1. What is the process for submitting an application for the Flood Protection Program?
Local governments can apply for funding by submitting a preliminary application form. The preliminary application will summarize the proposed project and include high level details on scope, schedule, and cost. Detailed documentation and related reports may be submitted in support of the preliminary application. Program staff will sort applications into categories and ask for further project details as necessary.
2. What is the Building Canada Fund – Communities Component?
Canada and British Columbia have signed the Canada-British Columbia Building Canada Fund – Communities Component Agreement (BCFCC), part of the $2.2 billion Building Canada Framework Agreement of 2007.
Under the BCF-CC Agreement, the provincial and the federal governments will each allocate $136 million to support local government infrastructure projects in communities with a population of less than 100,000 people. This funding will provide communities with support in addressing their infrastructure pressures. $25 million from both the federal and provincial governments will be directed towards flood mitigation projects.
3. Who is eligible to apply to the Building Canada Fund - Communities Component (BCFCC)?
Eligible applicants include:
- A local government - defined as a municipality, a regional district, a greater board, as defined in the Community Charter, or a public authority responsible for delivering local services in BC, if that authority is approved by the Oversight Committee.
- A non-governmental organization whose application is supported by a resolution from the local government where the project is located. Applications from non-governmental organizations, such as improvement districts or water utilities, for water and wastewater projects must be made by the local government in which the project is located.
If the application is successful in obtaining program funding, the ownership of the infrastructure and associated assets must be transferred to the sponsoring local government. If a non-governmental organization is applying on behalf of a local government, the limit on number of applications still applies.
but does not include:
- Municipalities having a population in excess of 100,000, as determined by Statistics Canada’s Final 2006 census and
- Departments, ministries and agencies of Canada or British Columbia, and
- Federal or provincial departmental corporations or Crown Corporations, except as expressly set out above.
4. How many applications can we submit?
For this intake, Municipalities may submit two applications. A Regional District may submit one application per community* in its area. (* A community, for the purpose of application to the program, is considered to be a clustered settlement within a regional district electoral area. A community's boundaries may also coincide with a service area boundary (existing or proposed).
Applications not approved from first intake may be rolled over into this intake per applicant's request in writing. This will count towards the limit on number of applications submitted during this intake.
Non-governmental organizations may submit applications, but before doing so, must obtain a resolution from the local government council or board in support of their application. Applications from non-governmental organizations, such as improvement districts or water utilities, for water and wastewater projects must be made by the local government in which the project is located. If the application is successful in obtaining program funding, the ownership of the infrastructure and associated assets must be transferred to the sponsoring local government. If a non-governmental organization is applying on behalf of a local government, the limit on number of applications still applies.
5. Is there a maximum award?
There is no maximum award. Applicants can apply for up to two-thirds of eligible project costs.
6. What is the funding formula?
Generally, this program offers funding equal to a maximum of two-thirds of eligible costs. One-third is contributed by the Government of Canada and one-third by the Province of British Columbia. The remaining one-third of eligible project costs, plus all ineligible projects costs are the responsibility of the applicant.
7. Our project has been approved - can we now start construction?
No Prior to starting construction, you must have a signed contribution agreement with the Province which includes mitigation measures taken from the Environmental Assessment Decision Record. You may start the design element of the project; however, it would be prudent to include the Mitigation Measures from your contribution agreement in your public tendering process for the physical works component of the project. This is to ensure that potential bidders are aware of their environmental mitigation responsibilities which may impact their bid in terms of costs.
All contributions awarded are conditional. The contribution agreement will outline the terms and conditions attached to the financial contribution.
8. When will we receive the contribution agreement?
All approved projects will go through a federal environmental assessment process. The lead ministry will prepare a contribution agreement as soon as Western Economic Diversification Canada completes the environmental assessment process for your project.
9. Is a federal environmental assessment (EA) required for our project?
Yes, all projects funded under BCF-CC require a federal environmental assessment (EA) review under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA). The Government of Canada’s contribution is contingent on the successful completion of a federal EA of the proposed project under the CEAA. Failure to comply with the CEAA could jeopardize government funding for a project.
It should be noted that not all projects affect the environment in a significant way; certain types of projects may be excluded from an environmental assessment. Such projects are routine and relatively small-scale, and can be expected to result in only insignificant environmental effects. Those projects or activities in relation to physical work that do not require an EA are described in the Exclusion List Regulations under the CEAA (go to schedule 1 and 2).
You will be notified by Western Economic Diversification Canada if the project requires a federal EA or if it has been excluded from an EA under the CEAA.
Please do not complete an EAD until after you receive a project-specific Environmental Assessment request letter from WD.
10. Do we need to send in copies of the tender documentation for our BCF-CC project?
No, however records must be retained and be available for inspection upon request. Please ensure that all public information material related to tenders for approved projects must clearly and prominently indicate that funding is provided from the BCF-CC.
11. Our project is a phase of a larger project. Do we need to tender the phases of the project separately?
It is not a requirement; however, careful consideration should be given to tendering the project separately if the BCF-CC funded project is a phase of a larger project. In some cases with larger projects, it is difficult to attribute the costs to each phase and this may result in delays or denial of your progress payment.
