Agreement to implement the Community Capacity and Innovation stream of the Reaching Home program in Quebec

Information for reference

The signed French version of this Agreement is the official version.

On this page

Between

The Government of Canada (hereafter “Canada”), represented by the Minister of the Department of Employment and Social Development Canada, styled as the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development,

And

The Gouvernement du Québec (hereafter “Quebec”), represented by the Minister of Health and Social Services and the Minister responsible for Canadian Relations and the Canadian Francophonie.

Hereafter referred to as “the Parties”.

Whereas the Parties share, among other things, the priority of increasing and supporting efforts to prevent and reduce homelessness;

Whereas Canada has announced the launch of Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy, which focuses on adopting a systemic approach to support Designated Communities in developing solutions to homelessness, which includes implementing coordinated access systems to access housing support services that depend on stakeholder collaboration and understanding of the needs of people experiencing homelessness;

Whereas Quebec recognizes the need to analyze different forms of possible housing support in an integrated, consistent and sustained manner, taking into account the responsibilities of stakeholders concerned, the needs of people experiencing or at risk of homelessness , the types of homelessness and the nature of the required services, in accordance with Quebec’s directions and priorities;

Whereas the Parties are holding negotiations to define how the Reaching Home program could be implemented in Quebec so that it is consistent with the responsibilities, directions, priorities and organizational structures of Quebec services, as well as with Canada’s directions and priorities under this program;

Whereas Canada and Quebec wish to conclude an agreement to implement the Community Capacity and Innovation stream of the Reaching Home program in Quebec;

Now therefore, the Parties agree as follows:

1. Definitions

In this Agreement,

1.1 “Coordinated Access” means a systemic process through which individuals and families experiencing homelessness are directed to community access points where trained workers use a common tool to measure the scope of the individual’s or family’s needs, to determine their priority level to access housing support services and to help match them with available housing interventions. As part of each intervention, an analysis of the needs of an individual or family helps provide them with the level of support that they might need to exit homelessness.

1.2 “Designated Communities” means the following communities: the Montréal Census Metropolitan Area, the Québec Census Metropolitan Area, Drummondville, Gatineau, Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, Sherbrooke and Trois-Rivières.

1.3 “Fiscal Year” means a fiscal year starting on April 1 of a given calendar year and ending on March 31 of the following calendar year.

1.4 “Pilot project” means a small-scale, experimental project carried out to verify the design parameters of a project.

1.5 “Reaching Home” means the Government of Canada strategy and program to prevent and reduce homelessness.

2. Purpose and scope of the Agreement

2.1 The purpose of this Agreement is to establish the terms and conditions under which Canada will pay Quebec a financial contribution to help perform analysis and consultation activities in the Designated Communities, as described in article 4, which may lead to the design of a Coordinated Access model that is consistent with Quebec’s priorities and directions, as presented in Appendix C, as well as with the definition given in article 1.1.

2.2 Quebec will also use Canada’s financial contribution to carry out activities in accordance with the eligible activities described in Appendix A.

3. Obligations of Canada

3.1 Canada commits to:

3.1.1 Provide Quebec with resources developed under the Reaching Home program to implement a Coordinated Access system (for example, implementation guides, promising practices, technological tools), which are used to support the target activities described in this Agreement.

3.1.2 Pay Quebec a financial contribution, as stipulated in article 6, to carry out the activities identified in article 2.

4. Obligations of Quebec

4.1 Quebec commits to:

4.1.1 Use Canada’s financial contribution to carry out analysis and consultation activities in the Designated Communities concerned over the 2019–2020 and 2020–2021 Fiscal Years, which may lead to the design of a Coordinated Access model, as defined in article 1.1, that is consistent with Quebec’s directions and priorities and adapted to the communities’ specific contexts, in particular for the following projects:

4.1.1.1 Prepare an overview of the Designated Communities’ ability to implement a Coordinated Access system that is consistent with Quebec’s directions and priorities and adapted to the communities’ specific contexts;

