Western Economic Diversification Canada
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1. Overview

1.1 Canada 150 Celebration

The Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program is part of Canada 150 Celebrates, the Government of Canada's celebration of our country's 150th anniversary of Confederation. Through investments in community infrastructure, the Government of Canada will invest in projects that celebrate our heritage, create jobs, and improve the quality of life for Canadians.  Budget 2016 provided an additional $150 million over two years to Canada's Regional Development Agencies to deliver further community funding across the country, starting in 2016-17,with Western Economic Diversification Canada being responsible for administering the program in the western provinces. Under the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program, the investments will support projects that seek to renovate, expand and improve existing community infrastructure, with a focus on recreational facilities, projects that advance a clean growth economy, and projects with a positive impact on Indigenous communities.

The 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017 is a special occasion for Canadians to connect with our past, celebrate our achievements and build for the future. It is an opportunity to reflect on, and deepen, our sense of what it means to be Canadian, as well as to inspire a new era of optimism and hope across the country. Canadians have a deep and enduring sense of pride in their communities and the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure will support projects that celebrate our collective community spirit across the country.

2. Eligibility

2.1 Eligible Applicants

Eligible applicants include:

  • A local or regional government established under provincial or territorial statute;
  • A public sector body that is wholly owned by an eligible applicant listed above;
  • A not-for-profit entity;
  • An entity that provides municipal-type services to communities, as defined by provincial or territorial statute (including school boards and Metis settlements); and
  • A First Nation government, including a Band or Tribal Council or its agent (including wholly-owned corporation) on the condition that the First Nation has indicated support for the project and for the legally-designated representative to seek funding through a formal Band or Tribal Council resolution, or other documentation from Self-governing First Nations.

In addition, eligible applicants must directly own the infrastructure assets, facility or land which are being renovated or have a long-term lease in place with permission from the owner to undertake renovations. If you have a long-term lease in place, it is mandatory that you attach a copy of the lease and, where necessary, proof that you have permission from the owner to undertake renovations.

2.2 Eligible Projects

Examples of the type of community infrastructure that can be supported include:

  • Recreational facilities including local arenas, gymnasia, swimming pools, sports fields, tennis, basketball, volleyball or other sport-specific courts or other types of recreational facilities;
  • Parks, recreational trails, such as fitness trails, bike paths and other types of trails;
  • Community centres (including legions);
  • Cultural centres and museums;
  • Campgrounds;
  • Tourism facilities;
  • Docks;
  • Libraries;
  • Cenotaphs; and
  • Other existing community infrastructure for public benefit.

Eligible projects must meet the following criteria:

  • The amount of funding being requested under the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program cannot exceed 50% of the total costs of a project, up to a maximum of $500,000.
  • The maximum contribution from ALL Government of Canada sources (including the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program and other sources such as the Gas Tax Fund) cannot exceed 50% of the total costs of a project;
  • Be for the rehabilitation, renovation, or expansion of existing infrastructure for public use or benefit;
  • Be community-oriented, non-commercial in nature and open for use to the public and not limited to a private membership;
  • Be for facilities located in Western Canada (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan or Manitoba); and
  • Be materially complete by March 31, 2018.
    • A project is considered to be materially complete when a substantial part of the improvement is ready for use or is being used for the purposes intended.

In addition, an applicant must:

  • Submit a fully complete application form by June 22, 2016 and include all mandatory attachments (Section 5.4); and
  • Be available for follow-up from June – August 2016.

Applicants who applied under the first intake of the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program may apply again under the second intake. Please ensure that your funding application meets the updated eligibility criteria and responds to this intake's specific program priorities (Section 3).

2.3 Ineligible Projects

Examples of ineligible projects:

  • Construction of new infrastructure;
  • Expansion of existing infrastructure beyond 30%;
  • Facilities primarily for use by professional sports teams;
  • Facilities that are to be used primarily for commercial activities, that have private membership or are for-profit facilities in general; and
  • Facilities owned and operated by provincial departments.

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3. Priorities

For this intake of applications, priority will be given to projects that address one or more of the following:

In addition, funding from sources other than the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program must be confirmed at the time of application (written proof is required – see Section 5.5);

Other considerations may include:

  • Projects that will leave a meaningful, lasting legacy resulting from Canada 150 (i.e., Upgrades that will provide long-term benefits to a community that are recognized as a lasting legacy from Canada 150);
  • Projects that are seeking less than 50% of the total project costs from the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program;
  • Projects will be completed by Fall 2017; and
  • Ability to start the project quickly.

