Grants and Contributions to Promote Social and Political Development in the North and for northerners

Table of contents

1. Introduction

This set of terms and conditions consolidates the former:

These terms and conditions have been consolidated to reflect support for activities that contribute to the overall social and political development of the North and for Northerners including enhancing financial management capacity of the Government of Nunavut. Together, these activities are also meant to align with the broader goals and objectives of Canada’s Arctic and Northern Policy Framework: that Canadian Arctic and Northern Indigenous peoples are resilient and healthy and that infrastructure in the region is strengthened to help close gaps in social development outcomes when compared to other regions of Canada.

These terms and conditions permit contribution and grant payments to a category of recipients, including a component specifically targeted to Indigenous Peoples and a component specifically targeted to other orders of government.

The purpose of these terms and conditions is to determine provisions for making payments to promote the political and social development in the North. This will help to address gaps in social development outcomes experienced in the North and by Northerners, while accommodating a variety of programs that deliver on Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada's (CIRNAC) mandate with respect to Northern development.

Under the Department of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Act, the minister has broad responsibilities in relation to northern development. While these responsibilities have evolved considerably since the 1970's and continue to change as further devolution of land and resource management is undertaken, the minister remains responsible for a range of northern development issues and has a mandate to create more economic opportunity and a higher quality of life in the North of Canada. These terms and conditions provide guidance for managing some of those responsibilities through funding arrangements, including activities related to consultation, research, capacity building and core activities.

In addition to general support for programming, in relation to political development, these terms and conditions encompass a program applicable specifically to the Government of Nunavut to enhance its financial management and networking capabilities to achieve the level of financial management capability that is required of a modern, accountable, public government.

Additionally, the federal government continues to recognize the need to fund outreach programs and other services offered to Inuit living in southern Canada. The services provided assure counselling-type services to the Inuit who have moved from isolated northern areas into a highly complex urban environment in southern Canada.

For these terms and conditions, the North is defined as Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Nunavik region, Nunatsiavut region and any other northern area which, in the opinion of the department, requires similar program or policy support as the previously listed areas.

2. Legal and policy authority

The Yukon Act (S.C. 2002, c. 7), the Northwest Territories Act (R.S.C. 1985, c. N-27), and the Nunavut Act (S.C. 1993, c. 28).

Department of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Act, 2019.

The Department of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Act mandates the Minister of Northern Affairs to:

  1. coordinate the activities of the departments, boards and agencies of the Government of Canada in the territories,
  2. develop and implement policies and programs to promote the social, economic and political development of the territories, and
  3. foster, through scientific investigation and technology, knowledge of the Canadian North and of the taking of various measures to support its development.

3. Purpose, program objectives and expected results

Each component has a specific objective and expected results as outlined:

Objectives Expected results
The objective is to promote the North’s political and social development and to reduce gaps in social outcomes experienced by Indigenous peoples and other Northerners when compared to other regions. Improve the quality of life of northerners.

Reduce gaps in social outcomes between Indigenous peoples and other Northerners and Canadians in other regions (for example, through improved access to post-secondary educational opportunities).

Enable northerners to assume increasing responsibility within the Canadian federation.
The objective is to promote the Government of Nunavut's Financial Management and Networking System Capacity Development. Support the Government of Nunavut in acquiring and maintaining the financial management capability that is required of a modern, accountable, public government.

Build a greater accountability and a stronger foundation for good governance.
The objective is to fund core activities of eligible recipients to improve the quality of life for Inuit people in urban environments by offering services indirectly through an establishment of a voluntary, predominantly Inuit centre, established to deal with social, cultural and adjustment needs of the Inuit. Reduce the incidence of severe socio-economic problems that may arise when relocating to a largely different geographic and cultural area.

Enable local Inuit to assume increasing administrative responsibility for these programs, increasing their capacity to manage their own affairs.

Improve the quality of life for relocated Inuit.

In the program alignment architecture, activities funded under this authority fall under The North/Northern Governance/Healthy Northern Communities and People.

4. Eligibility

4.1 Eligible recipients

Promoting the political and social development of Canada’s North

Organizations, individuals, other levels of government and other non-federal entities, public or private, including Indigenous and non-Indigenous, that have an interest in political and social development in the North.