4.1.1.2 Analyze resources, support measures and training needs required to deploy a Coordinated Access system that is consistent with Quebec’s directions and priorities and adapted to the communities’ specific contexts;

4.1.1.3 Analyze technical, organizational, technological, legal (especially in terms of sharing data between service providers in a single Designated Community, the Homelessness Information Management System (HIMS) administrator, the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux and Employment and Social Development Canada), territorial and budget considerations associated with the implementation of a Coordinated Access system that is consistent with Quebec’s directions and directions;

4.1.1.4 Consult partners (for example, health and social services institutions, community sector, service providers, municipalities and housing sector representatives, etc.) on implementing a Coordinated Access system in Quebec and, where appropriate, on the forms that this could take and the factors in favour of implementing it;

4.1.1.5 Survey existing community initiatives that have components similar to those listed in article 1.1 and Appendix A to benefit from lessons learned and promising practices;

4.1.1.6 Survey and map the housing and homelessness services system in the Designated Communities and prepare an overview of the use of resources and user needs;

4.1.1.7 Document the HIMSs used in Quebec;

4.1.1.8 Document the current terms and conditions for assigning housing, housing consultation bodies, selection, needs analysis and reference tools, and prioritization mechanisms currently used in Quebec.

4.1.2 Within sixty (60) days of the end of the 2020–2021 Fiscal Year, send Canada a report on the results of the analyses and consultations carried out as part of the activities in article 2, as described in article 4 and Appendix A, and, where appropriate, the Coordinated Access implementation model designed under this Agreement.

4.1.3 Coordinate Point-in-Time Counts of individuals experiencing homelessness in the Designated Communities in Quebec between March and April 2021, in accordance with Appendix B. The methodology used for these counts can be adapted to the communities’ specific contexts, as part of the Reaching Home coordinated Point-in-Time Count.

5. Effective date and duration of Agreement

Despite the date of the last signature by the Parties, the Agreement will enter into force on April 1, 2019, and end on December 31, 2021, unless it is terminated at an earlier date, in accordance with the terms of the Agreement.

6. Canada's financial contribution

6.1 Subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement, Canada agrees to pay a financial contribution to Quebec under the Community Capacity and Innovation stream of the Reaching Home program for the activities in article 2, as described in article 4 and appendices A and B. The amount of Canada’s financial contribution must not surpass the maximum amount of $2,821,660 and must be used between April 1, 2019 and December 31, 2021.

2019 to 2020 2020 to 2021 2021 to 2022* Total
$794,080 $1,627,580 $400,000 $2,821,660

* The amounts available under this Agreement for the 2021–2022 Fiscal Year will be used before December 31, 2021, to support activities associated with the Point-in-Time Counts, as described in Appendix B. The amount of $400,000 in this table does not replace the other amounts stipulated in the CCI stream for 2021–2022, which will be agreed upon under the 2019–2024 Canada–Quebec Reaching Home Agreement.

6.2 Any amount paid under this Agreement is subject to the appropriation of funds by the Parliament of Canada for the Fiscal Year during which the amount is to be paid.

7. Terms of payment

7.1 Canada will pay its contribution in the form of a funding advance under the following terms and conditions:

7.1.1 100% of the contribution for the 2019–2020 Fiscal Year described in article 6.1 will be paid within thirty (30) days of signing this Agreement.

7.1.2 100% of the contribution for the 2020–2021 Fiscal Year described in article 6.1 will be paid within thirty (30) days of receiving the annual report for the 2019 to 2020 Fiscal Year, in accordance with article 8.1.

7.1.3 75% of the contribution for the 2021 to 2022 Fiscal Year described in article 6.1 will be paid within thirty (30) days of receiving the annual report for the 2020 to 2021 Fiscal Year, in accordance with article 8.1. The remaining 25% will be paid within thirty (30) days of receiving the annual report for the 2021 to 2022 Fiscal Year, in accordance with article 8.