3.1 Recreational Facilities

Participation in sport and recreational activities contributes to the well-being of Canadians and communities in urban, rural and remote areas all across the country.  As such, priority will be given to sport and recreation facilities, such as:

  • Swimming pools;
  • Parks, recreational trails such as fitness trails, bike paths and other types of trails;
  • Sports fields;
  • Arenas (indoor and outdoor arenas);
  • Gymnasia;
  • Tennis, basketball, volleyball or other sport-specific courts;
  • Curling Rinks;
  • Playgrounds;
  • Waterpark/spray park; and
  • Multi-purpose facilities (e.g., Community recreation or friendship centres).

Recognizing that non-recreational facilities, to meet their community's needs, could have recreational sections within its larger complex or offer space for recreational programming, WD will also prioritize applications from these facilities under the following two conditions:

  • The specific space being renovated is available a minimum of 50% of its available time for recreational programming/use; and,
  • The application is specifically for upgrades for the space used for recreational programming.

Examples of non-recreational facilities that meet these criteria are:

  • Cultural centre that has an outdoor basketball court and is requesting to re-surface the court.
  • Community centre that has an activity room that is used 50% for recreational programming (e.g., karate, exercise class and yoga) and is requesting to upgrade the floor.

Other non-recreational facilities identified as Eligible Projects (Section 2.2) will be given lower priority.

3.2 Advancing a Clean Growth Economy

The development, demonstration and adoption of clean technologies are a key component of promoting sustainable economic growth and will play a critical role in advancing a clean growth economy.

Clean technology refers to any technology product/process that improves environmental performance relative to the standard/most commonplace technology in a given market. This includes technologies that reduce negative impacts on the environment, provide superior performance at a lower cost, and/or an improved quality of life by optimizing resource use.

Infrastructure improvements can contribute to improved environmental performance by:

  • Diversifying the sources of energy supply and distribution (e.g., installing solar panels as an energy supply option);
  • Reducing the energy, water and other material inputs of a system (e.g., replacing a community pool liner to reduce water leakage);
  • Increasing the productivity of energy and material inputs of a system (including improving the energy efficiency of existing infrastructure) (e.g., installing a new energy efficient furnace);
  • Reducing or eliminating the emission of waste or contaminants that impair the environment (e.g., replacing an arena ice plant that reduces hazardous waste); and/or,
  • Improving measurement or monitoring systems or processes that facilitate any of the above.

Priority will be given to projects that have a positive impact on the environment and advance a clean growth economy, for example where they involve the following:

  • The development/demonstration of new clean technology products/processes (e.g., install/integrate a new power source, such as geothermal); or,
  • The installation/adoption of existing clean technology products/processes (e.g., adoption of energy efficiency improvements to heating and cooling systems, windows and lighting).

Applicants will be required to clearly describe how their project would have a positive impact on the environment and advance a clean growth economy.

3.3 Impact on Indigenous Communities and Peoples

Projects that have a positive and significant impact on Indigenous communities and peoples (First Nation, Métis and Inuit) by increasing their participation and engagement in the community will also be given priority. A significant impact is described as:

  • The applicant is an organization that is owned/operated by Indigenous peoples;
  • The applicant has a mandate to assist and/or deliver services to Indigenous peoples and is actively engaged with the Indigenous community; and/or,
  • Indigenous peoples are significant users of the facility.

For non-indigenous applicants whose projects may have a significant impact on Indigenous communities or peoples, it is strongly encouraged that letters of support from the relevant Indigenous communities be included in the application to support the claim. If available, applicants should submit evidence of significant impact, such as demographic analysis, usage data and/or geographic proximity.

4. Funding

4.1 Funding Available

The Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program will invest $150 million across Canada in community infrastructure, with $46.2 million allocated across Western Canada (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba).

The maximum contribution from ALL Government of Canada sources (including the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program and other sources such as the Gas Tax Fund) cannot exceed 50% of the total costs of a project. There is no minimum contribution threshold (i.e., applicants can seek a contribution from the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program for a smaller, specific component of a project with large total project costs).

