Substance Use and Addictions Program: Answers to questions about the Call for Proposals 2021

Please refer back to this page regularly for up-to-date questions and answers.

SUAP posts the answers to the most commonly asked questions received throughout this call for proposals on this page.

Information session

I was wondering if there will be another information session on how to complete a proposal and the application?

There will not be another information session regarding the Call for Proposals. However, a recording of the August 12th session is available. To obtain a link to the recording please email

Will the Information Session taking place on August 12th be recorded and available for later viewing?

If you are unable to attend the Information Session and wish to obtain a copy of the recording, please send us a request by email at

Guidelines and priorities

Can a project address more than one funding priority?

Yes, projects can address more than one funding priority.

Will a project reaching more than one target population be given greater consideration for funding?

We encourage you to check off all target populations relevant to your project in the Application Form. However, the number of target populations addressed through your project will not necessarily be taken into account, rather if you have described them well and they are relevant to your project.

All assessment criteria for this CFP are outlined in section 5.2 of the Guidelines for Applicants.

Are there some assessment criteria that have more weight then others?

All aspects of the project are considered as part of the assessment. One element alone, such as partnerships or budget, does not provide a basis for overall approval or rejection of a project. All assessment criteria for this CFP are outlined in section 5.2 of the Guidelines for Applicants.

What expected outcomes are achievable in the 12 to 15 month maximum duration?

Project outcomes must support the funding priorities outlined in the Guidelines for Applicants. If your project will last beyond 15 months, indicate what measures you will take to ensure that needs addressed by your project are sustained after the end of the SUAP funding period.

Can applicants propose their own project outcomes and indicators or must the project align with SUAP outcomes and indicators outlined in the Guideline for Applicants?

In Section 6 – Performance Measurement and Evaluation of the Application Form, you must explain how your project as a whole contributes to at least one immediate and intermediate SUAP outcome and addresses SUAP indicators. Your Application Form should also indicate how you plan to measure the indicators.

If your project is successful, reporting against SUAP outcomes and performance indicators will be mandatory throughout the life-cycle of the project. Therefore, you are welcome to add additional outcomes and indicators that are specific to your project, however it cannot be at the expense of reporting against SUAP specific outcomes and performance indicators.

Can CFP 2021 funding be used to upscale or build upon existing SUAP funded projects?

Organizations that are current recipients of SUAP funding are eligible to apply. However, the Call for Proposals cannot be used as an opportunity to amend an existing SUAP Contribution Agreement. Current recipients should consult their SUAP contact regarding amendment processes.

Can CFP 2021 funding be used to scale up existing initiatives (not SUAP funded)?

Health Canada cannot definitively answer this question without reviewing the full context of the completed Application Form. However, in general, expansion of existing pilots are considered eligible to apply for SUAP funding. Further, connecting previously disconnected services would, in general, be eligible under this Call for Proposals. Please ensure to clearly distinguish between what is existing and the new elements you are proposing.

Note that existing programs or services cannot use SUAP funding to direct existing funds elsewhere in an organization (i.e. using SUAP funding to offset existing project, program or service costs).

Are projects delivering activities not only in English and/or French, but also in Indigenous languages considered eligible?

Projects that propose activities or products in Indigenous languages are welcome. Details on Indigenous languages can also be provided in section 4 l) Official language requirements of the Application Form.

Is there a set number of projects allocated to focus on Indigenous populations?

There is no specific allocation for projects that focus on Indigenous populations.

Does this CFP fund Urgent Public Health Needs Sites?

Health Canada funds initiatives that contribute to prevention, treatment and harm reduction responses to drug and substance use, but excludes funding for ongoing programs and services, such as Urgent Public Health Needs Sites.

Does this CFP fund nicotine and/or tobacco-focussed projects?

The funding for CFP 2021 was allocated through Budget 2021 to address the opioid overdose crisis and problematic substance use by supporting a range of innovative approaches to harm reduction, treatment, and prevention at the community level. While tobacco and vaping fall within the overall scope of SUAP funding, they are not within the scope of this particular CFP.

If there are two parts to our project, is it best to apply as separate applications or to combine into one Application Form?

You may submit separate applications if you have more than one project idea. There is no limit on the number of applications that each applicant can submit. However, you can submit one application that addresses more than one funding priority if it can logically be explained through one application. Health Canada will assess each application independently.

Are longer treatment programs, aftercare and/or additional wrap around services eligible for funding?

Yes, these are eligible activities under the Call for Proposals 2021. However, applicants must indicate the measures that will be taken to ensure that needs addressed by the project are sustained after the end of the funding period (funding is available for 12-15 months, ending March 2023).

Do regional health authorities need to demonstrate a connection to the provincial or territorial direction?

Proposals do not need to demonstrate a connection to the provincial or territorial direction, but they do need to address the funding priorities under 2021 Call for Proposals.