Enhancing the financial management capability and networking facilities of the Government of Nunavut

Government of Nunavut

Inuit counselling in the South

Community-based Inuit friendship and cultural centres based in southern Canada, which offer Inuit programming.

4.2. Eligible initiatives and projects

The main activities to be carried out under this authority are:

  • Consultation: Projects centring on all types of facilitation and organization of forums, meetings and workshops; and the collection and dissemination of information or other activities that relate to the solicitation and exchange of information, ideas and points of view, in order to expand knowledge and understanding of northern political or social, issues and activities, and may include projects to expand knowledge and understanding of the Government of Nunavut's financial management system, processes and policies and network infrastructure activities.
  • Research and knowledge development: Projects centring on any direct or indirect research or delivery of programming which expand the knowledge and understanding of northern political or social issues, including addressing climate change, or which take action to close gaps in social outcomes between Indigenous peoples and other Northerners and Canadians in other regions. Activities that expand the knowledge and understanding of the Government of Nunavut's operations and its financial management, systems, reporting and future requirements.
  • Capacity building: Projects centring on measures, other than delivery of executive education and training courses, which support expert analysis of proposals and the development of positions; increase understanding and skills related to roles and responsibilities within organizations, including on-the-job training; or increase knowledge and skills to participate in the current political arena.
  • Core activities: Ongoing support or administrative functions which enable eligible recipients to operationalize and carry out ongoing types of activities that promote political, or social development of the North and/or functions which enable the Government of Nunavut to operationalize activities that enhance its financial management capability and networking facilities.
  • Yukon climate change priorities: To provide support to the Government of Yukon for its climate change priorities in alignment with federal climate policies and the Arctic and Northern Policy Framework.
  • Aurora College transformation activities: To provide support to the Government of the Northwest Territories’ plan to transform Aurora College into a polytechnic university, including funding to enhance research infrastructure at the Western Arctic Research Centre, undertake comprehensive engagement and planning activities to inform transformation priorities, and establish the Aurora College Research Services Team pilot program.
  • Inuit counselling: Core activities which are, in the opinion of the department, reasonable and necessary for the recipient organization to carry out approved activities related to counselling and programs. For the political and social development, any activity may have cultural dimensions, for example, research might involve traditional knowledge.
  • Northern infrastructure and housing priorities: To provide support to the governments of the Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut with the purpose of responding to housing and infrastructure needs in alignment with federal policies including the Arctic and Northern Policy Framework. Of this funding, a minimum of 60 percent must be used for housing and the remaining amount on housing related infrastructure.

5. Type and nature of eligible expenditures

Expenditures, which are, in the opinion of CIRNAC, reasonable and necessary for the recipient to carry out approved projects or core activities may include, but are not limited to:

  Core activitiesTable note 1 ProjectsTable note 2
Professional fees Yes Yes
Communications Yes Yes
Data collection, analysis and reporting   Yes
Photocopying and printing Yes Yes
Salaries and benefits for employees and casual workers Yes Yes
Contract costs for administrative services Yes Yes
Space rentals Yes Yes
Purchase or rental of office equipment Yes Yes
Travel, including meals and accommodations (and shipping costs for Projects only) Yes Yes
Program, operational, delivery and administrative costs associated with initiatives or proposals targeted for the North, which aim to increase knowledge development, instructional material, enrollment or increased opportunities to access post-secondary education. Costs can include, but are not limited to those associated with: expanding or creating or amending post-secondary educational curricula or learning or instructional materials; personal, salary, materials and resources required for the management of funds or delivery of programming; similar costs related to other initiatives aligned with the other goals and objectives of the Arctic and Northern Policy Framework; and other costs necessary to complete the eligible activities to achieve the intended results of the funding provided approved in writing by departmental officials Yes Yes
Housing infrastructure: work required to prepare a lot (sewage, electrical grid, water line, ect.) to enable the construction of housing. Yes Yes
Staff training Yes  
Other administrative costs (for the networking component only) Yes  

2020 COVID-19 pandemic: For the purposes of this contribution, eligible expenditures are those related to the preparedness, mitigation and response towards health, social services and supply chain management and are only available to the three territorial governments for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. General measures may include, but are not limited to:

Yukon climate change priorities: For the purposes of a one-time grant, eligible expenditures are those related to the Government of Yukon’s climate change priorities, which may generally include:

Aurora College transformation: For the purpose of grant funding to support Aurora College’s transformation to a polytechnic university, eligible expenditures may generally include:

Closing the Northern housing and infrastructure gap: For the purposes of a 2-year (2022-2023 to 2023-2024) grant to the Governments of the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut, a minimum of 60 percent must be used for housing and the remaining amount on housing related infrastructure. Eligible expenditures are those which may include, but are not limited to:

6. Total Canadian government funding and stacking limits

Where possible and appropriate, the costs of an eligible activity will be shared with the recipient and/or with government and/or private sector. However, where sharing costs with the recipient and private sector are not feasible, total government funding (federal, territorial, and municipal for the same eligible expenditures) must not exceed 100% of eligible expenditures.

Recipients are required to declare any and all prospective sources of funding for the program or project, inclusive of all federal, provincial, territorial or municipal governments (total government assistance) and other sources that are expected to be received. Annual financial reporting shall show all sources of funding received by the recipient. Provisions for repayment shall be included in the funding arrangements. In the event that actual total government assistance to a recipient exceeds the stacking limit, CIRNAC will adjust its level of funding (and/or seek reimbursement, if necessary) so that the stacking limit is not exceeded.

7. Method for determining the amount of funding

The method for determining the amount of contribution funding is based upon proposals and budgets submitted by the applicant and assessed against federal objectives for political and/or social development in the North, including objectives related to the need for outreach programs and the need to address gaps in social development outcomes as set out in Canada’s Arctic and Northern Policy Framework.

Contributions shall be negotiated to be the least amount required to allow a proposal to proceed.

The method for determining the amount of grant funding, specific to the eligible initiative "Yukon Climate Change Priorities", is based on engagement with the territory on their climate change and adaptation priorities.

The method for determining the amount of the grant funding for the purpose of the Aurora College transformation is based upon approved Budget 2021 funding to the Government of the Northwest Territories.

The method for determining the amount of grant funding, specific to the eligible initiative 'Northern Infrastructure and Housing’ is based upon approved Budget 2022 funding to the Governments of Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and Yukon for this two-year initiative.

8. Maximum amount payable

Promoting the political and social development of Canada’s North

The maximum amount payable via contributions per eligible recipient per year is $10 million except in the case of territorial governments with respect to advanced payments against agreed to devolution costs, where amounts payable annually will align with levels negotiated between Canada and the respective territory. In addition, to address specific needs in the context of COVID-19, the maximum amount payable for the Government of Nunavut will be $12.5 million in 2020-2021.

In addition to the amounts mentioned in the previous paragraph, the maximum amount payable with respect to eligible expenditures listed under "2020 COVID-19 pandemic" in 2020-2021 is:

  • $30 million for the Government of Nunavut
  • $30.7 million for the Government of the Northwest Territories
  • $4 million for the Government of Yukon.

Northern infrastructure and housing priorities

The maximum amount payable with respect to the eligible initiative Northern infrastructure and housing priorities grant is $30 million to the Government of Nunavut for each of the 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 fiscal years, $30 million to the Government of the Northwest Territories for each of the 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 fiscal years, and $15 million to the Government of Yukon for each of the 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 fiscal years. Of the eligible recipients’ amounts, a minimum of 60% must be used for housing and the remaining amount on housing related infrastructure.

Yukon climate change priorities

In addition, the maximum amount payable with respect to eligible initiative Yukon climate change priorities in 2021-2022 is $25 million.

Aurora College

The maximum amount payable with respect to the eligible initiative Aurora College transformation is $8 million over 2 years, starting in 2021-2022.

Enhancing the financial management capability and networking facilities of the Government of Nunavut

The maximum amount payable to the Government of Nunavut for this initiative will not exceed $800,000 annually.

Inuit counselling in the South

The maximum annual payment total for any single eligible recipient, including any amendments to the original transfer payment agreement, will be $380,000 annually.

9. Basis on which payments will be made

Payments are made once an agreement/an amendment to an agreement is executed.

9.1 Contributions

Contributions are normally paid on the basis of achievement of performance objectives or as reimbursement of expenditures incurred. Advance payments may also be made based on a cash flow forecast from the recipient in accordance with the cash management section of Treasury Board’s Directive on Transfer Payments. Advance payments include eligible expenditures directly related to the project incurred and may be retroactive to the date of the approval letter.

