Cette publication hautement spécialisée, Ontario Protected Areas Planning Manual 2014 edition n’est disponible qu’en anglais en vertu du Règlement 671/92 qui en exempte l’application de la Loi sur les services en français. pour obtenir de l’aide en français, veuillez communiquer avec le ministère des Richesses naturelles au Tel: 1-800-667-1940

The purpose of this guideline is to provide direction to Ministry of Natural Resources staff who are required to provide involvement opportunities when producing or amending management direction for provincial parks and conservation reserves. this guideline provides a process for developing an involvement strategy for Aboriginal communities and the public and stakeholders.

The guideline is one of a number of guidelines, templates and supplementary tools which have been prepared to provide technical support for implementing the Ontario Protected Areas Planning Manual.

1.0 Introduction

The Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act, 2006 (PPCRA) states that opportunities for consultation shall be provided for all protected area planning projects. The Ontario Protected Areas Planning Manual (Planning Manual) outlines the broad policies to develop management direction for Ontario’s provincial parks and conservation reserves (collectively referred to as protected areas). The Planning Manual emphasizes that the involvement of Aboriginal communities, and the public and stakeholders is integral to the protected area management planning process. Involvement in protected area management planning includes the exchange of information, discussion of proposals, engagement of citizens, and the potential development of partnerships. This guideline lays out requirements for involvement, intended to meet or exceed the consultation requirements established by the PPCRA.

Tip: There is a variety of legislation and policies to consider when carrying out involvement. The Planning Manual incorporates these into the minimum involvement requirements for protected area management planning.

The next sections cover the following information:

  • Section 2.0: Considerations for involving Aboriginal communities
  • Section 3.0: Considerations for early involvement
  • Section 4.0: Process for developing an involvement strategy
  • Section 5.0: Guidance on managing input received during involvement
  • Section 6.0: Guidance on resolving issues during the management planning process
  • Section 7.0: Recommendations on how to maintain relationships built through involvement during the management planning process

1.1 Definitions

In this guideline:

Aboriginal peoples or Aboriginal communities:
A collective name for the original people of North America and their descendants. The Canadian Consitution (the Constitution Act, 1982) recognizes three groups of Aboriginal peoples – Indian, Metis and Inuit. These are three separate peoples with unique heritages, languages, cultural practices and spiritual beliefs.
Planning complexity:
Refers to whether a planning project is considered non-complex, moderately complex or very complex. The level of complexity depends on the amount and type of resource management, issues and/or proposals, and capital infrastructure. The level of complexity influences the type of management direction (statement versus plan), level of resources required (e.g. staff), amount of information needed and the number of involvement opportunities provided.
Planning process:
Refers to the various processes under protected area management planning that make up the planning cycle. This includes the management planning process, examination process and adjustment processes (administrative update and amendment).
Refers to individuals who have a general interest in the planning project.
Refers to any natural disturbance or anthropogenic (human) activity or facility (including associated activities) that has an impact on a value, including an ecological process, associated with a protected area.
Any individual, group, or organization that has a specific interest in the protected area or that may be affected by any action taken (or not taken) under an approved management direction (e.g. protected area users, leaseholders, tourist operators, fur harvesters).
A specific attribute or feature (Aboriginal, cultural, ecological or recreational), or ecological function within a protected area that may require additional/ special consideration during the management planning process and subsequent management.

1.2 Purpose of involvement

The purpose of involvement is to seek the participation of Aboriginal communities and the public and stakeholders and to obtain comments on issues and values of interest in order to help inform decisions throughout the planning process (Figure 1).

Comments provided through involvement may inform many aspects of planning, including:

  • identification of values and pressures
  • setting priorities
  • development of actions and permitted uses
  • zoning and policy decisions

1.2.1 Objective of involving Aboriginal communities

The objective is to provide opportunities for meaningful involvement of Aboriginal communities using the following strategies:

  • recognizing and respecting Aboriginal and treaty rights
  • providing early and ongoing opportunities for involvement prior to and throughout the planning process
  • providing access to planning documents and opportunities to comment on draft materials, where appropriate
  • facilitating opportunities to incorporate Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge and information about the protected area and identify community interests related to a planning project
  • building trust and cooperation with Aboriginal peoples to develop and maintain effective working relationships with Aboriginal communities

1.2.2 Objective of involving the public and stakeholders

The objective is to provide opportunities for meaningful involvement of the public and stakeholders using the following strategies:

  • providing opportunities for involvement throughout the planning process
  • providing access to planning documents
  • facilitating opportunities to incorporate external view points and knowledge about protected areas by:
    • understanding the interests of the public and stakeholders related to the planning project
    • promoting understanding of protected areas
    • building relationships and support for protected area management planning
    • providing feedback on how the results of involvement have been considered

1.3 When to provide involvement

Opportunities for involvement are provided when developing new management direction and amending existing management direction.

1.3.1 New management direction

The level of planning complexity influences the number of opportunities for involvement during the development of new management direction (Appendix I).

  • Non-complex projects provide one opportunity for involvement.
  • Moderately complex projects provide two opportunities.
  • Very complex projects provide three opportunities for involvement.

1.3.2 Amendment to management direction

A minimum of one opportunity for involvement must be provided for an amendment to management direction. However, additional involvement opportunities may be warranted for moderately complex or very complex amendments (e.g. if there are management options for the public to consider). See Adjusting Protected Area Management Direction Guideline for more information.

1.4 Notes on using this guideline

The following provides a description on how to use this guideline:

  • Section 4.4 is written in a step-by-step approach as it relates to the development of an involvement strategy.
  • General tips are provided throughout the guideline in shaded text boxes.
  • At the end of section 4.0, a process check-in box provides an opportunity to ensure that all steps in developing an involvement strategy have been undertaken.

Figure 1: Protected area management planning cycle illustrating typical opportunities for involvement

  • Pre-planning→ Early involvement
    • Stage 1: Scoping
      • Stage 2: Information analysis
        • Stage 3: Developing management options→ Management planning process: Opportunities for involvement throughout
          • Stage 4: Developing prefered management direction
            • Stage 5: Finalizing management direction
              • Stage 6: Implementation
                • Stage 7: Monitoring and assessment
                  • Stage 8: Examining and adjusting management direction→ Opportunities for involvement during amendments
                    • Return to stage 1

1.5 When to apply this guideline

This guideline applies when contemplating involvement as part of the development of new or amendment of existing management direction, for any of the following management direction documents:

  • management plan
  • management statement
  • grouped plan or statement
  • interim management statement
  • statement of conservation interest
  • resource management plan
  • park master plan
  • secondary plan (excluding the Algonquin Provincial Park Forest Management Plan, which is prepared and reviewed under a separate process)

1.6 Information management

This guideline refers to use of the Protected Areas Planning Information Repository (PAPIR) for recording various components of a planning process. PAPIR is a file storage system used to manage and share information during a planning process. PAPIR is also intended to archive planning information for future reference. Refer to the Protected Areas Planning and Information Repository User Guide for more information.

