Funding Programs – National Program Guidelines

This document provides guidance on federal environmental assessments commenced under the former Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012. It is retained for the completion of transitional environmental assessments commenced prior to the Impact Assessment Act. For more information on transitional environmental assessments, please consult the Legislation and Regulations page.

(Updated January 2019)

Disclaimer

These Guidelines are intended for information purposes only. They are not a substitute for the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012) or any of its regulations. In the event of any inconsistency between these Guidelines and CEAA 2012 or its regulations, the CEAA 2012 or regulations would prevail.

To ensure that you have the most up-to-date versions of CEAA 2012 and its regulations, please consult the Department of Justice website.

Updates

This document may be reviewed and updated periodically. To ensure that you have the most up-to-date version, please consult the Funding Programs page of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency’s website.

Copyright

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, (2016).

This publication may be reproduced for personal or internal use without permission, provided the source is fully acknowledged. However, multiple copy reproduction of this publication in whole or in part for purposes of distribution requires the prior written permission by contacting the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency or ceaa.information.acee@canada.ca.

Catalogue No.: En106-60/2013E-PDF

ISBN: 978-1-100-21675-1

This document has been issued in French under the title:

Programmes d'aide financière – Lignes directrices nationales des Programmes

Table of Contents

Introduction

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency’s (the Agency) Funding Programs (FP) support public and Indigenous participation in engagement initiatives conducted by the Agency, by review panels and joint review panels or other federal government departments. The FP are administered by the Agency.

The purpose of this document is to describe the FP components and process, and the roles and responsibilities of successful applicants.

Individuals, non-profit organizations and Indigenous groups interested in participating in federal engagement initiatives are eligible to apply for funding in one of two funding components:

  • Regular Funding: provides limited financial assistance to individuals, non-profit organizations, and Indigenous groups to help prepare for and participate in key public participation opportunities provided during engagement initiatives by the Agency, review panels, joint review panels or other federal government departments.
  • Indigenous Funding: provides limited funding to Indigenous groups to assist them to prepare for and participate in Indigenous consultation activities and key participation opportunities associated with engagement initiatives by the Agency, review panels, joint review panels or other federal government departments. Indigenous groups in receipt of funding from this component for a specific engagement initiative are not eligible for funding under the Regular Funding for the same process.

The funding made available by the Agency’s FP supports participation opportunities posted on the Agency’s website and Indigenous consultation opportunities described in specific Indigenous consultation plans established for a project or engagement initiative.

The Agency receives a fixed annual budget for the FP and administers it to provide limited financial assistance to eligible applicants in a fair and transparent manner. The Agency is not able to cover all expenses incurred and participants are encouraged to investigate other sources of funding or in-kind support.

Objective

The overall objective of the FP is to encourage effective participation by helping to ensure that concerns about the potential effects of a project on the environment, Indigenous groups and on potential or established Aboriginal or treaty rights or potential effects of government practices and processes are taken into consideration during the engagement process.

Effective participation can:

  • provide individuals and organizations with an opportunity to contribute to the planning of projects that may affect them;
  • allow proponents, the Agency or another federal government department to better understand and address public interest and concerns regarding the potential effects of a project or of government practices and processes;
  • assist in identifying and preventing or mitigating potential adverse environmental effects by contributing community knowledge and Indigenous knowledge that may be applied in the environmental assessment or in the review of issues, policies, regulations and legislations; and
  • inform the environmental assessment process and the decisions that come out of that process.

Funding is made available by way of the FP in support of achieving these benefits.

Programs Process

Typical Timelines
Process Phases Typical length (business days) Notes/Comments

Standard application period

20

 

FP reviews submitted application

3

 

Prepare and conduct Funding Review Committee and obtain client’s revisions/additional documents as required

5

May vary depending on client’s response time

Allocation Decision process

15

 

Master Contribution Agreement and/or Schedule signed by the Agency after received from client

3

 

FP processes complete payment request from client (once complete expense claim is received)

20

 

TOTAL

66

Determination of Funding

Funding is available when there is an environmental assessment of a project or an engagement activity by:

  • the Agency;
  • a review panel/joint review panel; or
  • an other federal government department.

