Anglers and hunters may be able to buy their licenses online in Manitoba as soon as a year from now. On Oct. 15, the MLOA took part in a conference call arranged by a consultant who’s been hired to help guide the province and stakeholder groups through the process of “modernizing” Manitoba’s license sale system.
There remain lots of questions, but the province does appear to finally be moving forward with online licensing. We anticipate that the province will likely issue a Request for Proposals in the next couple of months for the company that would manage the online system. Once a successful bidder is selected, presumably early in the new year, then work will begin in earnest on designing and implementing the new system, would could take anywhere from 12 to 18 months.
During the conference call, we brought up several points on behalf of license vendors, including:
– What will the equipment and internet service requirements be for vendors? Some vendors may not bother migrating to the new system if costs are too high, or if commissions are not raised to a point that is viable and that recognizes the effort and cost associated with being a vendor.
– Online license sales should complement the existing system, not replace it. License sales often take place in remote areas with no reliable internet connection, and therefore an online-only system cannot be relied upon to replace all paper license sales. Vendors should retain a system of temporary paper licenses for remote use, while the paper books of permanent licenses should continue to be an option at least for the first few years after online sales are introduced.
Many more things were discussed, of course, so please contact our office if you’d like more information. This will also be a topic of discussion at our upcoming AGM.