Building Canada Fund

Year: 2016


Whereas all projects submitted for funding under the new Building Canada Fund must be "shovel ready" and

Whereas only a fraction of projects submitted for funding are approved in each funding cycle; and

Whereas there is a significant delay between a project being submitted for consideration and a funding decision being made; and

Whereas a project is no longer eligible for funding if any work is done on it; and

Whereas municipalities must make the decision to hold a project at shovel-ready and absorb inflationary cost increases in the hope that their project will be chosen, or render the project ineligible for future BCF intakes by beginning work;

Therefore be it resolved that the SUMA advocate with the Government of Saskatchewan to begin selecting projects for Building Canada funding one intake in advance, and allowing work to proceed, based on that pre-approval.

Provincial Response

  • Saskatchewan will receive $436.7 million over a 10 year period through the Provincial Territorial Infrastructure Component (PTIC) program of the New Building Canada Fund. This funding is split into $393 million for National and Regional Projects, and $43.7 million in the Small Communities Fund. Saskatchewan has committed to designating $240.2 million of this funding to all eligible PTIC applicants and matching all available federal funding.
  • The first intake of applications closed on January 12, 2015, and the governments of Canada and Saskatchewan announced the first set of 26 approved projects on July 31, 2015, and the second set of 11 approved projects on February 26, 2016.
  • All eligible applications to PTIC from Intake 1 remain under consideration for funding and the federal and provincial governments will continue to approve and announce projects in the future from the applications received in Intake 1.
  • Though the ministry does encourage applicants to undertake advance planning necessary to provide accurate cost estimates and details for their projects, there is no requirement for projects to be construction ready at the time of application or approval. 
  • It is correct that expenditures incurred prior to the date of approval, as well as any and all expenditures related to contracts signed prior to the approval date are not eligible to be funded. Municipalities are advised to contact the Municipal Infrastructure and Finance Branch of the ministry to discuss details and options before moving forward with work on an eligible project.
  • Saskatchewan's role in the approval process is to review and select applications to forward to Canada, and it is Canada that gives final approval to projects. The province has no authority to make final approvals or pre-approvals of projects.
  • As a financial partner on approved PTIC projects, Saskatchewan has the obligation to review all tendering of recipients contracts to ensure that a fair and transparent process is followed and to review all project contracts before signing to ensure the terms are appropriate and follow any requirements outlined through agreement by Canada.
  • As PTIC is a federal program, both the province and the project funding recipient are responsible to adhere to the program policies and guidelines set out by Canada. As a result, expenditures incurred prior to the date of approval, as well as any and all expenditures related to a recipient's contracts signed prior to the approval date are not eligible for PTIC funding.
  • The resolution, as stated above, presents an option that cannot be considered, as the provincial government does not have:
    • the authority to grant pre-approval;
    • the means to ensure fair and transparent contracting of projects before approval; or
    • the ability to change core PTIC program policies and guidelines set out by the federal government for all provinces and territories of Canada. 

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