Contributions for Emergency Management Assistance for Activities on Reserve: Terms and Conditions

Table of contents

1. Introduction

The Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (DIAND) has primary responsibility for fulfilling the federal government's responsibilities to Aboriginal people and Northerners. To fulfill this mandate, DIAND works collaboratively with Aboriginal people and Northerners, as well as with other federal departments and agencies, provinces and territories, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). These responsibilities also include supporting the management of emergency events on reserve, which are unforeseen and extraordinary in nature and represent urgent issues for the Government of Canada with regard to the health and safety of on-reserve First Nations communities. The assistance, a transfer payment in the form of a contribution came into effect April 1, 2005.

Local authorities, and provincial and territorial governments are responsible for emergency management activities within their respective jurisdictions. Section 91(24) of the Constitution Act, 1867 prescribes the legislative authority of the Government of Canada for ‘Indians, and Lands reserved for Indians". This authority is delegated to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (IAND) by the Indian Act and the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Act, (R.S.C. 1985 c. I-6, sec. 4). Under section 6 of the Emergency Management Act (2007), each federal minister is responsible for identifying risks that are within or related to his or her area of responsibility, and for preparing, maintaining, testing and implementing emergency management plans to mitigate those risks. DIAND supports the four basic pillars of emergency management – mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery –on First Nations reserves.

DIAND has, since the early 1970s, exercised its responsibility by managing a framework for promoting and providing: emergency preparedness within First Nations communities; emergency response and evacuation during disasters; and remediation of infrastructure and houses after emergencies such as forest fires and floods. DIAND had specific Treasury Board authority for forest fire suppression (December 15, 1988), which expired in March 2005. This authority enabled DIAND to provide funding to provinces, Indian Bands or other emergency organizations for the delivery of fire suppression services. The authority was replaced by the Emergency Management Assistance Program (November 29, 2004) through which the department makes contributions for emergency management assistance for activities on reserve. DIAND also provides financial assistance to First Nations for search and recovery activities based on compassionate grounds.

The most common emergencies affecting First Nations are floods, fires, search and recovery, or failure of community infrastructure (i.e., winter roads, bridges, water sources, housing, etc.) due to natural disaster or accident.

2. Legal and Policy Authority

3. Purpose, Objectives and Expected Results

The purpose of the Emergency Management Assistance Program (EMAP) is to protect lives and maintain resilient, sustainable on-reserve First Nation communities and infrastructure through emergency management.

The objectives of the Emergency Management Assistance Program are to:

The Emergency Management Assistance Program is linked to the Infrastructure and Capacity Program that contributes to "The Land and Economy Strategic Outcome by supporting First Nations communities to have a base infrastructure that protects their health and safety and enables their engagement in the economy". The Strategic Outcome for the Land and the Economy is to enable the "full participation of First Nations, Métis, Non-Status Indians and Inuit individuals and communities in the economy".

The expected results of EMAP are that: 1) First Nations are supported in their efforts to mitigate and prepare for emergencies; and, 2) First Nations are supported in their response to and recovery from emergencies. As of April 1, 2014, the EMAP Performance Measurement Strategy will monitor performance by measuring: the percentage of preparedness funding allocated towards the development and maintenance of Emergency Management (EM) plans; the cost of emergencies in First Nations that have completed structural mitigation projects; the percentage of identified eligible recovery project completed on schedule; the percentage of eligible emergency response costs that are funded; and the percentage of evacuated First Nations that have returned to their community within three months.

In the Program Activity Architecture, this authority is listed under The Land / Responsible Federal Stewardship.

4. Eligibility

  1. First Nations, First Nations organizations and private firms contracted to administer funds jointly with or on behalf of the First Nation (i.e., co-managers or third-party managers);
  2. Provincial and territorial governments, their agencies, and Crown corporations;
  3. Local authorities such as municipalities, townships or boards and committees;
  4. Non-governmental organizations such as the Canadian Red Cross or academic organizations.

Eligible Initiatives and Projects

An emergency for First Nations is characterized for DIAND's purposes (as adapted from the definition outlined in the Emergency Management Framework for Canada – Second edition) as:

"A present or imminent event that requires prompt coordination of actions concerning persons or property to protect the health, safety or welfare of people, or to limit damage to property or the environment."

For First Nations impacted by an emergency to be eligible for funding from the Emergency Management Assistance Program the emergency event must be of such proportions or nature as to exceed the capacity, including financial capacity, or authority of a First Nation to address it. It is usually caused by a real or imminent wildland fire, flood, storm, earthquake or other natural hazard, or by accident or pollution. An emergency event can include any event that endangers life or property, causes social disruption or a breakdown in the flow of community goods, services or resources.

To be eligible for funding under EMAP an emergency event must take place on, or affect a First Nation located on:

  1. a reserve, as defined in s. 2 (1) of the Indian Act, R.S.C., 1985, c. I-5;
  2. lands set aside in Yukon as per Cabinet Directive (Circular No. 27) entitled Procedure for Reserving Land in the Yukon and Northwest Territories (1955);
  3. lands formerly defined as a reserve or lands set aside which now form part of modern treaty settlement lands.

