While a one-year licence option will remain available, guides wishing to renew for a longer period of time can take advantage of the five-year option.
“This ‘red tape’ reduction is a win for government and the guide-outfitting industry,” Executive Director of the guide Outfitters Association of B.C., Scott Ellis said. “It will help foster a healthy business environment for our family-run, guide outfitting businesses, and it is another strep towards improving business confidence and investor certainty for our sector.”
The ministry says a five-year licensing plan will also reduce administration cost for governments.
As an incentive, the cost for a five-year licence will be set at $2,000, which is $500 less than purchasing five consecutive one-year licences.
A one-year licence remains at $500.
The ministry also says these news regulations will eliminate the $25 late payment fee for licences purchased after May 31st. These fees are said to be disproportionately affecting those intending to guide later in the licensing year. For example, guides only working in the fall tend to pay this fee more often than those working in the spring.
A $25 fee remains in affect for new applicants.
“This is the latest of several measures undertaken by the province to increase business certainty for guide outfitters in recent years,” the ministry said.
Earlier this year, amendments to the Wildlife Act allow corporations and individuals to hold guiding territory certificates. Also, a new amendment will replace the licensing requirement for assistant guides, giving the employing guide outfitter more flexibility to hire help in unexpected peak periods.
These changes are being implemented for the 2015 – 2016 guiding season.
The ministry says the approximate 245 licensed guide outfitters employ over 2,000 people and roughly 5,000 ‘non-residents’ are hunting in the province each year, bringing an estimated $116,000,000 in economic activity each year.