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

Housing Needs Report: The Housing Needs Reports program supports local governments in undertaking housing needs reports in order to meet the provincial requirements. The reports will strengthen the ability of local governments to understand what kinds of housing are most needed in their communities, and help inform local plans, policies, and development decisions. This will be the final intake of this program and the application deadline is June 4, 2021.

Regional Community to Community Forum: The goal of a Regional C2C Forum is increased understanding and improved overall relations between First Nations and local governments. Forum events are intended to 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. Application deadlines are September 10 and December 3, 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. The next application deadline is September 24, 2021.

Other Funding 

Healthy Communities Initiative: This $31 million investment from the Government of Canada intends to transform public spaces in response to COVID-19. Funding is available to a broad range of organizations, including local governments and Indigenous communities, for projects, programming and services that help communities create safe and vibrant public spaces, improve mobility options and provide innovative digital solutions to connect people and improve health. The deadline is June 25, 2021.

Community Buildings Retrofit initiative: This FCM initiative will help fund energy efficiency upgrades for existing community facilities. The Government of Canada, through the Green Municipal Fund, has launched this new $167 million initiative to help Canadian municipalities of all sizes retrofit existing community facilities, such as arenas, pools and libraries, to significantly reduce GHG emissions, while reviving important community assets. 

Coast Funds for First Nations: Coast Funds is accepting new applications from participating First Nations for our current round of funding until July 16, 2021. If you have a conservation initiative or a sustainable business project or expansion in mind, please get in touch with us as early as possible if you plan to apply.

CEA Game-Changer Grant: It’s going to take game-changing innovation to meet local 2030 emissions reduction targets. This Community Energy Association initiative supports communities in British Columbia, Alberta and the Yukon Territory to advance game-changing climate policies/regulations, programs, or infrastructure. Learn more about the Game-Changer Grant and how to submit an Expression of Interest.

Safe Voluntary Isolation Site Program (SVISP): The funding is offered by the Government of Canada and aims to decrease community transmission of COVID-19 by addressing gaps identified for individuals who are unable to safely self-isolate due to housing conditions. $100 million is available for the SVISP as part of the efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding will be determined based on assessment of applications by eligible recipients for eligible projects and activities. For additional information about this funding stream and to obtain an application package, please contact and reference “Safe Voluntary Isolation Sites Program” in the subject line.

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.

Funding Opportunities for Clean Energy Projects: Since 2011, the Province of B.C. has updated a clean energy funding guide that helps Indigenous communities and local governments in British Columbia find appropriate funding to support energy planning, energy efficiency, and clean energy generation projects.

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

External Resources for Councils & Boards: The Working Group on Responsible Conduct has developed a database of external resources to support local governments. The consultants included a range of services that support responsible conduct by elected officials, including conflict management & resolution, coaching, counselling and elected official training. 

Forging a Path to Responsible Conduct: This resource provides guidance on ways to prevent conduct issues by local elected officials, and how best to deal with them if they do arise. Developed by the Working Group on Responsible Conduct (WGRC), the guide provides advice on fostering responsible conduct, maintaining good governance and resolving conduct issues for those who serve on Councils and Boards. It also includes considerations for local governments that wish to establish an enforcement process within a Code of Conduct.

Asset Management and Climate Resiliency: Being held on June 15, 2021, this course introduces the fundamentals of asset management so that learners can identify the benefits and challenges of infrastructure asset management and link this to their own practice, including land use planning, operations and maintenance, finance, and risk management. It provides an understanding of how climate can impact assets and services, and the integration of risk mitigation and adaptation measures over the life-cycle of an asset. Supported by Natural Resources Canada’s Building Regional Adaptation Capacity and Expertise (BRACE) Program.

BC FireSmart: 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. 

Local FireSmart Representative Training: On the heels of a very successful BC FireSmart Symposium, and with many approved Community Resiliency Investment grants with Education, and Residential and Critical Infrastructure activities, this is the next opportunity to train as an LFR. July 14 & 15, 2021, 8:00am – 12pm PST (two consecutive morning sessions).

Building Knowledge & Capacity for Affordable Housing: BC Housing is partnering with the Community Development Institute at the University of Northern British Columbia to offer a series of 2-hour webinars from June through October. The series, aimed at the building industry and local and regional governments, focuses on understanding the unique needs and challenges small communities face in providing viable options for affordable housing. 

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 Practice: 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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