Where advance payments are necessary, they are limited to immediate cash requirements of the recipient. Monthly, quarterly or annual progress payments may be based on expenditure claims and a final payment of any sums due following receipt of the final claim and a final payment of any sums due following receipt of the final claim and activities report and, if considered necessary by the department, following completion of a financial audit. Multi-year contribution agreement(s) will be determined based on the recommendation of the reviewers.

Hold backs will be applied in a manner consistent with Treasury Board’s Directive on Transfer Payments and will take into account the management of risks and prudent cash management practices.

Fixed or flexible contribution funding approaches may be used for Indigenous recipients where appropriate, in accordance with Appendix K of the Directive on Transfer Payments.

9.2 Grants

With regards to eligible initiatives of "Northern Infrastructure and Housing Priorities" CIRNAC will enter into a grant agreement with the eligible recipient which will contain the following terms and conditions:

  1. Program/funding objectives;
  2. Eligible expenditures;
  3. Basis and timing of payments: CIRNAC reviews the expenditure plans and, if it is accepted, subsequently establishes the payment schedule. Grants are paid as advance payments and are made based on a cash flow requirement from the recipient in accordance with the cash management section of Treasury Board’s Directive on Transfer Payments. Advance payments include eligible expenditures directly related to the housing and or infrastructure initiative incurred;
  4. Accountability requirement. The recipient shall maintain accounts and financial and non-financial records for the obligations in the agreement. The recipient shall not disburse funds received pursuant to a grant agreement or any part thereof for any purpose other than those contained in the agreement.

With regards to the eligible initiative Yukon climate change priorities, CIRNAC will enter into a grant agreement with the Government of Yukon which will contain the following terms and conditions:

  1. Program/funding objectives;
  2. Eligible expenditures;
  3. Basis and timing of payments: CIRNAC reviews the expenditure plans and, if it is accepted, subsequently establishes the payment schedule. Grants are paid as advance payments and are made based on a cash flow requirement from the recipient in accordance with the cash management section of Treasury Board’s Directive on Transfer Payments. Advance payments include eligible expenditures directly related to the project incurred and may be retroactive to the date of the approval letter;
  4. Accountability requirement. The recipient shall maintain accounts and financial and non-financial records for the obligations in the agreement. The recipient shall not disburse funds received pursuant to this agreement or any part thereof for any purpose other than those contained in the agreement.

CIRNAC will enter into a multi-year grant agreement with the Government of Northwest Territories for the purposes of supporting the territorial government’s priority in transforming Aurora College into a polytechnic university. Specifically, grant funding will support infrastructure upgrades to the Western Arctic Research Centre, establishment of the Aurora College Research Services Team pilot program, and enhance support for planning and engagement activities.

The grant agreement will contain the following terms and conditions:

  1. Program/funding objectives;
  2. Eligible expenditures;
  3. Basis and timing of payments: CIRNAC reviews the expenditure plans and, if it is accepted, subsequently establishes the payment schedule. Grants are paid as advance payments and are made based on a cash flow requirement from the recipient in accordance with the cash management section of Treasury Board’s Directive on Transfer Payments. Any grant in excess of $250,000 will be paid in instalments, unless the full amount is required in a single payment to meet the objectives of the grant, in accordance with Section 6.4.2 of the Directive on Transfer Payments. Advance payments include eligible expenditures directly related to the project incurred and may be retroactive to the date of the approval letter.
  4. Accountability requirement: The recipient shall maintain accounts and financial and non-financial records for the obligations in the agreement. The Recipient shall not disburse funds received pursuant to this agreement or any part thereof for any purpose other than those contained in the agreement.

Application Requirements and Assessment Criteria

Note: Meeting the following criteria does not guarantee funding.