Funding is not determined per project or activity, rather it is determined by the level and complexity of activities undertaken with the applicant, either Indigenous groups or the public. The Agency pre-establishes maximum funding levels for many activities so that the same amount is available to each applicant across the country.

Environmental Assessment by the Agency

An environmental assessment may be required for projects described in the Regulations Designating Physical Activities. Once the Agency has posted a notice on its Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry that an adequate project description has been received from a proponent, the Agency must determine within 45 days whether an environmental assessment is required. If an environmental assessment is required, it is initiated as an environmental assessment by the Agency.

The environmental assessment process begins with a comment period on the draft Environmental Impact Statement Guidelines. Participant funding is not available to support review and comment on the draft Environmental Impact Statement Guidelines.

The availability of participant funding is generally announced approximately 30 days after the close of the comment period on the draft Environmental Impact Statement Guidelines.

Participant funding during an environmental assessment by the Agency is available to support the participant in:

  • reviewing and providing written comments to the Agency on the Environmental Impact Statement Summary or Environmental Impact Statement produced by the proponent; and
  • reviewing and providing written comments on the draft Environmental Assessment Report prepared by the Agency and potential conditions.

Environmental Assessment by a Review Panel / Joint Review Panel

The Minister of the Environment and Climate Change may refer the environmental assessment of a project to a review panel within 60 days of the start of an environmental assessment.

The availability of participant funding is announced at the beginning of the review panel process.

Participant funding in an environmental assessment by a review panel/joint review panel is available to support the participant in:

  • reviewing and providing written comments to the Agency on the draft review panel terms of reference and, if applicable, the joint review panel agreement;
  • reviewing and providing written comments to the Agency and/or review panel on the Environmental Impact Statement Summary or Environmental Impact Statement produced by the proponent;
  • preparing for and participating in the hearings held by the review panel; and
  • reviewing and providing written comments to the Agency on the potential conditions.

In the Indigenous Funding component only, funding can also be made available to support Indigenous consultation on the review panel’s report.

Agency Engagement Activities

To better support public and Indigenous engagement, the Agency implemented in 2016 a Policy Dialogue Program. This Program assists in building constructive dialogue with Canadians, civil society, and stakeholders, and provides greater opportunities for Canadians to express their views and for experts to provide evidence and advice. This new Program allows funding for public and Indigenous engagement on environment-related issues and processes.

Regular Funding Level (for individuals, non-profit organizations, etc.)

The maximum funding available for public participation in an environmental assessment of a project undertaken by the Agency or other federal government departments is $12,300. And the maximum funding available for public participation in engagement activities undertaken by a review panel/joint review panel is $21,800.

Funding levels for other Agency activities are determined on a case by case basis and take into consideration the budget available and the complexity of the engagement activity.

Indigenous Funding Level for Environmental Assessments

In considering what constitutes a reasonable contribution to Indigenous groups to support their input to an engagement activity and/or to support their engagement in consultation and participation activities with the federal government, the Agency recognizes three categories in which activities may need to be undertaken by Indigenous groups:

  • Community consultation: discussions within the Indigenous community on a project and its potential effects on the environment and Indigenous or treaty rights, so views and information can be gathered and brought forward during the engagement process and consultation activities;
  • Technical review and input: review of the technical documents prepared during the engagement process and input on those documents; and
  • Consultation with federal government: presentation of the views of the Indigenous group to the federal government.

Based on the opportunities for participation and consultation during the engagement process identified in the consultation work plan, the funding to be offered in support of the activities described above is identified by the Agency using pre-established maximum funding levels.

Indigenous Funding Level for Policy Engagement Activities

Funding levels for other Agency activities are determined on a case by case basis and take into consideration the budget available and the complexity of the engagement activity.

Notification of Availability of Funding

Notification of Regular Funding Availability

To notify the public that funding is available, the Agency or other federal government departments place public notices in local media and distribute a news release to provincial media outlets. The news release and public notice are also made available on the Agency’s Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry, or on other federal government departments’ website.