Are the Call for Proposals 2019 Guidelines for Applicants applicable to the Call for Proposals 2021 process?

No. You must use the Call for Proposals 2021 Guidelines for Applicants to complete your Application Form as requirements vary for each funding process. Please note the Application Form was also updated for the 2021 Call for Proposals.

Where in the Guidelines for Applicants can I find the requirements for each section of the Application Form?
Application form section Guidelines for applicants section

Section 1

4.1 Organization Identification

Section 2

4.2 Funding Priority(ies)

Section 3

4.3 Project Target Population(s)

Section 4

4.4 Project Information

4.4.1 Project Title / Project Duration / Requested Funding / Sources of Funding

4.4.2 Project Summary / Objectives / Key Activities / Key Outputs

4.4.3. Geographic Location / Setting / Scope

4.4.4 Meaningful Engagement of People with Lived and Living Experience and/or Peer/Experiential Workers

4.4.5 Official Language Requirements

4.4.6 Sustainability

Section 5

4.5 Evidence and Need

Section 6

4.6 Performance Measurement and Evaluation

Section 7

4.7 Organizational and Collaboration Capacity

Section 8

4.8 Sex and Gender Based Analysis (SGBA)

Section 9

4.9 Summary Work Plan

Section 10

4.10 Budget and Narrative

4.10.1 Eligible and Ineligible Expenditures

4.10.2 Completed Budget and Narrative Example

Section 11

4.11 Approval / Declaration

Application form

How do I create a Digital ID / Certified Digital Signature?
  1. Upload and Save a scanned version of your hand-written signature. Save the file as jpg.
  2. Click on the “Security” or “Protect tab” in your Adobe Reader.
  3. Select “Sign and Certify”, then “Certify with visible signature…”
  4. Follow the prompts and enable all features on your computer to create an electronic or digital signature. You can import the scanned version of your hand-written into your digital signature (You can also simply type your name from your keyboard although a visible signature is recommended)
  5. When you are happy with the layout of your signature, click “OK” or “Save” to ensure the signature is saved.

You can now apply the certified digital signature to your document. Health Canada does not require a scanned version of your wet signature.

If you are experiencing technical issues creating a digital certified signature, please email us at

How do I attach a proof of eligibility document to the Application Form?
  1. Under Section 1e) Proof of eligibility, click the “Attach Documents” button.
  2. You will get a pop-up message, asking for your permission to access files, which is required in order to open up the file selection window. Click the box to “Add current file to privileged location”. Click OK.
  3. Your file folder / desktop will appear. Navigate to where your file is saved.
  4. Choose the file you want to upload. Click Open.
  5. The file will now appear as an attached document in the ‘Attachments’ icon when viewing your Form within your Adobe Reader.

***Please note that attached documents become embedded into the Application Form. Once you click the Submit Form button, the file will not be displayed as a separate document in the e-mail. If you want to verify that the embedded document is there and displays correctly, you can open the Form attached to the e-mail, look under the attachment panel and check to see that there is an attached file.

If you are experiencing technical issues attaching your proof of eligibility, please email us at

How do I submit the Application Form?
  1. The form must be submitted using the SUBMIT FORM button.
  2. When clicking on the “Submit Form” button, a verification takes place to make sure all mandatory fields are completed. An asterisk (*) indicates mandatory fields.
  3. If one or more mandatory field is empty, an error message will pop up indicating the first field that requires attention.
  4. Once you have corrected the issue, you can click “Submit Form” again to check and submit the document.
  5. You will receive a separate error message for each incomplete field or formatting issue detected in the Application Form.
  6. You can repeat this process until no more error messages appear.
  7. Please give yourself enough time before the deadline date to work through each error message, and resolve it.
  8. When you click on the SUBMIT FORM button, and no errors are found, two things happen:
    1. the form will automatically create an email message which is addressed to SUAP
    2. the completed application form will automatically be attached to that email.
  9. Once this email is drafted, you must click SEND from your email.

If you are experiencing technical issues submitting your Application Form, please email us at

Can a single organization submit more than one project?

Yes, a single organization can submit more than one project. There is no limit to the number of projects that one organization can submit.

Where should applicants note references, research or literature citations within the Application Form?

Simply copy and paste the footnotes, references or URLs into the text box relating to the question you are answering in the Application Form. 

In the Application Form, Section 3 e) Project target population(s)/Total anticipated number reached, should this number include the primary and secondary audiences?

You can propose to address one target population or a combination of groups, such as a primary and secondary target group. In this case, please include the total number of the primary plus secondary target groups. The same approach is expected in Section 3f) Target population description. Here, you should make sure to describe both the primary, and secondary if applicable, target population(s) and how they are involved in the project.

Can applicants use abbreviations when responding to questions in the Application Form?