Wherever possible, planning teams are encouraged to replace paper-based information with updated digital information. For example, hand drawn maps can be replaced with new Geographic Information Systems (GIS) map products. At a minimum, information should be scanned. Digital information should be stored in PAPIR.

1.7 Tools and templates

There are several tools and templates available in PAPIR to support this guideline, including the:

  • Audience and Interest Template
  • Audience and Involvement Approach Template
  • Standard Involvement Strategy Template
  • Enhanced Involvement Strategy Template
  • Record of Input Template
  • Response to Involvement Template

Use of these templates is required where noted in this guideline.

2.0 Aboriginal community involvement

This section provides considerations for involvement of Aboriginal communities in management planning and is in addition to the guidance provided for early involvement (section 3.0) and developing an involvement strategy (section 4.0). The following staff within the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) can provide advice on how to involve Aboriginal communities, including current practices and requirements:

  • Policy Division: staff in Parks and Protected Areas Policy Section (PPAPS) and Aboriginal Policy Branch
  • Regional Operations Division: regional policy liaison officer and district resource liaison specialist

Involvement in protected area management planning provides an opportunity for a community to offer their perspective on the potential for any planning decisions to alter, either positively or adversely, the exercise of Aboriginal or treaty rights. Involvement also provides communities an opportunity to communicate their interests in, and thoughts on, the management of the protected area. Involvement can also help to increase a community’s understanding of protected area legislation, regulations, policies and the protected area management planning process.

Where local involvement approaches have already been established and are appropriate for protected area management planning, they may be used in conjunction with or as an alternative to the ideas and guidance provided here. For example:

  • community involvement approaches developed for a community based land use planning process under the Far North Act, 2010 may also be applicable for protected area management planning, and
  • for protected areas in the Algonquins of Ontario settlement area, a Final Agreement may establish levels of Algonquin involvement.

Minimum requirements for involving Aboriginal communities include:

  • Providing early and ongoing opportunities for involvement.
  • Providing opportunities to Aboriginal communities that are equal to or greater than those provided for the public and stakeholders. A customized approach, based on the request of a community, is useful to best meet the unique needs of each Aboriginal community.
  • Providing communities a copy of any published documents.
  • Proceeding with involvement activities that have been previously agreed upon.
Tip: While involvement opportunities normally focus on the community level, the participation of individuals is welcomed and encouraged. The involvement of provincial territorial organizations and tribal councils may also be encouraged where appropriate.

2.1 Duty to consult

In addition to opportunities for Aboriginal community involvement within the planning process, there may also be a requirement for consultation with respect to the Crown’s legal duty, under the Constitution Act, 1982. The duty to consult is engaged when there is a proposed government action or decision and the government has real or constructive knowledge that the action or decision may have an adverse impact on established or asserted Aboriginal or treaty rights. Since rights are communal, where the duty to consult is engaged, consultation is undertaken at the community level.

Where there is potential for protected area management planning to affect the exercise of recognized or asserted Aboriginal or treaty rights, the Crown’s duty to consult must be met. Contact the appropriate MNR resource liaison specialist and/or the regional policy liaison officer to advise on the assessment of potential Aboriginal and treaty rights including: knowledge of land claims, values, assertions, traditional activities, etc.

If it is determined that there is potential for Aboriginal or treaty rights to be affected by a planning decision, MNR has a legal duty to consult and, if appropriate, make accommodations such as changing the management direction to avoid or minimize adverse impacts on Aboriginal or treaty rights.

There are important reasons to engage Aboriginal communities and organizations on issues that affect them, outside of any legal consultation obligations the Crown may have. The Crown recognizes the improvements in decision making that are made by engaging interested persons, agencies or Aboriginal communities in planning.

Keeping complete, accurate, accessible consultation records is an essential component of the Crown’s duty to consult. MNR should approach consultation with the awareness that:

  • They may be required to access their own or other Crown records during the consultation process;
  • They may be required to demonstrate the completeness and integrity of the process at a later date;
  • Records may be relied upon to inform the duty to consult for other Crown decisions – both internal and external to MNR.

2.2 Involving Aboriginal communities

Aboriginal communities have a wealth of knowledge and information that can help to inform planning. Discussions with Aboriginal communities provide opportunities to exchange information between the community and the planning team.

For MNR, involvement provides an opportunity to gain an understanding of and information on:

  • the Aboriginal community (including community profile, history, relationship to the protected area, established or asserted treaty rights)
  • Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge (e.g. existing uses within the protected area such as hunting, gathering, trapping, fishing, travel routes, location of sacred or cultural sites or features, oral history and traditions regarding the protected area, observations on plants, animals and hydrology of the protected area)
  • the community’s land use vision in and around the protected area and potential proposals for use
  • the community’s interests (e.g. resource use in the protected area)
  • how the community wishes to become involved during the planning process
  • the community’s capacity to participate

The following sub-sections outline considerations when involving Aboriginal communities.

Tip: Aboriginal involvement will likely begin prior to initiating planning or during scoping and will set the foundation for involving Aboriginal communities throughout the planning process.

2.2.1 Existing information

Information from previous Aboriginal community involvement may be available. This information could be relevant to the current planning project and help to identify community interests. Consider the following potential sources of existing information:

  • consultation protocols between MNR and local communities (local agreements)
  • Aboriginal community consultation protocolsfootnote 1 that are presented to MNR
  • records of Aboriginal community involvement related to the planning or management of the protected area
  • reports about the communities involved
  • information from other MNR program areas (e.g. staff of Aboriginal Policy Branch or regional policy liaison officers)
  • websites or information from other government ministries (e.g. Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs)

Tip: To learn about the culture and history of the interested/affected communities or about the Crown’s relationship with Aboriginal peoples, consider:

  • engaging with the local Aboriginal communities directly;
  • taking courses in Aboriginal relations or consultation (check on those offered within MNR or Ontario Public Service);
  • reading about Aboriginal communities in the area; and/or
  • scanning relevant websites (e.g. Chiefs of Ontario, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, Provincial Territorial Organizations, Tribal Councils, Métis Nation of Ontario and individual communities).