Notification of Indigenous Funding Availability

Indigenous Funding is directly linked to the Agency’s Indigenous consultation activities associated with the engagement activities of a project or review process. Indigenous Funding availability is generally communicated by the Agency, or other federal government department, directly to those Indigenous groups involved. This is generally done at the same time as the announcement for Regular Funding.

Eligibility

Eligible Recipients

Individuals, incorporated non-profit organizations and Indigenous groups may apply for funding.

To be eligible to apply, participants must demonstrate the value they will add by their participation in the environmental assessment or engagement initiative and that they meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Have a direct, local interest in the project or engagement initiative, such as living or owning property in the project area;
  • Indigenous traditional and/or expert knowledge with regards to the relevant engagement activities;
  • Plan to provide expert information relevant to the anticipated environmental effects of the project or engagement initiative; and/or
  • Have an interest in the potential impacts of the project on treaty lands, settlement lands or traditional territories and/or related claims and rights.

Ineligible Recipients

Municipal, provincial and federal governments (except Indigenous) and government entities created by statute.

Any individuals, organizations or Indigenous groups with views on the potential environmental effects of a project or the potential effects of government practices and processes may still participate in the engagement process, regardless of funding decisions.

Expenses

Eligible Expenses

The following expenses are eligible for funding under the FP (for more detailed guidance see Appendix B - Content and Expense Category Description of the application forms):

  • Reporting Costs [1]
  • Professional Services [2]
  • Travel Expenses (including travel kilometers/flights, meals, incidentals and accommodation)
  • Honoraria for Elders and ceremonial offerings (including costs associated with providing Indigenous or community knowledge relevant to the engagement activity. The Elder cannot be in receipt of a salary or any other direct income for the activity for which an honorarium is claimed. Ceremonial offerings include relevant costs associated with providing gifts, such as tobacco offered to the Elder(s), in recognition for provided Indigenous or community knowledge relevant to the engagement activity).

To qualify for reimbursement, all costs must be attributed to these expense categories and must directly contribute to activities described in the approved work plan as outlined in the Schedule to the Master Contribution Agreement.

Ineligible Expenses

The FP will not fund activities that duplicate services, studies or written materials that are funded by other public or private sources. This includes information prepared by the Agency, the proponent or, in the case of an assessment by a review panel, the review panel, or other federal government departments.

The Agency’s FP have a ‘stacking limit’, that is, a maximum permitted amount of combined funding from federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments for participation in any one project, engagement activities or associated Crown consultation activities. Combined funding from governments to a recipient for participation in a project, engagement activities or Crown consultation activities cannot exceed 100% of eligible costs. The Agency uses the information provided by a recipient in the application and in the Detailed Financial Reports to verify that a recipient’s funding request and Detailed Financial Report conforms to this stacking limit. If the stacking limit is exceeded, the Agency will adjust its level of contribution, and if necessary, seek reimbursement so that the staking limit is not exceeded. A paragraph regarding the stacking limit forms part of the FP’s Master Contribution Agreement with a recipient.

Application Submission

A completed funding application form must be submitted to the Agency by the deadline to be considered for funding. The application forms are available on the Agency’s website.

The deadline for submitting a funding application is generally 30 days from the notification of funding availability, and is clearly identified in the Public Notices and News Releases.

Only completed application forms received by the deadline will be considered.

Completed applications and supporting documentation are to be submitted to the Agency by one of the following ways:

Email to: CEAA.FP-PAF.ACEE@canada.ca

Mail to:

Funding Programs
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
160 Elgin Street, 22nd Floor
Ottawa, ON K1A 0H3

Application Assessment

A Funding Review Committee reviews all applications received to determine whether the proposed activities align with the public participation and Indigenous consultation opportunities or engagement initiatives set out by the Agency and determines if the associated expenses reflect the effort and resources required to support those activities. Based on that analysis, the Funding Review Committee recommends whether funding should be approved, and if so, recommends an appropriate amount for each applicant to the President of the Agency, who makes the final decision on each funding request.

