.

It is recommended that a disagreement between the Superintendent(s) and/or the Advisory Committee and/or the Nahʔą Dehé Consensus Team and/or the Nááts’įhch’oh Management Committee be referred to the Field Unit Superintendent for review.

2.7 Preliminary Screening

(Approximately 45 days)

A preliminary screening is required pursuant to the Preliminary Screening Requirement Regulations made under the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act. A preliminary screening must be conducted following approval of a recommendation made by the Advisory Committee. It is conducted by park staff in Nahanni or Nááts’įhch’oh and generally takes 45 days.

2.8 Permitting

(5-10 business days)

Following completion of the preliminary screening, and upon being informed of the outcomes, the new river outfitter(s) must provide proof of insurance along with the annual licence fee and a fee per guide. A licence may be drafted and sent to the prospective licensee. To validate the licence a prospective licensee must review and accept the terms and conditions of the licence by signing and dating the licence and returning it to the Superintendent. The Superintendent may then validate the licence with his or her signature. This can be completed within 5-10 business days.

3.0 Guidelines for Preparing an Application

New applicants are invited to address clearly and in sufficient detail the points that are listed in the application below. Simply repeating a statement contained in the application is considered insufficient for effective evaluation. In order to facilitate the evaluation of an application, applicants are required to address and present topics under the headings and subsections in the application. To avoid duplication, applicants may refer to different sections of their application by identifying the specific paragraph and page number where the subject topic may have already been addressed. The application should provide an appropriate narrative to describe the experiences and qualifications of the company. Park staff at Nááts’įhch’oh and/or Nahanni may provide guidance and/or respond to questions for those considering making an application.

Note to applicants: Prepare your application to enable direct reference to headings and subheadings outlined in the application below.

APPLICATION FOR A LICENCE TO CONDUCT GUIDED RIVER OUTFITTING IN NAHANNI AND/OR NÁÁTS’ĮHCH’OH NATIONAL PARK RESERVE(S)

The business licence application is intended for companies that are market ready. A guided river outfitting licence covers multi-day river based trips in Nááts’įhch’oh and/or Nahanni National Park Reserves. A licence includes the ability to lead hikes accessible from the river(s). River travel is restricted to the rivers indicated on a valid licence.

The following information is collected pursuant to section 4(1) of the National Parks of Canada Business Regulations and the Nááts’įhch’oh National Park Reserve Impact Benefit Plan. The information is required in order to properly assess a business, proposed scope activities and safe and sustainable manner. All information gathered in this application is classified as protected.

Applicants who are a Member business from the Tulita District please contact Nááts’įhch’oh National Park Reserve for more detail about section 19.4 in the Nááts’įhch’oh National Park Reserve Impact and Benefit Plan.

PART 1 – COMPANY DETAILS

    Business Name (Legal Entity):
    Operating / Trade Name:
    Business Number:
    Owner / Contact Name:
    Street Address:
    Mailing Address:
    City:
    Province / Territory:
    Postal Code:
    Telephone:
    Email:
    Website:

PART 2 – SCOPE OF ACTIVITIES

A. This application is made for a licence to conduct guided river outfitting in (check all that apply):

    __ Nááts’įhch’oh National Park Reserve, with a take-out at Gahnįhthah Mįe (Rabbitkettle Lake) in Nahanni National Park Reserve
    __ Nahanni National Park Reserve (For the lower South Nahanni River; only applications received under a notification process will be reviewed. See Guidelines for Licensing Guided River Outfitting in Nahanni and Nááts’įhch’oh National Park Reserves)

PLEASE NOTE: licences in Nahanni National Park Reserve are limited as outlined in the Guidelines for Licensing Guided River Outfitting in Nahanni and Nááts’įhch’oh National Park Reserves. An Indigenous First Right of Refusal process is in place in Nááts’įhch’oh National Park Reserve. An application for a licence does not guarantee the issuance of a licence.

B. This application is made for a licence to conduct guided river outfitting on the (check all that apply):

    __ Little Nahanni River (both parks with a take out at Gahnįhthah Mįe in Nahanni)
    __ Broken Skull River (both parks with a take out at Gahnįhthah Mįe in Nahanni)
    __ Upper South Nahanni River (Nááts’įhch’oh with a take out at Gahnįhthah Mįe in Nahanni)
    __ Flat River (Nahanni)
    __ Lower South Nahanni River (Nahanni; only applications received under a notification process will be reviewed. See Guidelines for Licensing Guided River Outfitting in Nahanni and Nááts’įhch’oh National Park Reserves)

Note: The difficulty of whitewater varies by river, applicants must clearly demonstrate their ability to conduct guided river outfitting services on the rivers checked above.