7.2 Quebec shall reimburse Canada the amount of any overpayment under the terms of this Agreement. Canada may deduct the amount from any future payments under this Agreement, or if no further payments remain to be made, Quebec shall, unless otherwise agreed, repay the amount within thirty (30) calendar days of written notice to Canada. The repayment shall be made by cheque payable to the Receiver General for Canada and shall be sent to Canada’s representative(s).

8. Annual report

Within sixty (60) days following the end of each Fiscal Year, Quebec shall provide to Canada, in a mutually agreed upon format, an annual report that includes:

8.1 For the 2019 to 2020 fiscal year: an attestation, by an authorized representative of Quebec, of the activities carried out under article 2 and of the activities described in article 4 and Appendix A;

For the 2020 to 2021 fiscal year: an attestation, by an authorized representative of Quebec, of the activities carried out under article 2 and of the activities described in article 4 and appendices A and B;

For the 2021 to 2022 fiscal year: an attestation, by an authorized representative of Quebec, of the activities carried out under article 2 and of the activities described in article 4 and Appendix B;

8.2 For all 3 fiscal years: an attestation, by a senior financial officer of Quebec, that the amount claimed under the terms of this Agreement does not exceed the amount indicated in article 6.1 and was used to carry out the activities in article 2, as described in article 4 and appendices A and B.

9. Public communications

The Parties agree to work together, subject to reasonable advance notice, on any communication activity concerning this Agreement, under the terms and in a form satisfactory to both Parties.

10. Proactive disclosure

Subject to the applicable access to information and privacy legislation, any information about contributions paid under this Agreement, particularly the purpose and amount of the contribution, may be released by Canada based on its commitment to proactively disclose grant and contribution payments.

11. Party representatives

11.1 The Parties entrust their respective principal representatives with responsibility for overseeing the administration of the Agreement. These principal representatives are:

For Canada
Kris Johnson, Director General
Homelessness Policy Directorate
140 Promenade du Portage 6th Floor
Gatineau QC  K1A 0J9

For Quebec
Benoît Lefrançois, Deputy Director General
Services sociaux généraux, activités communautaires, services en dépendance et en itinérance
1075 Chemin Sainte Foy 6th Floor
Québec QC  G1S 2M1

11.2 Each Party may, upon written notice sent by the other Party, change their designated representative.

12. Dispute resolution

In the event of a dispute under this Agreement, the Parties agree to attempt to resolve it in good faith. If the Parties are unable to resolve the dispute through negotiations, they agree to rely in good faith on alternative dispute resolution methods. However, the Parties agree that nothing in this article shall affect, alter or modify the rights of either Party to terminate the Agreement.

13. Amendments to Agreement

The Agreement may be amended by mutual consent of the Parties. To be valid, any amendment to this Agreement shall be in writing and signed by the Parties.

14. Termination of Agreement

The Agreement may be terminated by either Party on sixty (60) days’ written notice. The notice shall be sent to the designated representative in this Agreement. In such a case, Quebec agrees to reimburse Canada for any overpayment received for activities outstanding referred to in article 2 as described in article 4 and in appendices A and B. However, Quebec shall be entitled to Canada’s financial contribution for the activities referred to in article 2 as described in article 4 and in appendices A and B incurred up to the date of termination.

15. Applicable law

This agreement shall be interpreted in accordance with the laws in force in Quebec.

16. Miscellaneous provisions

16.1 Appendices A to C are an integral part of the Agreement.

16.2 The Parties agree to inform one another as early as possible of any changes in their respective statutes or policies that could have an impact on the Agreement.

In witness whereof the duly authorized Parties to this Agreement have signed in triplicate:

For the Government of Canada:

Original signed by the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

For the Gouvernement du Québec:

Original signed by the Honourable Danielle McCann, Minister of Health and Social Services, and the Honourable Sonia LeBel, Minister responsible for Canadian Relations and the Canadian Francophonie

Appendix A: Eligible activities under the Community Capacity and Innovation (CCI) stream

As provided for in article 2 of this Agreement, Quebec may use Canada’s financial contribution for other activities that are directly related to the analysis and consultation that may lead to the design of a Coordinated Access model in the Designated Communities that is adapted to their context and consistent with Quebec’s priorities and directions, in accordance with the eligible activities under the CCI stream.