Funding

The President of the Agency makes the final decision on the funding allocations based on the Funding Review Committee’s report and recommendations, and any additional considerations identified by the Agency.

Some applicants may not receive funding. Others may be approved for less than the amount they requested. Regardless of the decision, applicants may still participate in the engagement activities.

The Agency notifies applicants of the President’s funding decision. The successful applicants’ names and approved funding allocation amounts are made public on the Agency’s Media Room and on the Government of Canada internet site as part of its efforts of transparency.

Master Contribution Agreement and Schedules

When funding is approved, the applicant will be contacted by the Agency to finalize a Master Contribution Agreement and a Schedule to the Master Contribution Agreement. A Master Contribution Agreement is a detailed contract between the Agency and a recipient and which identifies the conditions and obligations for all signatories for any project or engagement initiative by the Agency. The Master Contribution Agreement is designed to be in effect for a ten (10) year period. A sample Master Contribution Agreement is available on the Agency’s website.

Schedules to the Master Contribution Agreement reflect the work plan and budget breakdown for the specific project or activity for which the funding is being provided. A sample Schedule is available on the Agency’s website.

Expenses incurred can only be reimbursed after a Schedule to a Master Contribution Agreement has been signed by both the recipient and the Agency.

The Schedule to the Master Contribution Agreement:

  • identifies the eligible costs;
  • specifies the eligible activities in the approved work plan;
  • specifies conditions for payment;
  • specifies the effective date and duration of the Schedule; and
  • requires the recipient to be accountable for the public funds received.

Due to the estimated nature of funding requests, an adjustment of up to 20 percent within expense categories may be allowed. The recipient must submit a written request (email is sufficient) with justification to modify the original eligible expenditures approved as part of the Schedule to the Master Contribution Agreement. The request must be approved by the Agency and the total amount claimed must remain within the level of funding originally approved.

The Agency reserves the right to undertake, or have undertaken, a financial audit of the accounts and resources of the recipient to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Master Contribution Agreement and associated Schedule(s).

Direct Deposit

The Government of Canada has switched from cheques to direct deposit, an electronic transfer of funds deposited directly into the recipient’s bank account. For more information on direct deposit, visit your bank or financial institution, or call toll-free at 1-800-O-Canada (1-800-622-6232). You can also find more information, including a short informative video, at the Government of Canada internet site.

If you currently have a bank account or qualify to open a bank account, you are encouraged to enroll by completing the Recipient Registration and Electronic Payment Request Form and returning it to the Agency by one of the following ways:

Email to: CEAA.FP-PAF.ACEE@canada.ca

Mail to:

Funding Programs
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
160 Elgin Street, 22nd Floor
Ottawa, ON K1A 0H3

Payments

The Schedule to the Contribution Agreement includes conditions of payment. There are two ways that funds can be provided to the recipient: as interim payments or a final payment. A Detailed Financial Report form can be downloaded from the Agency’s website.

Interim

An interim payment can be made after some eligible expenses have been incurred by the recipient for participation activities set out in the approved work plan, but before all activities relating to the final participation opportunity have been completed.

Final

A final payment claim can be submitted once all of the eligible expenses related to the final participation or engagement opportunity have been incurred by the recipient and when there are no more opportunities to participate in the environmental assessment or engagement activity.

Contact Information

Visit the Agency’s website for further information on the Funding Programs.

You can also write to:

Funding Programs
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
160 Elgin Street, 22nd Floor Ottawa, ON K1A 0H3
Tel.: 1-866-582-1884
CEAA
.FP-PAF.ACEE@canada.ca

These National Programs Guidelines can be downloaded from the Agency’s website.


[1] Includes: staff salaries, administrative/reporting costs (such as: bookkeeping, accounting, reporting on the deliverables specific to the project for which the funding is provided) and office supplies, telephone charges, rental of office space, meeting rooms, local collection/distribution of information, general media advertising, promotion and other expenses.

[2] Includes: professional fees (expert advice or assistance on environmental, technical, or social issues relevant to the objectives of the engagement activity) and legal fees (expert legal advice or assistance directly related to the recipient’s participation).

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