9.3 Application Criteria

All programs administered under this set of terms and conditions are proposal-based. With the exception of grant initiatives, applicant proposals must:

  • establish eligibility (as outlined in Section 4)
  • establish relationship of proposed projects, initiatives, activities to program objectives and priorities as outlined in these terms and conditions and published program guidelines
  • include a detailed implementation plan which comprises a description and costing of activities and/or project initiatives as well as concrete deliverables/milestones
  • provide details on all sources of financial support (for example, from all federal government departments and organizations, other levels of government, the private sector, the applicant and other sources)
  • provide a payment schedule including basis and timing of payment
  • outline an evaluation plan and/or criteria for the measurement of success

9.4 Assessment criteria

Geographic distribution may be considered in the selection process (where applicable). At a minimum, proposals will be assessed on the following criteria:

  • Capability: The experience and capacity of the recipient (and identified project leader, where applicable) to manage the implementation of activities within their proposal successfully and complete the project/initiative in a timely manner
  • Consultation and commitment: The extent to which the proposal has the support of relevant organizations and/or community(ies).
  • Implementation activities: The extent to which the proposal aligns with eligible activities and meets program objectives. The assessment process will consider timelines, cost-effectiveness and the degree to which activities will result in expected outcomes.
  • Project management: How the initiative/project will be managed, including project governance, management of project scope, human resources, risk management, deliverables, and project monitoring, control and reporting.
  • Project costs: A demonstration of a realistic assessment of estimated total costs and a justification of the level of funding required.
  • Cooperation and partnerships: With other governments, employers, community-based organizations and interested organizations to encourage strategic partnerships, minimize overlap and duplication and operate in synergy with other related social and political devolution programs.

10. Enhancing the financial management capability and networking facilities of the Government of Nunavut

Since the Government of Nunavut will be the only recipient of the federal government assistance under this program, and since the Government of Nunavut has already identified the level of support it needs from the federal government and the federal Budget 2007 has already identified the level of funding to be provided to the Government of Nunavut, no further applications from the Government of Nunavut for funding pursuant to Budget 2007 allocations will be required.

The department will require the Government of Nunavut to disclose all sources of funding for each project and activity under this initiative, before the start, and on an annual basis until the end, of each project.

11. Assessment criteria (specific to programming addressing gaps in social outcomes)

For recipients to receive contribution funding for the reduction of gaps in social outcomes (such as the advancement of Post-Secondary Education (PSE) in the North and Arctic), they must complete a proposal in the manner prescribed by CIRNAC, and must submit the proposal to the appropriate CIRNAC office. At a minimum, proposals must include:

12. Due diligence and reporting

Departmental systems, procedures and resources are in place to ensure due diligence in approving transfer payments, verifying recipient eligibility as well as managing and administering grants and contributions programs.

Recipient requirements will be set out in departmental recipient reporting documents. A general assessment is also conducted for all recipients regardless of the nature of their funding agreements to assess their risk level in managing funding received from the department. The results of this general assessment may impact a recipient’s ability to access certain funding approaches as well as reporting frequency.

Where applicable, in order for projects to receive continued funding, the eligible recipient will provide the department with program specific annual reports and financial statements which include the necessary information, as specified by the department in the duly signed agreement, sufficient to verify adherence to the program terms and conditions and demonstrate results for the most recently completed fiscal year. The purpose of the reports is twofold:

13. Official languages

Where a program supports activities that may be delivered to members of either official language community, access to services from the recipient will be provided in both official languages where there is significant demand and Part IV of the Official Languages Act is applicable. In addition, the department will ensure that the design and the delivery of programs respect the obligations of the Government of Canada as set out in Part VII of the Official Languages Act.

14. Intellectual property

Where a contribution is provided for the development of material in which copyright subsists, conditions for shared rights between the recipient and the Crown will be set out in the funding agreement.

15. Repayable contributions

Provisions for repayable contributions do not apply. Any contributions made to private firms under these programs are not intended to generate profits or to increase the value of a business.

16. Redistribution of contributions

Where a recipient delegates authority or further distributes contribution funding to an agency or a third party (such as an authority, board, committee, or other entity authorized to act on behalf of the recipient), the recipient shall remain liable to the department for the performance of its obligations under the funding agreement. Neither the objectives of the programs and services nor the expectations of transparent, fair and equitable services shall be compromised by any delegation or redistribution of contribution funding.

Recipients have full independence in the selection of such third parties and will not be acting as an agent of the government in making distributions.

17. Other terms and conditions

None.

18. Effective date of terms and conditions

These terms and conditions will come into effect on April 28, 2022.

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