You can use abbreviations throughout the Application Form, but please ensure to define the abbreviations in their first use to avoid any confusion when SUAP is assessing your project.

Can I fill out the Application Form online in the Web browser?

We strongly recommend that you download/save a copy of the Application Form directly on your computer to avoid any data loss and to allow you to save your progress. Once saved on your computer, you can fill out the Application Form at your own pace, saving as often as possible.

Why do I get an error message when I click the "Submit Form" button?

When clicking on the "Submit Form" button, a verification takes place to make sure all mandatory fields are completed. An asterisk (*) indicates mandatory fields.

If there is even one mandatory field that is not fully completed, an error message will pop up when you click on "Submit Form". This error message will explain the field that requires attention. You will receive a separate error message for each incomplete field or formatting issue in the Application Form.

Once you fully and properly complete all mandatory fields, clicking on "Submit Form" will allow you to submit your Application Form via an automatically generated email message. This email, addressed to SUAP, will include your completed Application Form.

Can I print the Application Form?

The Application Form is an electronic fillable form. It is not designed to be printed. It is intended to be completed and submitted using a computer. The submission of your application must be done by email. Scanned and printed versions will not be accepted.

Other than the list of partner names and roles requested in section 7b of the Application Form, is anything else required such as letters of support from partners?

You can attach letters of support from your partners that outline their role or commitment to the project, but these are not required. Additional materials may not be reviewed as part of application review process.

Do applicants need to provide a document to prove their eligibility in the Application Form (section 1e)?

Section 4.1 Organization Identification of the Guidelines for Applicants provides a list of example documents that you can provide to prove your organization's eligibility. If you are unable to provide a copy of a document, you may instead include Web links where the proof of eligibility can be found online.

Can additional materials be submitted along with our Application Form?

Additional materials will not be reviewed as part of application review process. Please do not attach additional materials unless these are documents needed to prove your organization's eligibility (see 4.1 Organization Identification of the Guidelines for Applicants for examples proof of eligibility documents).

If you would like to highlight additional materials in support of the rationale or evidence and need of your project, please summarize the key points from these materials and/or provide relevant web links in the Application Form.

Why is the text box not expanding to allow the maximum number of characters in the text boxes of the Application Form?

The text box fields in the Application Form are enabled with a scroll bar. The scroll bar is activated once there is a certain amount of content in the text box field.

To note, the scroll bar does not appear if you are using Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome, or if the Form has been opened in the browser, but not yet been downloaded. In these cases, you can use your cursor to move the scroll bar up and down. In this way, you can review the content you have added in the text box field.

Is there a limit on the number of Applications Forms that can be submitted by province or territory?

SUAP assesses all proposals using the same criteria. There is no fixed allotment per province or territory.

Which software should I use to complete the Application Form?

We recommend using Adobe Reader to ensure the best functionality of the Application Form.

If you have any technical issues, please reach out to for help.


Is proof of eligibility required for provincial health authorities?

Proof of eligibility is required, but a link to the health authority’s governance documents on their website can suffice.

Can Quebec organizations, including universities, apply for SUAP funding? If so, what is the process to apply?

The following types of organizations are eligible for SUAP funding:

  • Canadian not-for-profit health organizations including hospitals, regional health councils and community health organizations;
  • Canadian not-for-profit organizations and registered not-for-profit charitable organizations;
  • Canadian institutions including universities, boards of education and other centres of education in Canada;
  • Other levels of government including Indigenous, provinces, territories and municipalities, and their agencies; and
  • First Nations, Métis and Inuit not-for-profit organizations.

Quebec organizations are eligible to apply for SUAP funds as follows:

  • Organizations located in Quebec can apply directly to this CFP for projects that also span other provinces or territories.
  • Organizations located and operating only in Quebec, please note that the ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS) is managing SUAP funds for Quebec. All applications will need to obtain written authorization by the ministre responsable des Relations canadiennes et de la Francophonie canadienne. For more information, you can consult the MSSS website
Can health regions or health authorities apply for funding?

Yes, please see the list of eligible recipients for the Substance Use and Addictions Program.

Can First Nations communities and Tribal Councils apply for funding?

Yes, please see the list of eligible recipients for the Substance Use and Addictions Program. First Nations, Métis and Inuit not-for-profit organizations (on and off reserve), as well as Tribal Councils can apply.

If a Tribal Council applies for funding, can each First Nation within that Tribal Council apply for funding as well?

Yes, Tribal Councils and the individual First Nations within the Tribal Council can apply separately if projects are distinct.

Budget and expenses

Are capital building costs an eligible expense?

Major capital and building expenditures fall under ineligible expenditures.

To clarify, capital expenditures are those intending to acquire or improve an asset through construction, purchase or lease. Expenditures related to the purchase or betterment (retrofit or renovations) related to land, buildings and/or vehicles are examples of capital and building expenditures. Major capital expenditures are those valued over $10,000.

