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Home > Financial Assistance Programs > Urban Aboriginal Support Program

Urban Aboriginal Support Program

The Urban Aboriginal Support Program, as described below, has been in place from 2016 to 2017. It’s now an integral part of the Aboriginal Initiatives Fund III (AIF III) and will end in 2022

Purpose

Aboriginal people in Québec are living through a period of significant change, with many leaving their reserves for urban centres. This migratory phenomenon has increased over the last decade for a number of reasons: Aboriginal people are moving to cities to pursue better career or educational opportunities, escape difficult socioeconomic situations, or to seek medical treatment for specific health issues.

The Québec government is responsible for providing certain services (such as health care, education, employment, and housing services) once an applicant no longer resides on a reserve. The government must therefore adopt the necessary tools to meet the needs of this growing clientele, who possess unique cultural traits and sometimes carry past psychosocial experiences that make them a particularly vulnerable population.

Currently, the services provided by community organizations to Aboriginal people are insufficient, given the magnitude of the needs. Due to a lack of appropriate infrastructure and adequate resources, these organizations are unable to respond effectively, and breakdowns to existing services have become a regular occurrence. It is now imperative to confront the urgent and growing needs of urban Aboriginal people.

Objectives

The Program seeks to improve living conditions of Aboriginal people in Québec urban centres by providing community organizations that serve this clientele with the means to provide high-quality direct services. These organizations are the preferred channels for services aimed at vulnerable Aboriginal people off reserve.

More specifically, the Program aims to:

  • offer and develop safe and culturally appropriate direct services that respond to the needs of vulnerable Aboriginal populations in urban centres;
  • assist in developing the response capacities of community organizations that serve women and their families living in or visiting urban areas;
  • encourage the establishment of partnerships between community organizations and Québec networks;
  • help improve the socioeconomic condition of Aboriginal people;
  • Renew and improve the infrastructure of community organizations serving an Aboriginal clientele in urban areas.

The Program consists of two separate components. The first component addresses Direct Services while the second focuses on Infrastructure. Both fall under the jurisdiction of the Minister responsible for Native Affairs.

Eligibility

Eligible organizations

Community organizations that serve urban Aboriginals and meet the following criteria:

  • are a non-profit community organization;
  • are firmly rooted in their community;
  • maintain an associative and democratic life;
  • maintain headquarters in Québec, either off reserve or in an urban area.

Submitting an Application

An organization may submit an application for funding to the Secrétariat aux affaires autochtones (SAA) at any time for the duration of the Program.
All applications must include the following information:

  • proof of the organization’s legal status;
  • a description of the proposed project or initiative, including:
    • a statement of the project’s or initiative’s objectives in connection with the Program’s objectives,
    • an outline of the activities and resources to be implemented under the project,
    • the schedule for implementing the project or initiative;
    • the results expected to be achieved within a specific timeframe and the anticipated benefits for urban Aboriginals;
  • a financial package outlining:
    • the financial need,
    • expected sources of funding;
  • a detailed budget and cash flow statement;
  • an overview of the organization’s governance mechanisms;
  • the organization’s most recent financial statements, if it is still in operation.

Assessment criteria and selection process

Applications will be assessed according to the following criteria:

  • The project’s relevance, as determined by:
    • its eligibility, based on the Program’s terms and conditions;
    • the relevance of the project’s or initiative’s objectives to the Program’s objectives.
  • The project’s quality, as determined by:
    • the clarity and specificity 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 soundness of the budget forecast, financial package and timetable.
  • The project’s expected outcomes, as determined by:
    • the feasibility of the project or initiative and the results achieved with the requested funding;
    • the lasting impacts for urban Aboriginals.

As applicable, applications will be submitted to appropriate ministries and government organizations to assess relevance, feasibility and funding for their respective sectors.

The selection process will take place as follows:

  • organizations shall submit requests for funding;
  • SAA will assess requests for funding and formulate recommendations;
  • decisions will be communicated to applicants via a letter of announcement or refusal;
  • in the case of a positive decision, a letter of announcement and / or signed funding agreement will be sent.

Rights and OBligations

Community organizations in receipt of funding shall:

  • have the right to the amounts granted;
  • implement the elements outlined in the funding agreement.
  • ensure accountability with respect to the project’s tracking and, if applicable, its assessment.
  • acknowledge the financial participation of SAA in its official communications.