2.2.2 Identifying Aboriginal communities with an interest

Planning teams can identify Aboriginal communities with an interest primarily based on traditional lands or uses located inside or adjacent to the protected area. This can include Aboriginal communities within Ontario, and Aboriginal communities located outside the province that have identified traditional territory in Ontario.

The following contacts may be able to provide assistance in the identification of Aboriginal communities, including those with established or asserted rights:

  • district resource liaison specialist and/or policy liaison officer in Regional Operations Division (the extent to which these individuals can participate in assisting the project will need to be discussed with the appropriate managers)
  • park superintendent or conservation reserve manager
  • staff in the Aboriginal Policy Branch
  • staff associated with MNR program areas currently interacting with the same communities (e.g. renewable energy, forestry, species at risk)
  • staff of other agencies or organizations working on projects within the communities

In addition to identifying communities, these staff can assist with Aboriginal involvement by providing:

  • basic information about each community
  • names of individuals within the communities with whom to make initial contact
  • information about whether collaboration is possible with related projects that share similar landscapes or scopes

Tip: Protected area management planning is one of many MNR activities that might have implications for Aboriginal communities. Other MNR activities include land use planning, forest management planning, wildlife management and management of species at risk. Protected area management planning can build on relationships established through these other activities and processes.

2.2.3 Initiating contact and ongoing discussions

Initiating contact with an Aboriginal community is a minimum requirement. Ask the district resource liaison specialist and/or policy liaison officer to identify the appropriate initial contact in the community, as well advise of the most appropriate means to reach them (e.g. phone, email, in-person visits, regular mail, community meetings). Since these staff generally have an existing relationship with the community, it is important to seek their advice in making the initial contact.

Although a community may not respond to the initial offer to become involved, it is important to continue to extend the offer. At a minimum, this should occur at each stage of the planning process and more frequently if there are any delays in the planning process. Ensure that the purpose of the upcoming stage is clearly communicated and that the community understands that it is welcome to become involved. Allow a community to become involved in a manner they are accustomed to or they wish to. Document all contact attempts and communications in the Record of Involvement Template.

Tip: Aboriginal involvement needs are often specific to a community and may change over time. Therefore, it is important to contact the appropriate staff for the most up to date approaches.

Consider the following during discussions about the planning project with Aboriginal communities:

  • sharing Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge (section 2.2.4) and community gathered information (see section 5.1.1 for confidentiality of information)
  • providing the opportunity to discuss planning processes, legislative and policy framework, planning team and schedule
  • promoting education or learning related to the protected area
  • providing the opportunity for Aboriginal community involvement in the development of portions of planning documents (e.g. section on Aboriginal history and uses, objectives, policies)
  • opportunities to review planning documents prior to formal involvement
  • opportunities promoting awareness of other resource management projects underway within MNR or other organizations and co-ordination with these projects during this planning process

2.2.4 Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge

Consideration of Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge in protected area mangement planning is a two-way exchange of information that is not intended to extract information but instead is an opportunity for knowledge sharing through various forums including workshops, training, meetings and celebrations. This knowledge sharing approach provides an opportunity to:

  • improve and expand knowledge bases (inform one another)
  • develop common understandings
  • develop innovative approaches
  • contribute to protected area management planning and decision making

The capacity and/or degree of interest of an Aboriginal community can influence the availability of information related to Aboriginal Traditional Knoweldge. Planning teams should ensure that available Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge is considered during the planning process and reflected in the mangement direction document. Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge can complement information from other sources. The Aboriginal Policy Branch provides additional information on the consideration of Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge.

3.0 Early involvement

Generally, involvement occurs throughout the planning process, with the occurrence of involvement opportunities at specific stages and steps depending on the level of planning complexity. Early involvement can occur prior to initiating the planning project and undertaking formal involvement (pre-planning; Figure 1) and/or any time during the scoping stage.

3.1 Determine if early involvement is warranted

There are a number of reasons why early involvement may be warranted, including:

  • to help identify Aboriginal community and public and/or stakeholder audiences that should be provided involvement opportunities
  • to fulfill previous agreements of commitments with Aboriginal communities where they have been established
  • to fulfill previous legal agreements (e.g. land holding agreements with partners that prescribe opportunities for early involvement)
  • to ensure specific interests are considered early in the process (e.g. concerns raised by a trail association about trail management and the impact of trail use)
  • to ensure approaches for further involvement are appropriate and reach the intended groups
  • to build relationships with Aboriginal communities and the public and stakeholders with respect to planning and management of the protected area
  • to gather information relevant to the protected areas
  • to obtain specific advice or seek special expertise (e.g. municipalities may be contacted early because of their local knowledge of adjacent land)
  • to identify information and/or knowledge gaps
  • to address specific issues and resolve concerns
  • to identify potentially contentious issues or concerns
  • ato assist in completing certain aspects of scoping once planning has begun

As part of early involvement, initiating contact with an Aboriginal community is required; however, the community and their interests will determine the extent or nature of early involvement. Often early involvement is warranted for an Aboriginal community and it is required where a community has expressed an interest in becoming involved.

Early involvement may be appropriate for public and stakeholder audiences, depending on the planning project. It is very likely that early involvement will be warranted for very complex planning projects.

3.2 Identify potential audiences

In addition to Aboriginal communities, a wide range of public and stakeholder audiences may be interested in protected area management planning. These potential audiences include local residents, protected area users, commercial users and other stakeholders. While all of these audiences are possible candidates for involvement during planning, some or all of these may also be candidates for early involvement.

3.2.1 Identify mandatory and discretionary audiences

During protected area management planning, it is mandatory to contact certain audiences and not others (considered discretionary audiences). Either of these audiences may also be contacted during early involvement. PPAPS maintains a provincial contact database, available in PAPIR, which includes contact information for both mandatory and discretionary provincial audiences. Park/ zone or regional/district staff are responsible for maintaining contact information for local mandatory and discretionary audiences. It is recommended that the provincial contact database and local contacts be combined to create a planning project databasefootnote 2. This database can function to create contact lists and record and manage comments received.