If you must tender the large project as one, the project costs must be broken down to clearly identify those eligible costs that pertain to the funded portion of the project. This should be discussed with the lead ministry contact and it should be documented prior to the project being undertaken to avoid misunderstanding during the payment and audit process.
12. Can we direct award a contract(s) for building the project?
All contracts must be awarded in a way that is transparent, competitive and consistent with value for money principles. All records of the tendering process need to be retained and made available upon request.
13. Our BCF-CC project budget has increased since we first applied. Can we use funding from other federal or provincial programs towards this BCF-CC project?
Funds from other federal or provincial programs can be used but the combined total of all funds from federal sources cannot exceed 50 percent of the total eligible costs of the project, nor can the combined total of all funds from provincial sources exceed 50 percent of the total project eligible costs. The increase of the project budget will not increase the amount of funding approved under BCF-CC.
14. Our project incurred costs before we were approved for BCF-CC funding. Are these costs considered eligible and can we claim them for reimbursement?
No. Costs incurred prior to the project approval date are considered ineligible and will not be reimbursed.
15. Can we use our employees to work on the project?
No. Salaries and employment benefits to the Recipient's employees are considered ineligible costs.
Exemption: The cost of the Recipient's employees or equipment may be included in its Eligible Costs under the following conditions:
- the recipient must be a local government;
- the requests for this exemption must be in writing and addressed to the Oversight Committee for approval;
- all requests for this exemption must be made after the contracts for goods and services required for the project have been tendered;
- cost "savings" of at least 10% are realized; and
- the project occurs in a rural or isolated community.
16. There are changes or variation to our project. Do we have to notify the Province?
Yes. The proponent must notify the lead ministry, in writing, and in advance of proceeding with any changes to the original approved project. The changes may include project location, project costs, project title, completion dates, etc. Oversight Committee's approval may be required for such changes.
If there is a project scope change or project location change, this may impact the original Environmental Assessment Decision Record. (EADR) Western Economic Diversification Canada will need to determine if the proposed change in location or scope has any impact on the EADR and if yes, the EADR may need to be revised along with the environmental mitigation measures.
17. We have decided not to proceed with our project as originally outlined. Can we use the program funds for another capital project in our community?
No. Approval was granted for the original project. You may not transfer the award to another project. Please contact the lead ministry to discuss your situation.
18. How long do we have to complete my project? What if we require additional time?
As per the BCF-CC Agreement, all projects must start within six months of the contribution agreement date and construction must be completed no later than March 31, 2016 or no later than March 31, 2011 for projects funded under BCF-CC Top Up.
19. Do we need to obtain approval for any public events such as ground breaking ceremonies, grand opening ceremonies, etc.?
Yes. All public events require prior approval from the Oversight Committee. A minimum of 15 working days notice should be given for public events. The federal and provincial Ministers, or their designated representatives, should participate in the events, which should take place on a date and at a location agreed to by the parties. Please contact the lead provincial ministry for more information.
20. Who will provide temporary signage and/or permanent signage or plaque?
Temporary Signage: The Province will provide temporary construction signage for you to install a prominent location that is visible to the public. The size of the temporary signage will be approximately 4 ft X 8 ft. The signage will have your project title in both official languages, the Canada watermark logo and the provincial logo.
Permanent Signage/Plaque: You are required to install a permanent sign or plaque at the project site after the project is completed. The cost of producing and installing the permanent sign/plaque is an eligible project cost. The sign/plaque must be visible for viewing from a distance and be at a prominent location. The layout for the sign/plaque will require approval from the Province's communication department prior to final production. The wording must be in both official languages. Contact the lead ministry for approval of the layout and for the French translation of the wording.
21. Are we required to submit quarterly progress reports?
Yes. A quarterly report is required for all approved projects. This is a summary report that updates the provincial and federal agencies on the status of project. A quarterly progress report is required regardless of whether the project has commenced or not and whether or not a financial claim is being made.
22. What is required to submit a financial claim and how long will it take before we receive payment?
The claim package should consist of an original copy of a fully completed claim form and signed by authorized signatories, a signed off progress report, and fully completed detailed expenditure summary sheet.
Depending upon the completeness of the claim package and providing that the proponents satisfy the terms and conditions outlined in the contribution agreement, processing of claims from date of receipt will take approximately four to six weeks.
23. What information must we provide to receive final reimbursement?
The Province will reimburse the final claim provided the following conditions are met:
- Submission of a final claim form to show actual total eligible costs of the completed project;
- Confirmation that the project is 100% complete and all expenditures have been incurred and paid in full;
- Submission of a final report which includes photographs of the completed project and a report on project benefits;
- Submission of photographs of the permanent sign or plaque (requires advance approval of layout from the Province's Communication Department) which has been mounted on or at the project site; and
- Submission of a satisfactory environmental mitigation measures report to Western Economic Diversification Canada confirming that the mitigation follow-up and monitoring activities have been taken (not applicable if the project is excluded).
24. Once my project is complete, how long do we need to retain financial documentation?
You must retain accounting records for a minimum of six years after the final settlement of accounts.