C. Proposed scope of operations and activities:
Provide detailed information about your proposed operations and considerations of each river identified in Part 2, section B.
Number of trips per year:
Number of visitors/clients per year:
Average length of trip (number of days):
Planned operating season (i.e. June 25 – Sep 1):

D. Provide a detailed listing of the type of outdoor equipment you will be using (e.g. Royalex canoes, lightweight tents, fireboxes etc.). If the equipment differs per river, please provide details.

PART 3 – DETAILED APPLICATION

To properly assess your business and proposed scope of activities, applicants must provide appropriate and detailed information. To assist in the review of applications, it is highly recommended that you follow the section headings outlined below. It is important to note that insufficient detail may result in an application being returned or rejected. Please use Microsoft Office Word, Adobe pdf, or compatible programs, in making an application. Please provide a document detailing how the essential qualifications have been met in the following areas:
A. Maintaining Distinct Licences
B. Operational Experience
C. Indigenous Engagement
D. Capacity, Qualifications and Market Base
E. Client Services/Cultural and Heritage Presentation
F. Environmental Stewardship
G. Supplemental Information (optional)
Information and suggested sub-sections for each of areas is included below.

A. Maintaining Distinct Licences
All licensees must remain at arm’s length from each other. This is important for the proper care and management of the park and to ensure fair, accessible and competitive options for our visitors. Applicants are required to report any affiliations with existing licensees in Nahanni and/or Nááts’įhch’oh. If the applicant is affiliated with an existing licensee, the following information must be included in their application, in the discretion and to the satisfaction of the Superintendent(s):

    (a) Name of existing licensee where affiliation exists;
    (b) Nature of the affiliation; and,
    (c) A detailed description of the potential for future business relationships through the affiliation.

If a licence is awarded to a company who has an affiliation with an existing licensee, Parks Canada will monitor activities of both companies. If it is determined that two licensees are not operating at arm’s length, the Superintendent(s) may take the necessary steps to ensure commercial visitation is managed appropriately, including but not limited to reorganization of licences, quota or allocation.

B. Operational Experience
Provide information that would demonstrate your company’s capability to perform guided river outfitting on remote wilderness rivers. Experience in northern Canada (or equivalent) may be considered a valuable asset. For guiding in the national parks in the South Nahanni watershed, a minimum of 3 consecutive years operating experience with a minimum of 3 trips per year (7 days in duration) in a wilderness environment is considered necessary to demonstrate proven sustainability and safety. Please include descriptions of the following:

    i. The natural environment where your company has provided guided river outfitting, including a detailed description of the river(s) where your company has operated. Include characteristics such as relative volume, discharge patterns, flow dynamics and environmental river-based hazards.
    ii. The experience, training and certifications of the guides who will be conducting business in the park(s). Include names, certifications, and experience logs including role on past trips (e.g., guide, assistant guide, personal trip, etc.)
    iii. The training framework/model of your company that supports long term sustainability.
    iv. Relationships with local retailers, airlines, shuttles, and/or contractors that support your operation directly or indirectly.
    v. Any serious incidents in your company’s operational history. Including but not limited to: human-wildlife conflict, lost or missing persons, serious bodily injury, and interpersonal conflict resulting in injury, fatalities and/or near drowning. Include a description of how your company has responded to serious incidents and considerations for improvement of safety. NOTE: Please be appropriately specific and do not include personal or confidential information.

C. Indigenous Engagement.

    i. Provide a copy of your company’s Indigenous engagement record as it relates to your application. You may also wish to include examples of previous success stories where your company has partnered with an Indigenous community and/or organization. For applicants in Nááts’įhch’oh National Park Reserve, if you are a Tulita District Member business, please indicate which Tulita District Land Corporation you are a member of, and if you have engaged with your and/or other District Land Corporations.
    ii. Nááts’įhch’oh National Park Reserve is in the traditional lands of the Sahtu Dene and Métis people. If applying to operate in this park, please tell us how the Sahtu Dene and Métis of the Tulita District will benefit from your planned operations. Include any hiring practices, training and development plans, or other plans you have.