Table 1 identifies the minimum mandatory audiences that must be contacted during the planning process and the audiences that are considered discretionary. The provincial contact database provides the specific contact information for the mandatory audiences. Table 1 also identifies whether the contact information for each audience is maintained provincially or locally. Review Table 1 to determine if any of these audiences should be part of early involvement.

In addition to Table 1, the following audiences are mandatory in the specific circumstances noted:footnote 3

  • Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs – mandatory if a land claim is being negotiated
  • Ministry of Agriculture and Food and Ministry of Rural Affairs– mandatory only if adjacent to or has the potential to affect agricultural land
  • Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Employment – mandatory only when posting on the Regulatory Registry
  • Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing – mandatory for planning projects adjacent to or within an established municipality or an organized township
  • Ministry of Northern Development and Mines – mandatory only if there are known or suspected mining interests
  • Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport – mandatory only if adjacent to, includes or has the potential to affect cultural heritage values (i.e. archaeological, historical or Aboriginal)
  • Ministry of Transportation – mandatory only if adjacent to or has potential to affect a provincial road or provincial right-of-way
  • Conservation Ontario and conservation authorities – mandatory only if adjacent to or has the potential to affect conservation authority properties
  • Niagara Escarpment Commission – mandatory only to zones and districts where the Niagara Escarpment planning area (defined by the Niagara Escarpment Planning and Development Act, 1990) intersects with a protected area planning area
  • Local utility companies – mandatory only if adjacent to or has the potential to affect water power generation or power transmission
Table 1: List of mandatory and discretionay audiences for protected area management planning
Contact CategoryAudienceExamplesProvincial audiencesfootnote 4Local audiencesfootnote 5
MandatoryEnvironmental Commissioner of OntarioN/AYesNo
MandatoryProvincial government ministries and agenciesMinistry of the Environment main office (provincial) and regional office (local)YesYes
MandatoryMunicipal governmentTownships, countiesNoYes
MandatoryAboriginal organizations

Provincial territorial and treaty organizations (provincial)

Tribal Councils

Aboriginal community near the protected area (local)

MandatoryStakeholder organizations

Federation of Ontario Naturalists (provincial)

Community naturalists groups (local)

MandatoryPublic and landownersAdjacent landownerNoYes
DiscretionaryFederal government agenciesParks Canada (provincial) Nearby national park (local)YesYes
DiscretionaryNational organizationsCanadian Wildlife Federation (provincial) Local office of a national organization if it existsYesYes

3.2.2 Identify local audiences

When identifying local stakeholder audiences to include, consider which users will likely have an interest in management of the protected area. Some potential local stakeholders may include:

  • local MP(s) and MPP(s)
  • conservation authorities
  • municipalities (townships, district/regional municipalities, counties)
  • board(s) of education (and outdoor recreation centres where appropriate)
  • local naturalists group
  • local ratepayers groups and cottagers associations
  • local game and fish clubs
  • commercial operations potentially affected by the protected area (e.g. sustainable forest licence holders, companies with forest management unit licence holders, mining companies)
  • local user organizations/associations (e.g. trapping associations)
  • local/regional tourism associations
  • local outdoor recreation groups (e.g. rock climbing clubs/associations for provincial parks along the Niagara Escarpment)

The following distancesfootnote 6 are used, as general guidance, to determine who would be considered an adjacent landowner:

  • urban areas – those landowners within 400 metres
  • rural areas – those landowners within 2 kilometres
  • protected areas surrounded largely by Crown land – those landowners within 10 kilometres

It may be useful to review available user surveys, local census information and records of previous protected area or land use planning projects to identify potentially interested audiences.

The Audiences and Interests Template is used to help identify which audiences may have an interest in the planning project, depending on the range of planning topics included in the planning project.

Tip: When undertaking early involvement, discuss how sensitive or confidential information will be shared and handled throughout the planning process.

3.3 Approaches to early involvement

Early involvement can range from informal or minimal to formal or comprehensive depending on the planning project and needs of the Aboriginal community or audience. Approaches to early involvement may include:

  • phone conversations
  • written correspondence (direct mail-out, email)
  • group meetings
  • in-person meetings
  • membership on the planning team, if appropriate

Appendix II provides information on the range of involvement approaches.

4.0 Developing an involvement strategy

This section provides the step-by-step process for developing an involvement strategy. The involvement opportunities outlined in the strategy will be part of the formal approach to involvement and will take place outside of any early involvement described in section 3.0.

Tip: Involvement must comply with the requirements of the French Language Services Act.

4.1 Purpose of an involvement strategy

The purpose of an involvement strategy is to document the approach to involving audiences in a planning project based on their anticipated interests, concerns and reactions. The strategy documents how involvement opportunities will be delivered based on:

  • legislative requirements and planning complexity (number of involvement opportunities)
  • what is appropriate for the various audiences

4.2 When to develop an involvement strategy

An involvement strategy is typically developed for planning processes where involvement is a requirement (i.e. new management direction and amendments to existing management direction). The involvement strategy is developed during the scoping stage of the process.

Tip: Agreed upon elements of existing Aboriginal community consultation protocols should be considered during the development of an involvement strategy.

4.3 Standard or enhanced involvement strategy

For a non-complex planning project with one opportunity for involvement, a standard involvement strategy is sufficient in most cases. For a moderately or very complex planning project, with multiple opportunities for involvement, an enhanced involvement strategy may be warranted. Use either the Standard Involvement Strategy Template or the Enhanced Involvement Strategy Template to document the strategy.

4.4 Process for developing an involvement strategy

The following outlines the process for developing an involvement strategy:

  • confirm audiences (including mandatory and discretionary contacts)
  • brainstorm anticipated interests, concerns, and reactions
  • determine involvement approaches
  • finalize and document involvement strategy

Tip: Where appropriate, consider engaging Aboriginal communities in the development of the involvement strategy.

4.4.1 Confirm audiences

Based on the identification of potential audiences (section 3.2) and the outcome of any early involvement efforts, confirm the audiences to be involved during the planning process and record in the Audience and Interest Template. This template is used to record audiences and indicate which audiences are associated with which planning topics. Once completed, this template is stored in PAPIR. If potential audiences were not identified and early involvement was not undertaken, see section 3.2 for direction on how to identify and confirm audiences.