Eligible applicants can apply for funding under the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program up to a maximum of $500,000. Any funding request for a contribution over $500,000 will be considered ineligible.

4.2 Eligible Costs

The Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program will support eligible costs directly related to a project that have been incurred and paid by a successful applicant.

Examples of costs eligible for reimbursement under the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program include:

  • Costs incurred and paid between April 1, 2016 and March 31, 2018;
  • Costs to rehabilitate or improve fixed capital assets of community facilities, including minor expansions to existing infrastructure (i.e., less than 30% of the existing square footage/footprint);
  • Fees paid to consultants/contractors or other professional or technical personnel directly related to the rehabilitation or expansion of the community facility (See Section 5.7 for details on competitive process requirements);
  • Costs of environmental assessments, monitoring and follow-up programs as required by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act 2012 or equivalent legislation;
  • Costs related to signage, which are required for Canada 150 projects and need to be included in the project budget; and
  • Other costs directly related to the success of the project and approved in advance.

The amount of funding requested under the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program cannot exceed 50% of the total costs of a project, up to a maximum of $500,000. The remaining 50% of the total project costs must be matched by the applicant directly or other funders.

Under the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program projects may not begin incurring any eligible costs (that can be included in the Total Project Costs) earlier than April 1, 2016.

Western Economic Diversification reserves the right to make the final determination on the value of contributions and to exclude expenditures deemed to be ineligible or outside the scope of the project.

4.3 Ineligible Costs

Costs that are deemed unreasonable, not incremental and/or not directly related to project activities will be ineligible for reimbursement. Costs and services normally covered by the applicant (e.g., maintenance and salaries) and related party transactions (e.g., hiring family of a board member and/or management or hiring a contracting company that is owned by a board member) are not eligible.

Costs not eligible for reimbursement under the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program include:

  • Costs incurred before April 1, 2016 or after March 31, 2018;
  • Movable equipment (e.g., furniture, computers, sporting equipment, Zambonis, snow groomers, lawn mowers and ATVs, including costs for leasing equipment);
  • Overhead costs, including direct and indirect operating and administrative costs (e.g., management, planning, engineering and other related costs) normally carried out by the applicant;
  • Costs for salaries and benefits of existing employees and general administration costs unrelated to the project;
  • Costs for the purchase of land and/or buildings;
  • Feasibility and planning studies;
  • Legal fees;
  • Routine maintenance costs; and
  • Taxes, such as GST, for which the applicant is eligible for a tax rebate.

4.4 Disbursements

If you are successful in obtaining funding through the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program, you will only be reimbursed by Western Economic Diversification for costs after you have incurred AND paid for them and submitted a claim. As such, you will need to plan your project cash flow accordingly. Furthermore, successful applicants must fully spend their projected funds requested under the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program each fiscal year as moving funds from one year to another will not be possible.

Successful applicants will also be required to complete claims and progress reports at key phases of the project, as well as a final project report (Section 8). Western Economic Diversification will provide detailed instructions on this process to those who are approved for funding. It is expected that claims for reimbursement will be submitted in a timely manner.

Successful applicants may begin to incur costs related to their project prior to April 1, 2016; however, only costs incurred and paid by the applicant between April 1, 2016 and March 31, 2018 will be eligible for reimbursement under the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program. Invoices must be provided to Western Economic Diversification indicating that all costs (eligible for reimbursement under the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program) were incurred and paid between April 1, 2016 and March 31, 2018.

4.5 Guidelines For In-kind Costs/Contributions

In-kind contributions are NOT eligible for reimbursement under the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program and cannot be included in the total project costs. Costs must be incurred and paid directly by an applicant to be included as part of the total eligible project costs.

Examples of in-kind contributions:

  • Volunteer labour;
  • Equipment and material donations; and
  • Financial discounts for equipment and materials.

4.6 Employee and Other Incremental Costs

The incremental costs of the applicant's employees or direct costs will only be considered as an eligible cost on an exception basis and only under the following conditions:

  • The applicant is a local, regional or First Nations government or not-for-profit organization; or,
  • The applicant confirms and substantiates that it is not economically feasible to tender a contract; or,
  • Employees or equipment are employed directly in respect of the work that would have been the subject of the contract; or,
  • The costs were approved in advance and are included in the Contribution Agreement.