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Home > Programs and services > Aboriginal Initiatives Fund III (AIF III) > Assistance for Aboriginal People in Urban Environments

Assistance for Aboriginal People in Urban Environments

This component incorporates the Urban Aboriginal Support Program into AIF III. With AIF III, the Urban Aboriginal Support Program is being granted an additional $2 million and is extended by one year. The sum of $8.9 million, announced in 2016–2017, will be boosted by $2 million under AIF III, for a total budget of $10.9 million.

The purpose of this component is to improve the lives of Aboriginal people residing in Québec cities and towns and to provide community organizations with the means to offer direct, high-quality services to this clientele. Such organizations are the preferred service delivery channels for Aboriginal people in vulnerable situations outside their communities.

More specifically, this component seeks to

  • provide and develop culturally appropriate and reassuring direct services to meet the needs of Aboriginal people in vulnerable situations in cities and towns,
  • help develop the response capabilities of community organizations that serve Aboriginal women and their families who live in or are passing through urban environments,
  • encourage cooperation between community organizations and the Québec networks,
  • help improve the socio-economic circumstances of Aboriginal people, and
  • renovate and improve infrastructure used by community organizations that serve an Aboriginal clientele in urban environments.

The component is divided into two separate categories, one for direct services ($6 million) and one for infrastructure ($4.9 million).

A. Eligible organizations

Community organizations that serve an Aboriginal clientele in urban environments and that have the following characteristics:

  • Nonprofit community organization
  • Rooted in their environment
  • Associative and democratic
  • Headquartered in Québec, outside a community or in an urban environment

B. Submitting applications

All applicants must provide the following information:

  • Proof of legal status
  • A description of the proposed project or initiative that
    • sets out the objective in relation to the program objectives,
    • specifies the activities and resources that must be put in place to carry out the project or initiative,
    • includes the schedule for the project or initiative, and
    • indicates the results expected within a specific period and the expected benefits for Aboriginal people living in urban environments.
  • A financing arrangement showing
    • financial need, and
    • the expected sources of funds.
    • An overview of how the organization is governed
    • The most recent financial statements if the organization is currently operating

C. Application assessment criteria

Applications are assessed according to the following criteria:

  • The suitability of the project, demonstrated by
    • eligibility, in accordance with the terms and conditions of the component, and
    • compatibility of the objectives with the objectives for this component.
  • The quality of the project, demonstrated by
    • the clarity and precision of the objectives;
    • the organization’s ability to carry out the project or initiative;
    • the quality of the project’s or initiative’s services, programming, and activities;
    • the realistic nature of the budget forecasts, financial arrangements, and completion schedule; and
    • the feasibility of the project or initiative.
  • The anticipated spinoffs, demonstrated by
    • the results to be achieved from the funds requested, and
    • the far-reaching effects for Aboriginal people living in urban environments.

As necessary, applications will be sent to the relevant ministries and government agencies for a review of their suitability, feasibility, and funding.

D. Direct services category

The amount set aside for this category is $6 million. The purpose of this category is to enhance services available to Aboriginal people who live in or are passing through towns and cities in Québec, including psychosocial, socio-legal, health, education, and cultural services.

Eligible projects and initiatives

  • Projects and initiatives that aim to improve or secure direct services for Aboriginal people in vulnerable situations in towns and cities
  • Projects and initiatives that aim to develop services compatible with those offeredby the Québec networks, taking into account the specific characteristics of the area (adaptation or development of services, complementarity and continuity of services)
  • Projects and initiatives that add to the cultural vibrancy of Aboriginal communities in urban environments

To be eligible, projects and initiatives must meet the objectives of this component, be submitted to the SAA no later than October 1, 2021, and be completed no later than March 31, 2022.

Eligible expenses

  • Salaries and benefits for employees who deliver the direct services
  • Professional fees
  • Miscellaneous fees
  • Travel and transportation (according to the Government of Québec rate schedule)
  • Translation and communication
  • Temporary rental of space needed to deliver a direct service

Costs for the renovation and/or upkeep of the equipment and supplies needed to do the work and deliver the services

  • Furniture and bedding
  • Equipment and supplies
  • Other equipment deemed a priority*

*Costs for equipment deemed a priority for a project must be approved by the SAA in advance.

Eligible administrative costs are

  • costs associated with preparing financial documents and other reports required to comply with the financial agreement for a project or initiative.

The administrative costs of a project or initiative cannot exceed 10% of the financial assistance granted for that project or initiative.

Ineligible expenses

Expenses incurred before the application was submitted, including expenses the organization is contractually bound to incur, are not eligible. Neither are an organization’s administrative and operational costs, including all costs required to keep an organization running and that are not related to the project or initiative funded by the program.

Such costs include but are not limited to

  • staff salary (compensation) costs;
  • rent and upkeep;
  • compensation for regular employees who manage or take part in a project or initiative when these employees already receive compensation (salary, fees, daily allowance) for the same period; and
  • recovery of a deficit or a loan.

Purchases of land or buildings are not eligible.

Financial assistance

Financial assistance is in the form of a non-repayable contribution. Funds from the Government of Québec can cover up to 100% of eligible costs. All applicants must declare all confirmed and expected sources in their request for funds. The SAA will verify that no other sources are paying for the same expenses.

The maximum a single organization can receive is $500,000 over five years, or $100,000 per year.

An exception can be made for organizations that submit a funding request for a service location if the location

  • provides services similar to those offered by the main organization;
  • is located in an urban environment, in a different municipality but in the same administrative district as the main organization, and
  • meets demand from a clientele that for geographical reasons does not have access to services offered by the main organization.

In these specific cases, the organization can obtain an additional $500,000 over five years, or $100,000 per year, to meet the needs of such service locations.