The Government of Canada and DIAND have adopted the all-hazard risk approach for effective emergency management with activities that can be described under the following four basic pillars:

Mitigation / prevention: actions taken to prevent or reduce the consequences of an emergency. Mitigation activities aim to identify potential emergencies and take proactive measures to mitigate the situation. The EMAP authority only allows non-structural mitigation activities such as risk assessment, hazard mapping, planning and management fees, architectural and engineering services, professional fees for legal and accounting services, site preparation and security, costs of materials and supplies, transportation, inspections, permits, land use permits, operating licenses and environmental studies.

Structural mitigation activities such as new capital equipment and construction are specifically excluded and must be undertaken under other appropriate departmental authorities, including but not limited to the Capital authority.

Preparedness: actions taken to prepare for effective emergency response. Preparedness activities consist of all-hazard planning by developing policies, formulating evacuation plans, preparing guidelines, training, performing risk assessments, and supporting First Nations in developing their own emergency plan. Preparedness should also include periodic testing through simulation exercises. The preparedness activities allow the recipient to respond efficiently and in a timely manner to an emergency.

Response: actions taken to deal with the consequences of an emergency. Response consists of activities designed to address the short-term effects of an emergency. Response includes agency response, resource coordination, organizational structure, protection and warning systems and communications. For First Nations, response involves undertaking appropriate and necessary actions once it is determined that an emergency event is imminent or occurring to protect First Nation members from loss of life or injury and to protect their infrastructure and houses. For example, suppression activities related to a forest fire or the evacuation of First Nations members threatened by a fire or flood. The identification of an imminent threat may also trigger pre-emptive actions aimed at mitigating more substantial potential damages. An imminent threat can be defined as an emergency event that has a high probability of occurring in the near future. Prior authorization from DIAND officials, including Headquarter's concurrence, must be obtained before any expenses can be engaged to address an imminent threat. Such authorization will be granted when an identified potential emergency event has been confirmed by an expert, professional third party assessment detailing the issue, identifying the potential threat and laying out options for addressing it while ensuring that any pre-emptive actions taken will not create problems elsewhere or at a later time.

Recovery: steps and measures taken after the emergency to repair and restore conditions to an acceptable level that existed prior to the emergency. Recovery measures may commence during the response phase. This rebuilding phase may include a mitigation component to reduce the vulnerabilities of the impacted community to improve its planning for future emergency events. The EMAP assists First Nations with the remediation work required on their impacted infrastructure and houses to restore it to pre-disaster condition as rapidly as possible. First Nations are expected to manage the risks associated with damage or destruction of infrastructure, including houses. The First Nation is also responsible for taking the necessary actions to ensure that the community or its properties be restored to pre-disaster condition.

Recovery activities involving the complete rebuilding of pre-existing infrastructure can be considered under the Capital authority. Restoration activities resulting from an emergency event should be considered first under the EMAP authority. If the recovery activities resulting from an emergency event are funded under a different authority, these costs should nevertheless be coded as emergency management-related for better tracking of the true costs of emergency events.

Search and Recovery: consists of further efforts to recover an individual (or individuals) when the first response effort has not proven successful and the well-being of the community remains at risk due to the increased levels of stress. Ordinarily, when an individual is not located during a search and rescue operation after a reasonable time, the rescue activities are terminated. Further recovery activities are at the discretion and expense of the First Nations communities. However, on a compassionate basis, DIAND responds to the need of the First Nations to extend search and recovery activities until no faint hope of recovery, based on the circumstances, remains.

5. Type and Nature of Eligible Expenditures

To ensure consistency in the processing of claims and reimbursement to First Nations impacted by emergency events or disasters, eligibility of emergency management costs will be in accordance with their respective provincial or territorial disaster financial assistance programs or initiatives. These same arrangements will inform eligibility of localised emergency events on reserve to determine reimbursement of costs incurred by an on-reserve First Nation taking into account the department's available financial resources.

Eligible costs to an eligible Recipient are net costs after any recoveries from insurance payouts, recoveries through legal actions and financial assistance received from other sources, including any other federal programs. Contributions from recognized non-governmental organizations or those resulting from a special disaster-related fundraising drive can be used to support expenditures ineligible under EMAP. If such contributions are used to support EMAP-eligible expenditures, they will be subtracted from a Recipient's total costs before eligible costs are determined.

Expenditures are listed in accordance with the four basic pillars of effective emergency management:

Emergency Preparedness: eligible expenditures include disbursements for salaries and wages; travel; telecommunications; office rent and overheads such as heating, lights, communications, supplies or janitorial services; rental or purchase related to office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers and scanners including set-up and maintenance; training and professional development for staff; professional fees and expenses for services such as legal, accounting or management; program research, modification or adaptation; design, printing and distribution of public information materials; data collection and systems; data analysis and reporting; program audit/evaluation. Band staff benefits are provided by DIAND through the Band Employee Benefits program and may not be charged to this program.

