Frequently asked questions - Hurricane Fiona Recovery Fund
Here are the top questions we’re hearing about the Hurricane Fiona Recovery Fund (HFRF). Please contact us if you have questions not on the list.
Q. What is the Government of Canada’s role in Hurricane Fiona relief?
A. The Government of Canada has been there to help those impacted since immediately following the storm with the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements (DFAA), deploying Canadian Armed Forces, making it easier for workers unable to work in the aftermath of the storm to apply for EI benefits, and matching donations made to the Canadian Red Cross. In the Fall Economic Statement, the government announced an extra $1 billion in anticipation of Hurricane Fiona-related requests from provinces under the DFAA.
Building on the government’s ongoing response, the Government of Canada announced, on October 4, 2022, the creation of the Hurricane Fiona Recovery Fund (HFRF) to provide support for costs that may not be covered by existing federal programs.
Q. What is the purpose of the Hurricane Fiona Recovery Fund?
A. Through the HFRF, the federal government is providing up to $300 million over two years, starting in 2022, to support local communities and businesses affected by the storm and to help long-term recovery efforts.
It is a support measure to fill gaps for those who may not qualify under their insurance or other existing federal and provincial support measures, such as their respective province’s disaster financial assistance programs.
Q. What is ACOA’s role in Hurricane Fiona relief?
A. Since immediately following the storm, ACOA officials have been on the ground in communities and meeting with local businesses. ACOA officials learned that damage was different from province to province and affected certain sectors more than others. That means flexibility is required in delivering initiatives that respond to the variety of needs.
In addition, as indicated in the HFRF announcement, ACOA officials have been working closely with federal and provincial government representatives coordinating a response for commmunities and businesses to recover and to build resilience against future storms.
Q. What measures have been announced under the Hurricane Fiona Recovery Fund?
A. To date, the following measures have been announced:
- On October 17, 2022, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) announced that $100 million of the Hurricane Fiona Recovery Fund would go toward the rebuilding of small craft harbours and the recovery of lost fishing gear. Questions regarding this support should be directed to DFO.
- On November 29, ACOA announced that communities, organizations that provide services to them, and industry organizations and associations that support hard-hit sectors could now submit applications to ACOA.
Q. With the $100 million announced by DFO, does that mean ACOA is not delivering the full $300 million under the Hurricane Fiona Recovery Fund?
A. Yes, that is correct. ACOA is one of several federal departments and agencies that will be delivering targeted measures to assist in the local recovery and rebuilding efforts. Other measures will be made public by respective federal departments and agencies soon.
Q. What is the status of the remaining $200 million that has not yet been announced under the Hurricane Fiona Recovery Fund?
A. The remaining allocation has not been completely finalized. Assessing the needs and determining the right way to assist impacted communities and businesses takes time. Further, since the Fund is meant to fill gaps not covered by other existing support measures, including provincial disaster financial assistance, this requires appropriate coordination with those who deliver these measures. ACOA officials are working closely with partners, making every effort to finalize the details of the support to impacted businesses and communities. We hope to share this information soon.
Q. Why is it taking so long to designate the remaining $200 million?
A. Time has been spent working with appropriate federal departments and agencies as well as provincial governments to address specific recovery needs in Atlantic Canada. These needs vary from province to province, sector to sector, business to business, and require targeted resources to help with each situation. The Fund is meant to fill gaps not covered by other existing support measures, including provincial disaster financial assistance. This requires appropriate coordination with those who deliver these measures.
Maximizing the positive impact of the Fund may require some time, but it is critical to help Atlantic Canada recover, restore and rebuild for resiliency against future storms. Officials are making every effort to finalize the details of the support to impacted businesses and communities, and we hope to share this information in the near future.
Q. What are the criteria for the Hurricane Fiona Recovery Fund?
A. Federal support provided under the Fund must be directly related to the impact or response to Hurricane Fiona; it can not duplicate insurance coverage or other federal, provincial, municipal or non-profit support (e.g., Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements), and must be clearly linked to the needs of impacted individuals, businesses and communities. The design of federal measures for those impacted must therefore align with these criteria. This requires appropriate consultations with implicated federal and provincial organizations.
Q. What should people who have lost so much do right now to get relief as quickly as possible?
A. Anyone who has been affected by Hurricane Fiona and experienced loss because of the storm should start by contacting their insurance company, their respective provincial governments and the Red Cross. Provincial governments are leading disaster response efforts and are working closely with the DFAA to deliver Fiona disaster programs. The 2022 Fall Economic Statement established a provision of $1 billion in 2022-23 in anticipation of Hurricane Fiona-related requests from provinces under the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements.
Q. What should impacted businesses do?
A. From the moment Fiona hit our shores in late September, ACOA has been there for impacted business owners. They can reach out to the ACOA office nearest them at any time. ACOA officials will walk them through available support as well as provide information, advice, or help finding and connecting with federal and provincial programs and support measures.
Q. When will funding go out to communities and hard-hit sectors?
A. ACOA is now accepting applications to support communities and sectors in Atlantic Canada that were hard hit by Hurricane Fiona but that are not eligible for other sources of financial support. Funding will go out when applications are received, assessed and approved. We are committed to informing applicants of funding decisions as soon as possible.
Q. How will I know whether my Hurricane Fiona Recovery Fund application is accepted and generally how long should the evaluation process take?
A. Once the Agency receives your application, it assigns an officer to your file. Your designated officer will communicate with you if information is missing and on funding decisions. ACOA is committed to informing applicants of funding decisions as soon as possible.
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