4.4.2 Anticipate audience interests, concerns and reactions

Determining interests and issues is an iterative process. In some cases, additional interests may be discovered beyond those initially identified. In other cases, audiences might be interested in, or affected by, issues in unique ways that were not anticipated in the early stages of planning. Therefore, it may be necessary to revisit known interests and concerns periodically and to incorporate new information as it becomes available.

Interests and concerns

Based on the list of confirmed audiences, brainstorm known and potential interests and concerns. This information can come from a variety of sources: information analysis throughout the planning process; involvement activities; environmental scans; evolving and emerging trends in protected area use; as well as issues that arise in other protected areas and/or on the adjacent landscape. Consider the following list of possible planning topics:

  • values and pressures associated with:
    • protection
    • recreation
    • natural or cultural heritage appreciation
    • commercial use
    • scientific research
    • traditional (non-Aboriginal) uses (e.g. fishing, hunting, snowmobiling)
    • known Aboriginal interests
  • potential development and infrastructure proposals (e.g. campgrounds, visitor centres, trails)
  • potential resource management (e.g. management of wildlife populations)
  • adjacent land uses
  • social, economic, cultural and environmental concerns
  • potential conflicts between audiences (e.g. motorized recreation interests versus hikers)

List the potential interests and concerns as topics in the Audience and Interest Template, and identify the audience to which the topic applies.

Audience reactions

Anticipating reactions will help to gain an understanding of the audiences and determine effective and appropriate involvement approaches specific to each audience. Potential sources to help anticipate audience reactions can include:

  • early involvement
  • previous correspondence
  • media (e.g. newspaper, radio, television)
  • similar issues in other planning projects or jurisdictions
  • planning team experience and knowledge
  • published documents/websites
  • letters to the Minister
  • internal documentation (e.g. previous briefing notes, files)

Tip: There may be opportunities to align involvement requirements of multiple planning projects through different mechanisms at the same time.

4.4.3 Determine appropriate involvement approaches

The planning team should discuss approaches that will best reach audiences within the anticipated planning timelines. Minimum requirements for involvement are outlined in Appendix I. Different approaches to involvement are outlined in Table 2 and described in Appendix II. Involvement approaches and any products or documents produced will need to meet accessibility standards and requirements.

Speak with the appropriate MNR resource liaison specialist, regional policy liaison officer and/or individual Aboriginal communities and other audiences to determine which outreach strategies have worked well for them in the past. Consider the information related to involving Aboriginal communities provided in section 2.0. When appropriate, consider including approaches to involve groups not often engaged in protected area management planning (e.g. use multi-cultural media to involve groups who may not respond to English or French language media). Discretionary approaches can help reach intended audiences and make involvement successful.

Use the Audience and Involvement Approach Template to list the audiences and indicate the involvement approaches used. Complete this template as a precursor to developing the involvement strategy.

Tip: If requested, consider providing flexible timelines for Aboriginal communities.

4.4.4 Finalize and document the involvement strategy

Once audiences, concerns and anticipated reactions have been identified and approaches determined, finalize the involvement strategy using the appropriate template. Approaches beyond the minimum requirements can be considered, subject to available resources.

For new management direction (including replacements), document the finalized involvement strategy as an appendix in the terms of reference. If a terms of reference or a project plan was developed for an amendment (i.e. moderately complex or complex amendment) include the involvement strategy as an appendix in that document otherwise store the strategy in PAPIR.

It might be necessary to update the involvement strategy later in the planning process to reflect changes or new information. For example, the strategy should be updated to address changes in involvement approaches or to document new stakeholders identified later in the planning process. Keeping the strategy up to date will help in developing an accurate summary of involvement as part of the developed preferred management direction stage.

Table 2: Minimum involvement requirements and discretionary approaches.
Contact categoryInvolvement approachDescription
Minimum RequiredMail-out/email noticesDescribe the project and provide information on how to become involved
Minimum RequiredWebsite postingsUpload published planning documents or other information on an MNR website
Minimum RequiredEnvironmental Registry noticePost a policy proposal notice for a minimum of 45 days
Minimum RequiredOn-site noticesfootnote 7 (where appropriate)Post a notice at the entrance of the protected area to inform those who use the area on a regular basis
DiscretionaryNewspaper adsPlace paid ads in appropriate local newspapers to inform a wide variety of people in an accessible manner
DiscretionaryMedia releaseMay be picked up by a local media (may be useful when resources are limited)
DiscretionaryLocal meetingAttend a meeting of a local interest group as appropriate
DiscretionaryFocus groupsHold site visits with interested individuals or stakeholder representatives
DiscretionarySite visitsHold site visits with interested parties
DiscretionaryPublic meetingsUse public meetings to present information and provide an opportunity for interested parties to speak with planning staff
DiscretionaryOtherOther available information regarding involvement approaches

Note: This table is based on involvement requirements outlined in the Planning Manual.

4.5 Communication requirements

The need for a communications plan can depend on the complexity or the contentiousness of the planning project and will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

A communications plan is not required for most planning projects. Requirements for communication materials will be determined by the appropriate MNR communications staff (Ontario Parks Marketing and Communications Section for provincial parks and Communication Services Branch for conservation reserves).

Process check in:

At this point the following should have been completed:

  • determined the type of involvement strategy to develop (standard or enhanced),
  • confirmed the audiences to be involved,
  • anticipated audience interests, concerns and reactions,
  • determined the appropriate involvement approaches according to the audience,
  • finalized the involvement strategy,
  • appended the involvement strategy to the terms of reference or project plan.

5.0 Managing input

This section provides guidance on documenting input received during the planning process, how input was considered, and how it influenced decisions.

Input from involvement may be used to inform a planning decision anytime during the management planning process. Planning teams should consider information and comments from involvement in the development of the final management direction.

Tip: When documenting input received from Aboriginal communities, consider documentation requirements associated with Duty to Consult (section 2.1).

5.1 Documenting input

It is essential to keep accurate and detailed records of the comments received. This helps to ensure that the comments are considered and that staff can access this information in the future.

The Record of Input Template is used to record: who commented; their contact information; whether they represent an organization; a summary of the comment; and whether a response was requested. Comments are interpreted and assessed at a later step (section 5.2). The planning project database (if created using the provincial contact database) can be used to record input and comments since it includes a section similar to the Record of Input Template.

A comment topic should be established for each comment. Establishing a comment topic will help with assessing comments later on (section 5.2) by allowing similar or related comments to be easily sorted and then reviewed collectively.