SAA shall:

  • distribute the amounts granted for carrying out the project or initiative;
  • reserve the right to establish the use of its funding annually and adjust the amounts distributed accordingly;
  • reserve the right to cancel an agreement in the event of an organization’s default.

Direct Services Component

A total of $5 million over five years has been earmarked for the Direct Services component. The goal of this component is to strengthen services provided to Aboriginal people living in or visiting Québec urban centres, including psychosocial, socio-legal, health care, educational and cultural services.

Eligible projects and initiatives

  • projects and initiatives that seek to improve or strengthen direct services to urban Aboriginals in vulnerable situations;
  • projects and initiatives that seek to develop services consistent with those services provided by Québec networks, taking into account community contexts (adaptation or development of services, complementarity and continuity of services);
  • projects or initiatives that contribute to the cultural vitality of urban Aboriginal communities.

Eligible expenditures

  • salaries and benefits of personnel who provide direct services;
  • professional fees;
  • miscellaneous fees;
  • travel and transportation costs (in accordance with Québec government requirements);
  • translation and communications; 
  • temporary leasing of space required for the provision of a direct service.

Costs related to the renewal and / or maintenance of equipment and supplies required for services and activities provided;

  • furnishings and bedding;
  • materials and supplies;
  • other equipment considered a priority.*

* Costs related to equipment that is considered a priority for a project must be pre-approved by SAA.

The following administrative costs are eligible: 

Costs related to the preparation of financial documents and other reports in compliance with the financial agreement of a project or initiative.

The administrative costs of a project or initiative may not exceed 10% of the alloted funding.

Ineligible expenditures 

Expenditures incurred prior to the application’s date of submission, including expenditures for which an organization has made contractual commitments.
An organization’s administrative and operational costs; specifically, any and all expenditures required to operate the organization that are not related to the project or initiative funded by the Program. These costs include but are not limited to:

  • annual salaries (remuneration) of personnel;
  • rental and maintenance costs;
  • remuneration of regular personnel for the administration of or participation in a project or initiative, when said personnel are already receiving compensation (salary, fee, daily allocation) during the same period.
  • deficit or loan recovery.

The purchase of land or property is not an eligible expense.

Funding

Funding will take the form of a non-repayable contribution. The Québec government’s maximum level of funding will not exceed 100% of eligible expenditures. Community organizations must declare all confirmed and expected sources of funding in their funding application. SAA will ensure that no other source underwrites the same expenditures.

The maximum amount payable to a single organization is $500,000 over five years, or $100,000 per year. While this funding maybe be applied to more than one project, it will not exceed the maximum amount. Of this amount, a maximum of $30,000 per year may be allocated to the renewal and / or maintenance of equipment and supplies.

Follow-up and accountability

Funding of $10,000 or less will be formalized in an announcement letter outlining the reason for the grant as well as the applicant’s obligations.

Funding over $10,000 will be formalized in a funding agreement, which cannot exceed more than five government fiscal years. This funding agreement will include:

  • the obligations of the signatory parties;
  • a detailed description of the project and funding-related objectives;
  • management and production indicators.

Community organizations that receive funding over $10,000 must submit, at minimum, an annual accountability report in compliance with the provisions of the funding agreement. This accountability report must include:

  • a complete list of the activities carried out;
  • a description of the results obtained as they relate to the objectives.

This report must be submitted along with the organization’s financial statements and a financial report detailing how the funding has been used. At all times, the organization must maintain separate accounting records for expenditures attributable to the project or initiative, in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.

Payment of funding

For funding of $10,000 or less, the amount may be paid in its entirety after the letter of announcement has been sent.

For funding of over $10,000, the total amount will be distributed via at least two annual payments, the first of which shall not exceed 70% of the annual funding granted. In all cases, the final payment provided for in a funding agreement will only be distributed once all accountability documents have been submitted to SAA.

Infrastructure Component

A sum of $3.9 million over four years has been earmarked for the Infrastructure component. This component seeks to renew and improve the infrastructure of community organizations in order to enhance and strengthen their response capacities.

Eligible projects

  • projects that seek to renew and improve the infrastructure of community organizations in order to enhance and strengthen their response capacities.
  • projects that seek to establish new structures for community organizations in areas where they do not yet exist.

