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Secrétariat aux affaires autochtones

Community infrastructures

A community infrastructure in communities budget totaling $28 million over five years is earmarked for Aboriginal people. Of this amount, $1 million is set aside to allow Aboriginal community action organizations, located in communities, to obtain the infrastructure they need to get started. The objectives are

  • to renovate and upgrade community infrastructure so as to improve the well-being and living conditions of Aboriginal populations,
  • support the social and community development of Aboriginal people, and
  • foster the development of Aboriginal community action organizations located in communities.

A. General terms and conditions

To be eligible for this component, a nation or community must

  • have signed a special agreement with the Minister responsible for Native Affairs, undertaking to submit economic development projects; and
  • have already received no more than $1 million in financial assistance under this component for the same community.

For communities that can still use the community infrastructure budget of the second AIF, a provision to this effect will be included in the new special agreement under AIF III. The special agreement signed under AIF II will then be cancelled and all funds available for community infrastructure will be subject to the rules herein. Funding granted under AIF III may come from AIF II (if the community is eligible and funds are still available) or AIF III, as the case may be. All projects submitted but not reviewed under AIF II can remain subject to AIF II or be transferred to the new special agreement for review.

B. Eligible organizations

  • Aboriginal communities and nations recognized by the Québec National Assembly
  • Aboriginal nonprofit organizations or equivalent
  • Aboriginal community action organizations in the startup phase, located in communities

C. Eligible projects

Eligible nations, communities, and organizations must submit their community infrastructure projects no later than March 31, 2022.

All projects must meet the following criteria:

  • Be justified and beneficial for the well-being of the Aboriginal population
  • Be given priority by the nation or community, by resolution 3
  • Be undertaken by an eligible nation, community, or organization that has the financial capacity to meet operating and upkeep expenses, if applicable

Studies

This category is for studies that must be carried out before a project eligible for this component can be put in place. Such studies may include a technical or financial feasibility assessment.

The portion of this component allocated under the Studies category cannot exceed $100,000 per community.

Eligible infrastructure

Projects in the social services, recreation, sports, culture, communication, tourism, and information technology sectors are eligible. This includes

  • daycare centers;
  • recreation and sports facilities;
  • tourist offices, administrative offices, and recreation, fitness, or community centers;
  • non-residential developments (e.g., earthworks, recreation and community parks, playgrounds, walking trails, beaches, sanitary landfills, camp sites, riverbank stabilization projects);
  • communication and cultural facilities for community use;
  • the development of heritage sites;
  • youth centers;
  • family centers;
  • halfway houses and temporary accommodation;
  • community freezers; and
  • community spaces.

Ineligible infrastructure

This component cannot be used to fund projects on reserves in sectors that are clearly the responsibility of the federal government, namely,

  • equipment for collecting, purifying, storing, and distributing potable water, including water for fire protection;
  • wastewater and rainwater drainage and inspection equipment;
  • roads, streets, sidewalks, bridges, viaducts, tunnels, retaining walls, and sound abatement walls;
  • schools;
  • hospitals and health centers;
  • airports and docks;
  • penitentiaries, police stations, fire stations, and prisons; and
  • public security and justice facilities (places where justice is exercised).

D. Submitting applications

Project applicants must demonstrate their financial needs and submit to the SAA an application for funds that includes the following information:

  • An explanation of financial need and the benefit of using this component to carry out the project
  • The project location
  • A breakdown of the project’s expenses and funding, including details of other sources of funding
  • How the project will be beneficial
  • What has been done to check whether the project is eligible for other funding programs
  • The three-year estimated operating budget

E. 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. Eligible expenditures include

  • costs associated with services contracts for eligible work;
  • incidental expenses, including professional fees, and short-term financing costs;
  • expenditures on community equipment required for the project; and
  • expenses associated with new information technology, such as computer equipment, software and software packages, and related training.

For projects that are studies, all costs are eligible. Management costs are also eligible if the nation, community, or organization hires additional staff to carry out the work.

Land purchase costs and expenses associated with everyday upkeep for infrastructure are not eligible. The cost of upgrading computer systems is not eligible.

F. Construction projects

Work eligible for funding includes

  • remodeling, repairs, reconstruction, or replacement; and
  • additions to or the construction of new infrastructure.

For eligible projects that aim to launch community action organizations located in communities, the requesting organization must obtain the approval of the band council or northern village before using the land or infrastructure in question.

Special condition for infrastructure projects outside Aboriginal communities

For construction projects involving infrastructure outside an Aboriginal community, the eligible 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 provide official written proof
  • Hold or be in the process of obtaining a lease or emphyteutic lease that is or will be in force for at least five years after construction is complete

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 eligible 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.

G. Financial assistance

The financial assistance granted by the Government of Québec to a nation, community, or organization cannot exceed 50% of the total cost of all eligible work and purchases, with one exception.

For infrastructure projects undertaken by community action organizations located in communities, the Government of Québec can grant financial assistance up to 100% of eligible costs.

H. Project assessment criteria

Projects submitted by Aboriginal communities must have significant and far-reaching effects on the socio-economic circumstances of the nation or community and meet the stated needs and priorities. Projects are deemed to have such effects if they have the following characteristics:

  • They are deemed important, beneficial, and of interest to the community or nation
  • The nation, community, or organization has the financial capacity to meet operating and upkeep expenses, if applicable
  • They are justified (deterioration, obsolescence, insufficient capacity for the current population, work carried out to meet standards and regulations, etc.)
  • They are realistic in terms of technical feasibility and the completion schedule

I. Tracking and reporting

In general, the project must be completed within two years of the financial agreement being signed.

Reporting must comply with the provisions of the financial agreement entered into for the project and must include

  • a project completion certificate to show that the work specified in the agreement is compliant and complete, approved by a resolution issued by the band council or, in the case of a community action organization, the board of directors; and
  • a financial report including an income and expenditure statement for the project, approved by a resolution issued by the band council, northern village, or the board of directors of a community action organization.

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

J. Payment methods

For amounts over $100,000, the funds 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.

All capital expenditures for community infrastructure is amortized and funded according to service life, i.e., according to the same rules that apply to similar infrastructure funded by the Government of Québec in non-Aboriginal territories.

3. Does not apply to community action organizations on reserves, except for land or infrastructure use in construction projects.

4. These may be Aboriginal contractors.

Signature gouvernementale
Secrétariat aux affaires autochtones
905, avenue Honoré-Mercier, 1er étage - Québec (Qc)  G1R 5M6 - 418 643-3166

Online as of: July 4, 2017