In addition to recording input using the template or the planning project database, electronic or scanned copies of original mail, email, media comments (e.g. newspaper contacts, social media), and records or summaries of telephone and in-person conversations, public meetings and meetings with Aboriginal communities must be stored in PAPIR.

Tip: Where a planning project is on hold, update the Environmental Registry posting to indicate the status of the project and rationale.

5.1.1 Confidentiality of information

During protected area management planning, Aboriginal communities and the public and stakeholders share information with the MNR which can help to improve planning and management of protected areas. In some cases, Aboriginal communities and the public and stakeholders may share information with MNR that they identify as sensitive and express the need to protect its confidentiality. MNR is subject to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and other legal requirements, which may require the MNR to disclose information. In addition, there may be circumstances where MNR may share certain information with other departments in the government or with other Ministries.

Aboriginal communities and the public and stakeholders need to understand this before they share information with MNR. MNR and Aboriginal communities or other audiences are encouraged to discuss the purpose of sharing information, the type of information that may be considered sensitive, the data standards that will be used, how the information will be managed and stored and the legal requirements that may require disclosure.

When producing advertisements or otherwise communicating with the public, MNR should use the standard disclaimer produced by PPAPS in consultation with MNR’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Unit. This disclaimer describes how information collected, will be used. See Sections 38 and 39 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act for further information.

The personal information of individuals (e.g. name, address, telephone number, email address and other data that may identify them) who provide input mustnot be released, although their comments are subject to release. When summarizing input for publication, ensure personal information is not included or made public in any other way. The input and identity of organizations (e.g. a ratepayers associations, an environmental organization) are normally subject to release.

5.2 Assessing comments

After documenting input, assess comments and determine whether revisions should be made to proposed direction in a planning document. There are a number of reasons why it may not be possible to address all comments, including the following:

  • comments may contradict one another (e.g. one organization may call for hunting to be prohibited while another may call for hunting to be expanded).
  • a proposal may be inconsistent with the PPCRA, associated regulations and protected area policies (e.g. stakeholders may advocate establishing a car campground in a nature reserve class park).
  • a proposal might have negative impacts on ecological integrity (e.g. a trail is proposed but this would threaten natural values and alternative routes outside the protected area are available).
  • proposed policies may not be realistic from a business point of view (e.g. there is support for a major lodge in a park, but lodges in the area have a high vacancy rate and there is an oversupply of rooms).

Summarize and assess the information initially recorded in the Record of Input Template or the planning project contact database using the Response to Involvement Template. Use this template to summarize the comments received and indicate, in a general way, how they were considered. If there are a large number of comments, look for efficiencies or similarities in comments. For example, if there are many comments on a few issues, it may be possible to summarize comments (based on the comment topic) and address them collectively, rather than individually (i.e. 47 comments oppose building a car campground and 32 comments support building it). The Response to Involvement Template organizes comments based on comment topic. The planning project database can also be used to sortfootnote 8 comments based on topic.

MNR’s response to involvement may be provided to Aboriginal communities and the public and stakeholders upon request, as it does not include personal information. The response to involvement is also included in the preliminary and final management direction documents (see management direction template). Therefore, it is important to ensure information that could identify an individual or group is not provided in this template. For example, a comment such as “I own the cottage on the point” might identify the person who submitted the comment, and must therefore be omitted.

5.2.1 Form letters

Consider comments received during a planning process for the merit and feasibility of the comment. Form letters typically advocate for one viewpoint on one or more issues or policies. However, the volume of comments advocating a single viewpoint does not mean the comments will be given greater weight in the planning process or the resulting management direction.

5.3 Responding to comments

When an individual or group specifically requests a response to their comment, send a response in a letter or email and describe how the comments have been considered. Alternatively, speak to the individual and document the discussion. Describe additional opportunities for involvement (e.g. open houses, upcoming web postings). Keep copies of all communication received and sent. Where a planning process has been delayed consider notifying those individuals or groups requesting a response to keep them informed and up to date on the progress of the planning project.

5.3.1 Comments in response to notices on the Environmental Registry

Decision notices posted on the Environmental Registry (ER) must include a summary of all comments received on the proposal, including those not submitted through the ER. Associated comments submitted to the ER electronically are generally made available online for viewing (with some exceptions). The decision notices also includes a summary of how input received was considered in developing the final management direction.

6.0 Issue resolution

During protected area management planning, there is potential for issues or concerns to arise as a result of differing interests and views among various audiences. It is important to provide opportunities to identify, discuss and attempt to resolve issues. The issue resolution principles and approaches outlined in this section apply to proposals (e.g. managing wildlife populations) or decisions (e.g. to develop a management statement instead of a plan) that require resolution and are brought forward during the management planning process, prior to the approval of the management direction document.

The principles and approaches are not intended to address approved management direction or approved amendments or concerns related to the management planning process established in the Planning Manual.

Issue resolution can be considered informal (discussions between a concerned person and the planning team) or formal (discussions between a concerned person and some level of MNR management). The principles and approaches described within section 6.0 may apply to either informal or formal issue resolution.

6.1 Issue resolution principles

Consider the following issue resolution principles:

  • Anticipate and mitigate potential issues wherever possible, prior to an issue being brought forward or becoming contentious.
  • Attempt to resolve issues or concerns in a timely manner.
  • Provide the concerned person or group with factors that will be considered in resolving issues. Resolution must be :
    • consistent with policy, legislation and regulations,
    • compatible with protected area purpose, vision, objectives and values and/or uses, and
    • feasible and reasonable given resources and timelines.
  • Provide the concerned person with a clear outline of the process, expectations and roles (MNR staff, managers, etc.) related to issue resolution.
  • Document discussions with the concerned person and any outcome of, or decision resulting from, issue resolution.

If issues or concerns are brought forward early on in the planning process, informal discussions may be able to resolve those issues without having to initiate a formal issue resolution process. However, issues will most frequently be about the content of the preliminary management direction document or a proposed amendment. Thus, it may be appropriate to defer issue resolution until that stage.

The need to resolve issues may arise after the opportunity for involvement on the preliminary management direction or proposed amendment ends. In this case it may be appropriate to undertake further scoped involvement to deal with specific issues. Involvement is typically scoped to a particular issue or concern and to those known to have an interest in, or may potentially be affected by, an aspect of the preliminary management document or proposed amendment.