Eligible infrastructure

Community-focused infrastructure, including temporary and emergency housing, is eligible. To be eligible for funding, a community organization must:

  • be the legal owner of the infrastructure in question, or;
  • provide evidence that it is in the process of acquiring eligible infrastructure by submitting an official written agreement to that effect; or
  • hold a lease or be in the process of entering into a lease of a minimum of:
  • five years following the date of completion of the work, in cases where the funding requested is $100,000 or less,
  • ten years following the date of completion of the work, in cases where the funding requested is over $100,000.

Eligible work

  • the rehabilitation, repair, reconstruction, expansion or replacement of existing infrastructure;
  • the construction of new infrastructure.

In order to carry out eligible work, a community organization is not obligated to launch a public call for tenders for the assessment of construction contracts valued at $100,000 and over; however, it must publish a public invitation to tender. This invitation to tender must be published in a newspaper that is circulated over the territory of the municipality or in a trade journal sold primarily in Québec.

Public invitation to tender

All public invitations to tender for construction contracts published by the applicant organization must adhere to the following terms and conditions:

  • the deadline for receipt of submissions must not be less than fifteen days;
  • any public invitation to tender must stipulate that applicant contractors and suppliers must have an establishment in Québec in order to be considered;
  • Submissions will be accepted and contracts issued on one of the following bases only:
    • contract price,
    • unit price.

Eligible and ineligible costs

In general, any and all necessary costs incurred in carrying out projects are eligible, including capital expenditures, as defined by generally accepted accounting principles, as well as any and all fees incurred in carrying out a project. Eligible expenditures include: 

  • Fees for contractors engaged to carry out eligible work;
  • management costs;
  • incidental expenditures, including applicable fees and analyses as well as temporary financing costs;
  • the purchase price of equipment required for the project;
  • costs related to the acquisition of new computer technology, such as computer equipment, software, software packages, updates, upgrades and user training.

The Program cannot fund any portion of expenditures that has already received funding from another ministry, government organization or agent of the Québec government.

Regular maintenance costs are not eligible for funding.

Funding

Funding will take the form of a non-repayable contribution. Funding granted by the Québec government to an organization cannot exceed 80% of eligible costs. The remaining 20% must be funded by another source other than a Québec government ministry or agency. Organizations must identify all forecast and confirmed sources in their funding application. SAA will ensure that no other source underwrites the same expenditures.

The maximum level of funding per organization for the rehabilitation, repair, expansion and replacement of infrastructure is limited to $600,000 over four years. The building of new infrastructure is not subject to this limit.

Follow-up and accountability

Funding of $10,000 or less will be formalized in an announcement letter outlining the reason for the grant and the applicant’s obligations.
Each grant over $10,000 will be formalized in a funding agreement, which will include:

  • the obligations of the signatory parties;
  • a detailed description of the project and funding-related objectives;
  • management and production indicators.

Projects must be completed within two years following the signing of the funding agreement.

Community organizations that receive funding over $10,000 must submit, at minimum, an accountability report in compliance with the provisions of the funding agreement. This accountability report must include:

  • A Certification of Completion of the project, attesting that the work prescribed under the agreement has been completed and is in compliance;
  • an unaudited financial report, consisting of a detailed statement of the project’s revenues and expenditures, ratified via resolution by the organization’s Board of Directors.

At all times, the organization must maintain separate accounting records for expenditures attributable to the project, in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.

Payment of funding

For funding of $10,000 or less, the amount may be paid in its entirety after the letter of announcement has been sent.

For funding over $10,000 and less than $100,000, the total amount will be distributed via at least two annual payments, the first of which shall not exceed 70% of the annual funding granted. In all cases, the final payment provided for in a funding agreement will only be distributed once all accountability documents have been submitted to SAA.

For funding of over $100,000, the allotted amount will go toward debt servicing. SAA will reimburse the capital, interest payments and inherent long-term borrowing costs contracted by the organization with a financial institution of its choosing to fund its project.

In cases where funding is disbursed in the form of repayment of debt servicing, it must be paid over a period of between:

  • three and five years for an amount less than or equal to $500,000;
  • five and ten years for an amount over $500,000.

 

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

Last update: August 26, 2016
Online as of: July 21, 2016