D. Capacity, Qualifications & Market-Ready Status
Provide detailed information regarding the guided river outfitting services that your company has provided. Information should include:

    i. Wilderness travel risk management framework;
    ii. Emergency Response Plan (template available by request);
    iii. Skill and competency policy/standards for river guides;
    iv. A description of your capacity such as employment trends and strategies for long term sustainability; v. A description of your clientele and target market base (when possible include statistics, marketing strategies and/or partnerships);
    vi. A description of your business model/plan, administrative capacity, statistics, financial risk management principles.
    vii. Confirmation of ability to return phone and email messages within 24 hours during standard business hours. A working website where visitors can obtain key information on operating hours, location and how to get there (i.e. Google Maps links)

E. Client Services/Cultural and Heritage Presentation
Provide information that would demonstrate your company’s capability for delivery of client services, and cultural and heritage presentation and/or interpretation. Please include descriptions of the following:

    i. Operational practices aimed at preserving wilderness experiences for clients;
    ii. Training or operational practices that support natural cultural and heritage presentation and interpretation. Indigenous perspectives may be considered an asset;
    iii. Relevant collaborations, training and/or partnerships for interpretation and/or presentation (e.g. tourism associations, non-profits, government agencies, Indigenous groups etc.).

F. Environmental Stewardship
Provide information that would demonstrate your company’s standards for environmental stewardship. Please include descriptions of the following:

    i. Best management practices that minimize impacts to wildlife, water quality, and vegetation;
    ii. Policies or procedures for effective environmental stewardship messaging.

G. Supplemental Information (optional)
Applicants have the option to include any additional information for consideration in the review of an application. Any additional documents such as awards, recognitions, and/or letters of support can be submitted.

PART 4. DOCUMENT CHECKLIST

Application Parts 1, 2 and 3. Part 3 should be a Word document, Adobe pdf (or compatible) with detailed information pertaining to sections A to E.
_______ Initial here

Copy of your company’s Emergency Response Plan.
_______ Initial here

Copy of Certificate of Incorporation or Business Registration
_______ Initial here

Workers compensation accreditation. Provide proof of good standing from an applicable Workers Compensation Board (e.g., applicants can present a letter of good standing from their Provincial or Territorial Workers’ Safety & Compensation Commission).
_______ Initial here

Copy of documentation / certification relevant to your ability to carry on the business activity(s) applied for (see footnotes in Part 3).
_______ Initial here

Please note: If your application is approved, proof of insurance is required prior to issuance of a licence. The insurance liability coverage should be a minimum of $2 million per incident 3rd party liability insurance with “Her Majesty the Queen, in Right of Canada as represented by Parks Canada Agency” as an additional insured.

PART 5. BEST PRACTICES, TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR OPERATIONS HAVE BEEN REVIEWED BY THE APPLICANT:

I have read and understand the General Terms and Conditions that will apply.
_______ Initial here

I have read and understand the Best Management Practice that will apply.
_______ Initial here

I have read and understand the Superintendent’s Orders that will apply.
_______ Initial here

I have read and understand the Guidelines for Licensing Guided River Outfitting in Nahanni and Nááts’įhch’oh National Park Reserves.
_______ Initial here

The applicant certifies that all the information provided in the supporting material submitted with its application, particularly the information pertaining to qualifications, achievements, experience and work history, are verified by the applicant to be true and accurate. Furthermore, the applicant warrants that every individual responsible for the activities listed in the application is capable of performing the activities described.
_______ Initial here

_______________________________________________
Business Owner/Operator Signature

________________________________________________
Date

IMPORTANT PROVISIONS

Please note: Nahanni and/or Nááts’įhch’oh staff will consult with the Parks Canada Law Enforcement Branch to ensure that the applicant, or its principal officers, have not committed offences on any lands, waters and sites under the jurisdiction of the Parks Canada Agency. Significant law enforcement matters associated with an applicant may result in the rejection of the application.

Pursuant to section 5(1) of the National Parks of Canada Business Regulations. In determining whether to issue a licence and under what terms and conditions, if any, the Superintendent shall, consider the effect of the business on:

    (a) the natural and cultural resources of the park;
    (b) the safety, health, and enjoyment of persons visiting or residing in the park;
    (c) the safety and health of persons availing themselves of the goods or services offered by the business; and (d) park preservation, control and management.

The Superintendent will notify applicants about the results of their application following a detailed review. If your application results in a decision to issue a licence, you will be contacted directly to outline the terms and conditions for issuance of a licence.


1.0 Introduction

2.0 Scope

3.0 Defining Appropriate Levels of Visitor Use

4.0 Licensing Process for New Applications

Appendix A: Model Terms and Conditions for Licences

Appendix B: Licensing Process for New Applications & Guidelines for Preparing an Application