Note: MNR may defer a request for issue resolution if the issue will be addressed at a later stage of the planning process. MNR may deny a request for issue resolution if:
  • the issue is frivolous or vexatious;
  • the issue was resolved and MNR will accommodate it within the planning process;
  • the issue is outside the scope of the planning process;
  • legislation or other provincial policy already addresses the issue; or
  • the request for issue resolution does not include the required information.

MNR should notify the concerned person(s) if the issue is being deferred or denied and provide a rationale for the decision to deny or defer.

6.2 Approaches to formal issues resolution

If informal discussions with the planning team do not resolve an issue to the satisfaction of the concerned person, the concerned person has the opportunity to request formal issue resolution. A process for approaching formal issue resolution is provided in Appendix III and described below.

Generally formal issue resolution involves two stages:

  1. Managerfootnote 9 Stage
  2. Directorfootnote 10 Stage

Manager stage:

Formal issue resolution generally begins with the concerned person making a written submission to the MNR manager. It is recommended that the written submission include the following information:

  • contact information
  • description of the issue
  • whether or not informal discussions have taken place with the planning team
  • possible solutions to resolve the issue

Once a written submission has been made, the MNR manager should then make efforts to resolve the issue with the concerned person. Prior to initiating discussions with the concerned person, the MNR manager should review any previous attempts at informal issue resolution that took place with the planning team.

Consider the following approaches to formal issue resolution:

  • direct meeting with the concerned person
  • field visits accompanied by the concerned person
  • facilitated discussions with the concerned person

The MNR manager should then consider the results of any discussions with the concerned person(s) and provide a written decisionfootnote 11 on the issue.

Director stage:

If the concerned person is not satisfied with the MNR manager’s decision, they can request a review of the decision by the MNR director. The MNR director should review all previous attempts for issue resolution between the planning team and the concerned person and the outcome of the Manager Stage. The MNR director should then attempt to resolve the issue with the concerned person. Approaches similar to those identified in the Manager Stage can be employed.

The MNR director should consider the results of any discussions with the concerned person and provide a written decision on the issue.

  • contact information
  • description of the issue

The recommended issue resolution process outlined in Appendix III and summarized above can be adapted and/ or enhanced at the discretion of the zone or district. It may be appropriate to adapt or enhance the process when an issue is potentially complex or has broader profile or impact. Some considerations for process enhancement include:

  • seeking input from another agency that may have a mandated interest in a specific topic (e.g. Niagara Escarpment Commission);
  • seeking input from a standing board or committee (e.g. Ontario Parks Board of Directors);
  • holding focused meetings with particular audiences;
  • acquiring services from a third party planning consultant.
Tip: It is important to maintain relationships that have been built with Aboriginal communities, in order to encourage dialogue between MNR and the community.

7.0 Maintaining relationships

Involvement during planning has the potential to support the long-term management of protected areas, both by enhancing the understanding of protected area management objectives and by building relationships. Maintaining these relationships once management direction has been approved and is being implemented is important. Where appropriate, consider maintaining communications with audiences in order to:

  • maintain or enhance understanding of protected area objectives and operations;
  • build support for stewardship, education and fundraising efforts to support activities consistent with the management direction; and/or
  • continue to gather updated information on theprotected area.

Suggested approaches to maintain relationships with Aboriginal communities after the planning process is complete include:

  • develop partnerships with Aboriginal community members/organizations to carry out long-term monitoring stewardship programs/projects;
  • maintain contact with existing and new Aboriginal community leaders and resource management staff;
  • attend local, district and/or regional Aboriginal resource management forums;
  • introduce new MNR staff to Aboriginal community leaders and community resource management staff;
  • continue to respond to and mitigate concerns that are raised;
  • provide information about upcoming or ongoing implementation projects in which communities have expressed interest or about which they have questions or concerns; and
  • in the case of an amendment, work with interested communities to develop a strategy for involvement which is appropriate in scale, taking into account potential impacts of the amendment on the rights or interests of each Aboriginal community.

Appendix I: Minimum involvement requirements for each planning stage in relation to planning complexity

Non-complex planning projects
ScopingInformation analysisDeveloping management optionsDeveloping preferred management directionFinalizing management direction
  • initiate contact with Aboriginal commnities
  • none
  • none – this is not a separate planning stage for non-complex planning processes
Environmental RegistryMail-out
  • opportunity to review background information file or document and preliminary management statement
Website posting:
  • background information file or document
  • preliminary management statement
  • planning timelines
  • instructions on how to participate
Environmental Registry
  • policy decision notice
  • notice that approved management statement is available
Website posting:
  • approved management statement
Moderately complex planning projects
ScopingInformation analysisDeveloping management optionsDeveloping preferred management directionFinalizing management direction
  • initiate contact with Aboriginal communities
Environmental Registry
  • policy proposal notice
  • opportunity to review background information file or document
Website posting:
  • background information file or document
  • planning timelines
  • instructions on how to participate
  • none – this is not a separate planning stage for moderately complex planning processes– management options may be presented during the first opportunity for involvement along with the background information file or document
Environmental Registry
  • post policy proposal notice
  • opportunity to review preliminary management plan
Website posting:
  • preliminary management plan
  • update planning timelines
  • instructions on how to participate
Environmental Registry
  • policy decision notice
  • notice that approved management plan is available
Website posting:
  • approved management plan
Very complex planning projects
ScopingInformation analysisDeveloping management optionsDeveloping preferred management directionFinalizing management direction
  • initiate contact with Aboriginal communities
Environmental Registry
  • policy proposal notice
Mail Out
  • opportunity to review background information document
Website posting:
  • background information document
  • planning timelines
  • instructions on how to participate
Environmental Registry
  • policy proposal notice
Mail Out
  • opportunity to review management options document
Website posting:
  • management options document
  • update planning timelines
Open House
  • prior paid media notice
Environmental Registry
  • policy proposal notice
Mail Out
  • opportunity to review preliminary management plan
Website posting:
  • preliminary management plan
  • update planning timelines
  • instructions on how to participate
Open House
  • prior paid media notice
Environmental Registry
  • policy decision notice
Mail Out
  • notice that approved management plan is available
Website posting:
  • approved management plan
Possible enhancements
ScopingInformation analysisDeveloping management optionsDeveloping preferred management directionFinalizing management direction
  • early involvement may be initiated
  • in cases where planning involves a partner (such as Nature Conservancy of Canada) develop planning timelines and consultation framework jointly
  • news release
  • post on-site notices where appropriatefootnote 13
  • news release
  • paid media notice
  • for moderately complex projects an open house may be considered if management options are included in the background information file or document
  • open house (with prior paid media notice) may be considered for very complex projects
  • post on-site notices where appropriatefootnote 14
  • news release
  • in cases where planning involves a partner (such as Nature Conservancy of Canada) review proposals jointly prior to consultation, as appropriate
  • meetings or site visits with key stakeholders or individuals
  • post on-site notices where appropriate footnote 15
  • news release
  • paid media notice
  • for moderately complex projects consider open house (with paid media notice) if level of interest at background information stage indicates a need for meetings or site visits with key stakeholders or individuals
  • news release
  • paid media notice
  • determine approach for on-going relationship building