Organizations can implement multiple projects but cannot exceed the maximum dollar amount. Of this amount, a maximum of $30,000 per year can be earmarked for the renovation or upkeep of equipment and supplies, with one exception. An exception can be made for organizations that submit a funding request for a service location, according to the criteria above. In such cases, the organization can obtain an additional amount of up to $30,000 per year to meet the needs of service locations.

Tracking and reporting

Grants are formalized in a financial agreement that must include

  • the obligations of the signatories, and
  • a detailed description of the project and the objectives related to the funding.

Each community organization must provide, at a minimum, an annual report in accordance with the provisions in the financial agreement. The document must include

  • a full report on all activities carried out, and
  • a description of the results achieved in relation to the objectives.

It must be accompanied by the organization’s financial statements and a financial report documenting how the funds were used. The organization must at all times keep separate accounts for expenses incurred under the project or initiative, in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.

The agreement specifies the activities, payment conditions, and commitments made by each party.

Financial commitments for 2016–2017

All commitments and financial agreements for the Direct Service category signed in financial year 2016–2017 before AIF III approval remain valid and become subject to the rules herein as soon as the program is approved.

E. Infrastructure category

The amount set aside for this category is $4.9 million. The purpose of this category is to renovate and improve infrastructure used by community organizations and thus enhance the response capabilities of these organizations.

Eligible projects

  • Those that aim to renovate and improve infrastructure used by community organizations and thus enhance the response capabilities of these organizations
  • Those that aim to provide new community organization facilities in areas where there are none at the moment

To be eligible, projects must meet the objectives of this component and be submitted to the SAA no later than March 31, 2022.

Eligible infrastructure

Infrastructure for use by the community, including temporary, transitional, or emergency housing, is eligible. To be eligible for funding, the organization must meet at least one of the following conditions:

  • Hold the title to the infrastructure
  • Be in the process of purchasing the infrastructure and able to provide official written proof
  • Hold or be in the process of obtaining a lease or emphyteutic lease with a term of at least
    • five years after the work is completed when the funds applied for amount to $100,000 or less, or
    • ten years after the work is completed when the funds applied for amount to over $100,000.

Requirement to seek bids

For eligible projects that require $100,000 or more in construction work, pursuant to the Act respecting Contracting by Public Bodies the organization is not required to hold a public call for tenders to award the contract. However, the eligible organization must meet the following minimum requirements for awarding a $100,000 to $1 million construction contract:

For construction work over $1 million, the eligible organization must, at a minimum, hold a publicly announced open call for tenders. These types of calls for tenders are usually posted in newspapers, displayed in the local offices of construction associations, and/or announced via a public electronic service. Such calls for bids must allow all competent and interested contractors to bid on the contract. The announcements or public notices must be distributed widely enough to reach an adequate number of competent and interested contractors, resulting in a competitive bidding process.

For all calls for construction bids, whether announced publicly or by invitation only,

  • the deadline for bids must be at least two weeks after the calls are posted, and
  • bids can only be requested and contracts awarded
    • at a flat rate, or
    • based on a unit price.

Eligible and ineligible costs

In general, all costs required to carry out the project are eligible, including capital expenditures as defined in generally accepted accounting principles, as well as all costs incurred. These costs include

  • costs associated with service contracts for eligible work;
  • administrative fees;
  • incidental costs, including fees and relevant analyses as well as costs for temporary financing;
  • the purchase of community equipment required for the project; and
  • IT expenses, such as computer equipment, software and software packages, updates, upgrades, and related training.

The program cannot cover expenses that have already received funding from a different ministry, government agency, or Government of Québec representative.

Costs for normal upkeep and expenses incurred before the application was submitted, including those pursuant to contract obligations, are not eligible for funding.

Financial assistance

Financial assistance is in the form of a non-repayable contribution. Funds granted to an organization by the Government of Québec cannot exceed 80% of eligible costs. The additional 20% must come from a source other than a Government of Québec ministry or agency. Organizations must declare all confirmed and expected sources in their application for funding. The SAA will verify that no other sources are paying for the same expenses.

For projects involving the rehabilitation, repair, expansion, or replacement of existing infrastructure, the maximum amount per organization is $600,000 over five years, with one exception.

An exception can be made for organizations that submit a funding request for a service location that

  • provides services similar to those offered by the main organization;
  • is located in an urban environment, in a different municipality but in the same administrative district as the main organization, and
  • meets demand from a clientele that for geographical reasons does not have access to services offered by the main organization.

In such cases, the organization can obtain an additional amount of up to $400,000 to meet the needs of a service location.

The construction of new infrastructure is not subject to the limit of $600,000 over five years.

Tracking and reporting

Grants are formalized in a financial agreement that must include

  • the obligations of the signatories, and
  • a detailed description of the project and the objectives related to the funding.

The project must be completed within two years of the financial agreement being signed.

Reporting must comply with the provisions of the financial agreement and must include

  • a certificate of completion for the project showing that the work specified in the financial agreement is complete and compliant, and
  • a financial report made up of a detailed income and expenses statement for the project, approved by a resolution passed by the organization’s board of directors.

The organization must at all times keep separate accounts for project expenses, in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.

Payment methods

The agreement specifies the activities, payment conditions, and commitments made by each party.

For grants over $100,000, the assistance awarded will be used to service the debt. The SAA will reimburse the capital, interest payments, and costs of long-term loans taken out by organizations with the institution of their choice to fund their project.

When financial assistance is paid in the form of reimbursement for debt service, it must be paid within

  • three to five years for amounts of $500,000 or less, or
  • five and fifteen years for amounts over $500,000.

7. These may be Aboriginal contractors.

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Online as of: July 7, 2017