The activities for which expenses are eligible under the stream are as follows:

  1. Engagement or consultation activities with stakeholders and partners in the Designated Communities to support the design of a coordinated access implementation model.
  2. Identification of existing community initiatives that have components of coordinated access, to identify lessons learned and promising practices. These initiatives may receive financial support insofar as they contribute to supporting analysis and consultation activities that may lead to the design of a Coordinated Access model that is consistent with Quebec’s priorities and directions and adapted to communities' specific contexts.
  3. Design of a realistic and achievable deployment strategy for Coordinated Access systems in the Designated Communities that is consistent with Quebec’s priorities and directions and adapted to communities' specific contexts.
  4. Development and implementation of Pilot Projects to analyze the capacity of the Designated Communities to implement a Coordinated Access system and, where appropriate, to support the design of a Quebec model, including:
    • establishment of partnerships with service providers and other stakeholders, as appropriate
    • establishment of governance structures and development of privacy tools (for example, data management protocols, data sharing agreement, consent form) for Coordinated Access and implementation of an HMIS
    • change management activities, such as developing and implementing a communication strategy (for example, print or web communications, training, including transition to an HMIS, or training on Coordinated Access)
    • design of an access model
    • creation of processes with prioritization criteria
    • development and/or selection and adaptation of tools for analyzing existing needs and of a referral and matching process for the Coordinated Access system that is tailored to Quebec realities
    • Completion of activities to test new approaches to the selection and allocation of housing-related services based on the principles of Coordinated Access
  5. Development of training resources and materials to support the implementation of Coordinated Access systems.
  6. Hiring project managers for Coordinated Access, including for the implementation and maintenance of an HMIS:
    • consultant fees or staff salaries (for example, community coordinator, analyst, IT), as well as corresponding benefits and mandatory employment costs (for example, Canada Pension Plan, Quebec Pension Plan, Employment Insurance).
  7. Acquisition of hardware and software IT infrastructure, such as a server for an HMIS and other necessary IT equipment, and related office furniture (for example, computer):
    • additional support as required, for example, legal advice, network security, development of customized HMIS reports.
  8. Customization of HMIS in communities where a system is already in place.
  9. Establishment of partnerships to support a broader systematic approach to address homelessness (for example, partnerships with health services, correctional services, housing providers).
  10. Point-in-Time Count (see Appendix B) or survey of homeless populations (for example, coordinator, assistant coordinator, data analyst, project supplies, printing, volunteer training, meeting space).
  11. Additional support (for example, contracts, consultants) related to project activities.
  12. Service improvements (staff training in activities that support a broader systematic approach to address homelessness).

The following activity is not an eligible expense under the CCI stream:

  1. Purchase or developmentFootnote 1 of software or hardware that is intended for collecting and managing data on homelessness, and that duplicates activities already offered through the Homeless Individuals and Families Information System.

Appendix B: Implementation of locally adapted Point-in-Time Counts of individuals experiencing homelessness

Canada will support a coordinated Point-in-Time Count of individuals experiencing homelessness in the Designated Communities in Quebec, to be conducted between March 1 and April 30, 2021, as part of Reaching Home, to provide a pan-Canadian overview of homelessness.

The 2 main objectives of a Point-in-Time Count are to perform a count of individuals experiencing homelessness and to conduct a survey to collect demographic information from these individuals.

This exercise will be based on the methodology used in the 2018 Point-in-Time Count. This can be adapted to communities specific context. The count will allow communities' to have an up-to-date understanding of resource usage and obtain information on people experiencing homelessness, such as their homelessness history and service needs. This information will support communities in their planning to prevent and reduce homelessness and in the implementation of a coordinated access system.