Appendix II: Description of involvement approaches

Mail-out/email notices

For each stage of planning, a notice must be mailed out (or emailed) to those mandatory contacts in the provincial contact database as well as any other interested audiences. The notice should provide a description of the project, information on how interested audiences can become involved, including specific reference to the Environmental Registry (ER) notice, and the dates of the involvement period. Where appropriate, include the date and location of any scheduled open house. This notice should be approved by the appropriate manager prior to distribution. Notices may provide information for more than one planning project.

In support of the Ontario government’s green initiatives, consider providing documents electronically where appropriate and feasible (e.g. email notices versus mail-out).

Website postings

All public documents should be made available on an MNR website in coordination with the ER notice. This would include the background information file/document, management options document, preliminary management direction and final management direction, including any related maps. A website may be a useful transfer tool for other information related to the protected area or planning process.

Contact appropriate staff in PPAPS for further information and current advice (i.e. appropriate website content) regarding website postings.

Environmental Registry notice

Under the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR), MNR must provide consultation opportunities on the ER for all policies that could, if implemented, have a significant effect on the environment. Protected area management direction is considered environmentally significant policy under the EBR. Therefore, a policy proposal notice (and subsequent decision notice) must be posted on the ER. The purpose of the proposal is to give notice and invite comment on the development of or an amendment to management direction. Contact the EBR registry operator for direction on ER processes and completing notices using up to date templates. Contact the appropriate staff in PPAPS for approval requirements and additional information on ER notices.

On-site notices

On-site notices are required for operating parks and should be considered for non-operating parks and conservation reserves, where appropriate and feasible. On-site notices help to inform protected area users who might not have otherwise been aware of the opportunities for involvement in the development of management direction. For operating parks, consider including a description of the management planning process and provide information on how to become involved in the process in park tabloids.

Newspaper ads

In some limited circumstances, where access to the internet is limited or unreliable, newspaper ads, including Aboriginal media, may be the most effective way to reach rural or remote populations. Since newspaper ads require financial resources and advance time, be sure to allocate enough resources in the budget and time in the schedule to place the ad(s).

Use the appropriate approved media ad template to develop a newspaper ad. Once complete, fill in a media placement request form and submit it to Communications Services Branch. Contact PPAPS staff for up-to-date media ad templates.

Ad templates that require significant changes from the approved templates, or those ads without existing templates (e.g. ads that integrate planning, EA and/or land use planning requirements), must be submitted following the process outlined on the Communication Services Branch website for Advertising Exempt from the Government Advertising Act.

Media releases

A news or media release is a written description of an announcement or decision that is posted to the Ontario Newsroom and sent to media outlets. The aim is to provide information to interested parties and the public by generating media coverage of the announcement or decision. This approach can assist in reaching the public and stakeholders beyond the provincial contact database mandatory contacts. This is an effective approach to highlight key management proposals of interest to the public and stakeholders. However, all news releases require Ministry and Cabinet Office approval. Therefore, allot sufficient time for approvals prior to requesting a media release. Contact the public affairs coordinator (for provincial parks) or appropriate regional staff (for conservation reserves) to request a media release.

Attend local meetings

Depending on the structure of the meeting, attending a meeting of a local interest group can help facilitate sharing of information and foster a positive working relationship and interest in the planning process. Consider attending a meeting if a local interest group has demonstrated interest in the protected area and/or the group has knowledge or expertise that would contribute to the planning process and development of the management direction. This can also help to gauge interest in issues related to the protected area, and in being involved in the planning process.

In-person discussions

Consider initiating discussions with interested individuals or stakeholder representatives to gain an understanding of their interests and knowledge. This is particularly important for protected areas with active stakeholder groups (e.g. a rock climbing association) that have shown an interest in the protected area or specific issues/ concerns that will be addressed in the development of management direction.

Site visits

Visiting the protected area with interested audiences can allow for questions to be answered and can demonstrate interest in actively involving the public and stakeholders in the planning process. This approach is particularly helpful in discussing particular values (tangible and intangible) or concerns associated with a protected area.

Public meetings (e.g. open houses)

Scheduling one or more open houses for discussion and to share comments is optional for non-complex and moderately complex planning projects, and recommended for very complex projects. Public meetings allow for the development of common understandings between participants, opportunities to present information and opportunities for interested audiences to speak with planning staff. Open houses are usually scheduled approximately half-way through the ER posting period. For very complex planning projects, this occurs during the opportunity to review the management options document. For moderately complex planning projects, this occurs during the opportunity to review the preliminary management direction document. Public meetings are particularly useful for protected areas with a wide range of audiences who have demonstrated interests or concerns (e.g. active cottage associations, local business associations, community members, non-government organizations).

In preparing for an open house, provide large scale maps, sign-up sheets, and display boards or presentations (with information about the protected area). Be prepared to discuss planning priorities and specific management concerns that would benefit from external feedback. It is recommended that the planning team members be present and prepared to participate, as well as any other relevant MNR staff.

Appendix III: Issue resolution process

  • Issue identified by concerned person
    • Informal Issue Resolution
      • Does issue resolution apply?
        • No ⇒inform concerned person that issue resolution does not apply
        • Yes ⇒ informal issue resolution between planning team and concerned person
          • Issue resolved
            • Manager stage
              • Yes ⇒ MNR communicates decision to concerned person
              • No ⇒ formal issue resolution between MNR Manager and concerned person
                • Director stage
                  • Issue resolved
                    • Yes ⇒ MNR communicates decision to concerned person
                    • No ⇒ formal issue resolution between MNR Director and concerned person

* See section 6.0 to determine if issue resolution process applies.