Funding & resources update

Each month we provide an update on UBCM funding programs and information on other programs, events, and resources that may be of interest to local governments and First Nations.

Local Government Program Services

Applications are currently being accepted for the following funding programs. A complete and chronological listing (by intake deadline) of currently offered Local Government Program Services grants is also available on the UBCM website

Poverty Reduction Planning & Action Program: The Poverty Reduction program supports local governments in reducing poverty at the local level and to support the Province’s poverty reduction strategy. The deadline is March 5, 2021. 

FireSmart Economic Recovery Fund: This fund supports immediate job creation in order to build local wildfire resiliency and assist communities in recovering from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Apply by March 19, 2021. 

Emergency Operations Centres and Training:  This program supports the purchase of equipment and supplies required to maintain or improve Emergency Operations Centres  (EOC) and to enhance EOC capacity through training and exercises. Deadline is March 26, 2021.

Community-to-Community Forums: The C2C Forum program supports increased understanding and improved overall relations between First Nations and local governments. Forum events provide a time and place for dialogue to build on opportunities, support reconciliation efforts, resolve issues of common responsibility, interest or concern, and/or to advance tangible outcomes. The deadline is April 2, 2021. Two subsequent intake deadlines will follow in September and December, 2021.

Strengthening Communities’ Services: $100 million in Safe Restart funding has been made available to help improve the health and safety of unsheltered homeless populations living in public or private spaces, and to address related community impacts in neighbourhoods where people are seeking temporary shelter and services. Local governments and Treaty First Nations are eligible for this application-based program. Deadline to apply is April 16, 2021.

Asset Management Planning: The intent of the program is to assist local governments in delivering sustainable services by extending and deepening asset management practices within their organizations. Application deadlines are April 30, 2021 and September 24, 2021.

Other Funding 

Canada Healthy Communities Initiative:  The federal government committed $31 million in funds to transform public spaces in response to COVID-19. Funding is available to local governments, charities, Indigenous communities and non-profits for projects, programming and services that help communities create safe, vibrant public spaces, improve mobility options and provide innovative digital solutions to connect people and improve health. Applications are accepted until 5pm on March 9, 2021.

Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program: MCIP is a five-year, $75-million program that helps municipalities prepare for, and adapt to, climate change, and to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. Delivered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and funded by the Government of Canada, MCIP is available to all municipalities and their partners. Applications are accepted until March 15, 2021.

Thriving Cities Challenge: The Salazar Center for North American Conservation launched a call for applications for a $100,000 prize, awarded to winning projects that improve equity, health, and resilience in the applicant's community. Priority will be given to ideas or projects that advance climate resilience, break down barriers to community-wide racial equity, and use nature-based solutions to realize transformational change. Teams from Canada, the U.S., and Mexico may apply. There is an applicant webinar on March 15, 8am PST. Applications are accepted until April 15, 2021, 4pm.

Municipal Asset Management Program: MAMP is an eight-year, $110-million program funded by Infrastructure Canada to support Canadian municipalities and communities in making informed infrastructure investment decisions based on stronger asset management practices.

Funding for Energy Efficient Affordable Housing: This $300 million FCM initiative offers support to local and affordable housing providers, including local governments, to retrofit affordable housing units or build new energy efficient units. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis until annual funds are exhausted. 

Infrastructure Planning Grant Program: The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing offers grants up to $10,000 to help local governments plan, design and manage sustainable infrastructure. 

Connecting British Columbia: This program is currently accepting applications for funding through successive in-takes. Funds are available to help internet service providers and regional and local governments connect people in rural and Indigenous communities with high-speed internet.

Universal Broadband Fund: The Universal Broadband Fund supports broadband infrastructure projects bringing high-speed Internet to rural and remote households in areas that lack service of at least 50/10 Mbps. The program also supports mobile projects that primarily benefit Indigenous peoples.

Indigenous Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative: The objective of this initiative is to increase economic development opportunities of Indigenous Peoples and communities in Canada by supporting Indigenous communities and entrepreneurs who are ready to launch agriculture and food systems projects, and others who want to build their capacity to participate in the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector. Proposals invited until September 30, 2022.

First Nations Adapt Program: This federal program supports First Nations communities to assess and respond to climate change impacts on community infrastructure and emergency management. It prioritizes communities most impacted by sea level rise, flooding, forest fires, and winter road failures. Applications are reviewed on an ongoing basis.

New Relationship Trust: The NRT is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening First Nations in BC through capacity building. Numerous funding, initiatives and resources are available on their website 

Columbia Basin Trust: CBT offers the grants and programs to help residents and communities in the Basin take action on issues that are important to them.