1. Obligations of Canada

Canada undertakes to:

1.1 Consult Quebec on the methodology for the 2021 coordinated Point-in-Time Count of individuals experiencing homelessness, including the basic survey questions;

1.2 Provide methodological support to Quebec, if necessary, to facilitate the implementation of Point-in-Time Counts in the Designated Communities;

1.3 Provide Quebec with tools and resources for the entities mandated to implement it, in particular to support data entry and management, planning, volunteer training, results communication and local engagement.

2. Obligations of Quebec

Quebec undertakes to:

2.1 Plan and coordinate the deployment of Point-in-Time Counts as part of the coordinated Point-in-Time Count for Reaching Home between March and April 2021 in the Designated Communities.

2.2 Transmit to Canada, before October 29, 2021, the number of individuals experiencing homelessness counted in each participating community, namely:

2.3 In accordance with Quebec’s legislative framework, provide Canada, before October 29, 2021, with an electronic file containing the data collected through the baseline survey questions in each community participating in the Point-in-Time Count, which data shall not contain any personal information.

3. Use of data and publication of results

3.1 The completion and publication of work specifically related to the results of the Point-in-Time Counts specific to Quebec is the exclusive responsibility of Quebec.

3.2 The analysis of Point-in-Time Count data completed and published by Canada will be pan-Canadian in scope. No data specific to the province or to a region or a Designated Community in Quebec will be published by Canada.

3.3 Each Party shall give the other at least two (2) weeks’ notice before releasing to the public any work presenting the results of the Point-in-Time Count.

4. Data ownership

4.1 The data collected as part of a Point-in-Time Count are the property of Quebec. Canada will not own nor claim to own any intellectual property rights in work completed under this Agreement.

Appendix C: Quebec’s directions and priorities

In 2014, the Gouvernement du Québec released its Politique nationale de lutte à l’itinérance “Ensemble, pour éviter la rue et en sortir”. This policy was the result of the work of 13 of its departments and agencies.

The policy aims to establish a comprehensive, consistent and sustainable vision for preventing and eliminating homelessness in Quebec. The Gouvernement du Québec has sent a clear message that the intolerable can no longer be tolerated. That the unacceptable can no longer be accepted. The policy focuses on inclusion and on getting everyone to participate in Quebec’s social, economic, political and cultural life. In this regard, government departments and agencies, the community sector, public institutions, cities, municipalities, merchants and all citizens are invited to work together to prevent and address homelessness.

The vision driving the policy is based on the affirmation of dignity and capabilities, and on the recognition of every individual’s rights. It focuses on the importance of providing support and assistance both to protect people living on the street, and to help those who want to escape that way of living, in an expression of solidarity that goes well beyond strictly responding to emergencies situations.

Definition of homelessness

“Homelessness is a process of social disaffiliation and a situation of social exclusion characterized by a person’s difficulty in having a stable, safe, adequate and healthy home due to a lack of housing or his or her inability to maintain one and, at the same time, in maintaining functional, safe and stable relationships in the community. Homelessness is explained by a combination of social and individual factors that constitute the life experience of men and women.”

Guiding principles of the policy

Quebec’s policy on addressing homelessness has 6 guiding principles. These principles contribute to the development of a comprehensive, consistent and sustainable vision aimed at ensuring responses that are adapted to the needs of the individuals and their environments:

The policy’s action priorities and directions

Essential conditions for success

Plan d’action interministériel en itinérance 2015-2020 “Mobilisés et engagés pour prévenir et réduire l’itinérance”

On December 7, 2014, Quebec launched its Plan d’action interministériel en itinérance 2015-2020 “Mobilisés et engagés pour prévenir et réduire l’itinérance” in accordance with the key directions in its policy on addressing homelessness. The action plan includes 31 actions and 111 means to prevent and reduce homelessness. Their broad policy directions translate into:

Targeted actions to avoid the street in order to:

Quick and targeted actions to leave the street, such as:

Actions for First Nations and Inuit populations, such as:

Well-considered and joint actions in order to:

The Gouvernement du Québec will notify the Government of Canada in a timely manner of any changes to Quebec’s homelessness directions and priorities.

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