National funding guidelines: Development of policy and guidance on the proposed new impact assessment system

Introduction

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (the Agency) is providing funding for Indigenous participation in the development of policy and guidance related to the proposed new impact assessment system.

The purpose of this document is to describe the Funding Programs process and the roles and responsibilities of successful applicants.

Indigenous organizations, groups and communities interested in participating in Agency activities are eligible to apply for limited funding to assist them to prepare for and participate in Indigenous engagement activities, dialogue and other key participation opportunities associated with the development of policy and guidance for the implementation of the proposed legislation.

About the proposed new impact assessment system

The Government of Canada is bringing forward better rules for major projects to protect our environment, fish and waterways, and rebuild public trust in how decisions about resource development projects are made.

One of the key proposed changes is to provide greater clarity and consistency by establishing the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (currently the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency) to lead all federal reviews of major projects, working with other bodies like the new Canadian Energy Regulator (currently the National Energy Board), the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and Offshore Boards, and in cooperation with provinces and territories and Indigenous jurisdictions.

These better rules reflect values that are important to Canadians — including early, inclusive and meaningful public engagement; nation-to-nation, Inuit-Crown, and government-to-government partnerships with Indigenous peoples; timely decisions based on the best available science and Indigenous knowledge; and sustainability for present and future generations.

Program process

Eligibility

Eligible recipients

All Indigenous organizations, groups and communities are eligible for funding to participate in the development of policy and guidance on the proposed new impact assessment system, including:

  • an Indigenous group or a collective coordinating more than one Indigenous group; and,
  • an incorporated or registered Indigenous non-profit organization, such as band councils, associations, co-operatives and institutions.

To be eligible to apply, participants must demonstrate the value they will add by their participation in the development of policy and guidance on the proposed new impact assessment system by meeting at least one of the following criteria:

  • Have a direct interest in the development of policy and guidance on the proposed new impact assessment system, or any related legislation or policies;
  • Have community knowledge or Indigenous knowledge relevant to the development of policy and guidance on the proposed new impact assessment system, or any related legislation or policies;
  • Have expert information or knowledge relevant to the development of policy and guidance on the proposed new impact assessment system; or
  • Have interests in how the outcomes of the development of policy and guidance on the proposed new impact assessment system could potentially have an impact on treaty lands, settlement lands or traditional territories or related claims and rights.

Ineligible recipients

Governmental organizations, other than Indigenous governments, are not eligible to receive participant funding.

Any individuals, organizations or groups with views regarding the development of policy and guidance on the proposed new impact assessment system may still participate, regardless of funding decisions.

Eligible activities

The nature and type of activities, specific to the development of policy and guidance on the proposed new impact assessment system, that are considered eligible include:

  • Preparation for and/or participation in meetings of Indigenous organizations, groups and communities members, including network activities by conference call and outreach activities, with the aim to gather views, enhance knowledge and strengthen awareness of Indigenous groups, or contribute to one or more components of policy development for the implementation of the proposed legislation;and
  • Preparation of written submissions, and/or supporting studies, that represent the views of Indigenous organizations, groups, or communities relevant to one or more components of policy development for the implementation of the proposed legislation; and,
  • Review of documents in support of contributing to one or more components of the policy development for the implementation of the proposed legislation.

You are encouraged to propose eligible activities to participate in the development of policy and guidance on the proposed new impact assessment system.

Expenses

Eligible expenses

The following expenses are eligible for funding under the Funding Programs (for more detailed guidance see Appendix B - Content and Expense Category Description of the Application Form):

  • Reporting Costs Footnote 1
  • Professional Services Footnote 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 participation 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 participation 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

Ineligible expenses

The Funding Programs 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 a federal government department or agency, or any review body.

There is a ‘stacking limit’, that is, a maximum permitted amount of combined funding from federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments for participation in the development of policy and guidance on the proposed new impact assessment system. Combined funding from governments to a recipient for participation in an eligible activity cannot exceed 100 percent of eligible expenses. 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 stacking limit is not exceeded.

Application submission

A completed funding application form must be submitted by the deadline to be considered for funding. The application forms are available through the public notice.

The deadline for submitting a funding application is generally 30 days from the notification of participant funding availability, and is clearly identified in the public notice.

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
    C/O Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
    160 Elgin Street, 22nd Floor
    Ottawa, ON K1A 0H3

Application assessment

Applications for funding will be assessed based upon the following criteria, as applicable:

  • Intention to work with departmental officials in planning and hosting an Indigenous engagement session;
  • Intention to submit a product with the views and other input related to the development of policy and guidance on the proposed new impact assessment system;
  • Demonstration of how the Indigenous group(s) or community(ies) or organization's membership are involved and supported during the the development of policy and guidance on the proposed new impact assessment system;
  • Provision of Indigenous and expert knowledge in relation to the development of policy and guidance on the proposed new impact assessment system;
  • Relevant experience and capacity to undertake the proposed activities;
  • Relevance of the proposed activities to the participation of Indigenous groups in the the development of policy and guidance on the proposed new impact assessment system;
  • Number of groups being coordinated and participating;
  • Number of people being coordinated and participating;
  • Demonstration of the level/degree of implication/potential impact in the proposed dialogue (e.g. geographic proximity), as appropriate;
  • The complexity and duration of the applicant's involvement in the development of policy and guidance on the proposed new impact assessment system; and
  • Cost effectiveness of the proposal (i.e., are the benefits proportional to the costs)

Determination of funding

A Funding Review Committee reviews all applications received to determine whether the proposed activities align with the participation opportunities set out by the Agency and determines if the associated expenses reflect the effort and resources required to support those activities. Funding decisions will be based on the assessment criteria, including a proposal’s cost effectiveness (e.g. collaboration with other groups). The amount of funding available per successful applicant will depend on the funding available, activities proposed and the number of groups and/or people being consulted and engaged. Note: Even if all criteria are met, funding is not guaranteed.

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 Delegated Authority of the Agency, who makes the final decision on each funding request.

Funding process

The delegated authority 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 activities.

The Agency notifies applicants by email of the Delegated Authority’s funding decision. The successful applicants’ names and approved funding allocation amounts are made public on the Government of Canada’s Media Room and on the Agency’s website as part of the Government of Canada’s efforts of transparency.

Contribution agreement

When funding is approved, the applicant will be contacted by the Agency to finalize a Contribution Agreement. A Contribution Agreement is a type of contract between the Agency and a recipient of the funds.

The Contribution Agreement, signed by the applicant (referred to in the Contribution Agreement as the “Recipient”) and the Agency, will identify the conditions of the funding and the obligations of all signatories.

Only expenses incurred after a Contribution Agreement has been signed by both the Recipient and the Agency can be reimbursed.

The Contribution Agreement also:

  • 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 Contribution Agreement; 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 with justification to modify the original eligible expenditures approved as part of the 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 Contribution Agreement.

Direct deposit

The Government of Canada is switching from cheques to direct deposit, an electronic transfer of funds deposited directly into your bank account. The direct deposit will be faster than cheques. 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 Public Works and Government Services Canada’s website.

Payments

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 template Detailed Financial Report form can be downloaded for your use.

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 opportunity have been incurred by the Recipient and when there are no more opportunities to participate in the development of policy and guidance on the proposed new impact assessment system.

Contact information

Visit the Government of Canada’s Environmental and Regulatory Reviews website for further information on the proposed new impact assessment system

For more information about the Funding Programs:
Tel.: 1-866-582-1884
CEAA.FP-PAF.ACEE@canada.ca

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