Other Funding Opportunities: BC Healthy Communities has compiled a list of funding opportunities worth knowing about, along with guides and resources to support your grant writing activities.

Events & Resources

Technical Communication Lecture Series: The Department of Earth, Environmental and Geographic Sciences at UBC Okanagan is currently offering a free Technical Communication Lecture Series. This lunch-hour lecture series is great for those interested in strengthening, or freshening up on, their technical communications. Webinars are held the second Wednesday of the month, through April 10, 2021.

Seizing the Hydrogen Opportunity: Municipalities and the Future of Zero Emission Vehicles: This webinar series explores how municipal transit and fleet vehicles are an ideal market leader in the hydrogen economy. To learn more about these vehicles, funding opportunities from the federal and provincial governments, sign-up for one of their webinars through the link above.   

Rural Climate Change Knowledge Sharing Event - Bridging Silos: Advancing climate adaptation and low carbon resilience in small communities and rural regions is a free virtual knowledge sharing event being hosted by the Columbia Basin Rural Development Institute, ACT (the Adaptation to Climate Change Team) at Simon Fraser University, and Planning Institute of BC’s Kootenay-Rocky Mountain Chapter. March 4-5, 2021.

Are We There Yet? Using Indicators to Measure Progress on Adaptation:  This workshop hosted by ICLEI Canada will provide municipalities, Indigenous communities, municipal networks, academics, and subject-matter experts from across British Columbia with an opportunity to connect, share, and ask questions on the topic of ways to assess progress on climate adaptation and resilience. March 9, 2021, 10am – 12pm.

Local Wildfire Representative Workshops: BC FireSmart is offering LFR training as a free virtual workshop in a one-day session or as two consecutive half-day sessions. The course assists community leaders and fire professionals to implement the FireSmart Canada Neighbourhood Recognition Program, teaches an understanding of current Wildland Urban Interface concepts, wildfire hazard assessments and offers the tools and skills necessary to recruit volunteer community leaders. Existing LFRs need to recertify under this new course. FireSmart 101 is a prerequisite: see the link on the site. Upcoming workshop dates: April 21-22 (two half-days), April 24 (one all-day session). 

BC FireSmart Website: This website introduces the FireSmart program and its seven disciplines and is intended as a one-stop shop for all things FireSmart. The site includes links to training, education, an events calendar, resource library and downloadable content. It also features a short video inviting everyone to become involved in prevention and to learn about the benefits of the program. 

FireSmart BC Symposium: Learn about the future of FireSmart in BC and across the country at the inaugural event. There will be a live panel sharing community success stories and guest speakers discussing climate change and the WUI, prescribed fire, rebate programs, and more. Wednesday May 26th. More information will be posted soon at BC FireSmart. 

Virtual Reconciliation Engagements: Interested in raising awareness about reconciliation for your community, organization or business? In light of the COVID-19 crisis, Reconciliation Canada is currently providing all our engagements online.  They can provide a virtual gathering with our inspiring speaker to help engage reconciliation in a meaningful way.

The State of the Economy in Northern BC: This issue of Northern Dispatch asks the question, “How has COVID-19 impacted the economy in Northern B.C.?”

Advancing Your Asset Management Practices: If you missed this recent Asset Management BC webinar, you can now view the recording. Meet our speakers and learn more about how this unique training program will benefit you.

Rapid Action Resources for Local Governments - Community Food Production: Over the coming months, PlanH will be releasing a series of Rapid Action Resources to provide local governments with an understanding of the equity considerations around various aspects of food security, as well as examples of good practices in food security from other local governments in the province.

Financing tools for local climate action: Canadian municipalities are reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through pilot projects, municipal programs, and more. However, financing these initiatives can be a significant challenge. FCM’s toolkit explains how your municipality can leverage private and community investors to help you take action on climate change in your community.

ReTooling for Climate Change: The Fraser Basin Council hosts this first-stop website on climate change adaptation. Here is the place to find top tools and resources for BC local governments, First Nations and the natural resource sectors as everyone prepares for the impacts of climate change, now and in the years ahead.

BC Rural Centre: The Centre provides a wealth of links to assets, news, videos, services, and resources of value to rural British Columbians. 

Resources for Rural & Small Communities: BC Healthy Communities has launched a collection of resources related to PlanH action areas, with a rural and small community lens.

Building sustainable communities with asset management: This guidebook is designed for staff or elected officials in medium and large municipalities who are responsible for green projects or who are interested in municipal sustainable development.

CivicInfo BC: British Columbia's local government information hub offers comprehensive organizational and grant directories, events listings, tools for training, research and career development, bids & tenders, and other resources.

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