To learn more about eligible and ineligible expenditures, please see section 4.10.1 of the Guidelines for Applicants.

Are mortgage payments an eligible expense?

Mortgage payments are not an eligible expense. Please refer to section 4.10.1 Eligible and Ineligible Expenditures of the Guidelines for Applicants for the full list of eligible and ineligible expenditures

Can eligible expenses incurred before project approval be reimbursed if a project/an applicant is successful and enters into a contribution agreement?

Expenditures incurred prior to Health Canada written approval will not be reimbursed.

If a project/an applicant is successful and enters into a contribution agreement with Health Canada, will funds be provided upfront or reimbursed at a later date?

Arrangement on how and when funding is provided is determined during the process of negotiating contribution agreements. Generally speaking, funds are reimbursed. However upfront funding is possible in certain circumstances.

Is it possible to receive funding for a portion of a project, or are they solely approved in their entirety?

Projects submitted by applicants will be reviewed in their entirety.  If the project is approved, arrangements for the specifics of the project and funding are determined during the process of negotiating contribution agreements.

In the Application Form, section 10 – Budget and narrative, do fiscal years 1 and 2 relate to years 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 respectively?

Yes, fiscal year 1 ends on March 31, 2022 and fiscal year 2 ends in March 2023.

If in cash contributions are expected from other sources, should I subtract these contributions from the total amount noted in Section 10 – Budget and Narrative of the Application Form?

If you are anticipating funds from other sources (cash and/or in-kind contributions), please include them in Section 4c – Project information/List other sources of confirmed and/or anticipated funding rather than in Section 10 - Budget and Narrative.

Is there a maximum cost per budget category?

There is no maximum cost per budget category; SUAP is looking for proposals with a project-based budget that will see the achievement of the proposed activities. The proposal also needs to demonstrate efficiency and value for money.

Should budget items be grouped or listed individually in the Application Form?

It is best not to group budget items but to list them individually, providing a detailed explanation for each item, in the "Narrative" column of the Budget table in Section 10 - Budget and narrative of your Application Form.

If you are uncertain about the category, you can put the cost(s) in the "Other" budget expenditure category (with details of each item).

All costs are subject to review and approval.

Does a funded recipient require a separate bank account for Health Canada projects?

No. Health Canada does not require organizations to have a separate, project-specific bank account. However, your organization must be able to account for all project-related expenditures, and will be required to regularly report on these expenditures.

Which project expenses can SUAP fund?

Applicants can consult section 4.10.1 Eligible and Ineligible Expenditures of the Guidelines for Applicants. This section will guide you in completing your Application Form budget.

Are administrative fees and overhead or indirect costs eligible expenses?

While some expenditures related to administrative fees may be eligible, SUAP may place limits on administrative fees. Decisions on reasonable administrative costs will be made based on the need and rationale provided in the Application Form.

Budget amounts for indirect costs / overhead must be broken down into the corresponding budget categories found in Section 10 - Budget and narrative of the Application Form in order for the SUAP to assess if costs are eligible, reasonable and directly related to the project.

Is there a minimum and/or maximum amount that can be requested through the Call for Proposals 2021?

There is no maximum amount that has been determined for this call for proposal. We are looking for proposals with a project-based budget that will see the achievement of the proposed activities. The project also needs to demonstrate efficiency and value for money.

Will the available funding span over multiple years?

The funding is for approximately 12-15 months in duration, ending March 2023.


What is "contribution funding"?

A contribution is a conditional transfer of funds to an eligible recipient to reimburse some portion of the costs incurred in carrying out a single project that the Government of Canada wishes to support.  A contribution is time limited and has reporting requirements.  The conditions of payment are specified in a Contribution Agreement.

How many projects will be funded through this CFP?

The number of project funded depends on a number of factors, including how many projects are received and how much funding is requested by each project.

Is there an external review panel assessing the projects?

Health Canada may share project applications with other organizations (including provincial/territorial Ministries of Health) as part of its review and approval process.

Do applicants need to have identified their evaluation partner/contractor at the time the application is submitted?

It is not necessary to identify the evaluation partner/contractor at this stage of the process. If the project is approved, arrangements for the specifics of the project and funding are determined during the process of negotiating contribution agreements.

When will Call for Proposals 2021 results be communicated?

Timing of final decisions is dependent on a number of factors. Health Canada anticipates that decisions will be available within a timeframe that allows for projects of 12 to 15 months in duration.

Is there a list of existing SUAP funded projects publicly available?

Yes. The list of existing SUAP projects is available on the SUAP website.

Where can I find the Health Canada toolkit that exists for safer supply of opioids?

The Health Canada toolkit offers information on the use of pharmaceutical-grade alternatives to the toxic street supply in Canada.

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