Emergency Response: Eligible expenditures for this activity include the labour, management and equipment costs incurred by the operating authority to respond effectively to the emergency and properly control and mitigate damages and protect people. This could include rental of special equipment, set-up costs for one-time preventative measures, aircraft rentals, fuel costs of response vehicles, transportation, care and feeding and accommodation of human resources, communications, specialist contractors and consultants. The following costs are not eligible: capital maintenance repairs and equipment purchase, including medical equipment. Capital equipment may only be purchased in circumstances when it is the only option available or it has been determined that is a more cost effective way to address emergency response activities. Capital equipment may also be purchased by provinces and territories to increase their capacity to support First Nations communities during emergencies and for comparability of service delivery. Such equipment purchase will have to be supported with a business case explaining why this is the most cost effective or efficient response mechanism before purchasing can be authorized by DIAND officials, including Headquarter's concurrence, and EMAP funding granted. As a general rule, existing provincial or territorial rates should be followed for costs related to evacuations. In addition, Treasury Board of Canada guidelines should not be exceeded for things such as the travel directive for accommodations, meals and incidental rates, applied to evacuees or emergency management personnel. If and when these costs are exceeded, justification will be required to provide a rational that supports and documents these instances.

Recovery: Eligible repair and restoration costs include the actual costs required for repairing or restoring an item or facility to its immediate pre-disaster condition as the maximum amount eligible. In the case of permanent repairs or replacement to better than pre-disaster condition, the amount eligible may be no greater than the amount required for restoration, repair or replacement to the immediate pre-disaster condition as estimated by a technical authority acceptable to the department. For example, in a situation where a single-lane bridge is destroyed, its replacement cost can be established and used against the cost of replacing it with a two-lane bridge. Additional repair or replacement costs required to meet current federal and provincial codes and standards for construction, access, and fire and occupational safety are eligible.

Recovery mitigation measures: Mitigation enhancements undertaken within specific repair or reconstruction projects of damaged infrastructure to reduce vulnerability to future emergencies will be considered for eligibility by DIAND. The First Nation will advise DIAND, through their Regional Office, of any proposed mitigation enhancement project at the earliest opportunity to seek approval on eligibility for mitigation cost recovery. Details (nature and scope of work, timings, and estimates) should be recorded for audit verification. New construction and public awareness initiatives are not eligible. Enhancements that are mainly designed to increase operational capacity (e.g. traffic volume, productive output), functionality, floor space, or life-cycle duration are also not eligible. Appropriate documentation to demonstrate that mitigation enhancements projects were accomplished must be available for federal audit before any payment is provided for such projects.

Mitigation: Eligible expenditures for these non-structural activities include site investigation and any required clean-up activities, planning and management fees, architectural and engineering services, professional fees for legal and accounting services, site preparation and security, costs of materials and supplies, transportation, inspections, permits, land use permits and environmental studies, operating licenses, transportation and accommodations for work crews in remote locations. The following costs are not eligible: capital equipment purchase and permanent protective infrastructure that did not exist before an emergency event partially or completely destroyed it.

Wildfire Management Services (formerly referred to as Forest Fire Suppression): In addition to the above, DIAND enters into agreements with provinces and territories or their crown corporations for wildfire management services required to safeguard and protect First Nations from wildfires. Wildfires may include grassfires, bush fires, parkland fires and forest fires which threaten people, infrastructure, the environment and the economy.  Wildfire behaviour and management is different than structural fire protection. Wildfire management services include prevention, education and preparedness activities and operations. Prevention, education and preparedness activities may include FireSmart programs ( or similar programs; hazard reduction and prescribed fire programs; communications; information and education programs; training and investigations.

Wildfire operations includes detection; facilities such as fire bases, air tankers, warehouses, lookouts, weather stations and lightning locations; wildland firefighting resources; aircraft; and other support resources including heavy equipment, camps, medical services, security services and support personnel and specialists. Wages, training, accommodations and related prevention, education and preparedness activities and operations (i.e. pre-suppression and suppression) costs of the wildland firefighting as well as support ground and air crew costs; costs of contract and casual labour hired for wildfire pre-suppression and suppression and support functions; wildfire suppression and support flying costs; rental, purchase, and related costs of emergency equipment; charges for guaranteed aircraft availability agreements and related costs; training, travel, and related costs of wildfire crews, lookout persons, and surface patrol crews; costs of construction, maintaining and supplying fire centres, air tanker bases, wildfire attack bases, and wildfire lookouts.

6. Total Canadian Government Funding and Stacking Limits

The stacking limit maximum level of funding to a recipient from all sources (including federal, provincial/ territorial and/or municipal) for any one activity, initiative or project can not exceed 100 percent of eligible costs. Any additional government funding received over and above the 100 percent of eligible costs approved by the Department will serve to reduce DIAND's contribution. However, funding received from other sources, private or public, specifically to address costs not eligible under the EMAP will not be considered as stacking of funding from a recipient under these program terms and conditions.

7. Method for Determining the Amount of Funding

The method for determining the amount of funding is described within these terms and conditions under the heading of Application and Assessment Criteria. Furthermore, an EMAP appendix provides definitions for types of estimate (A, B, C, D) to establish what level of certainty there is about a funding request for a specific project or emergency event.

8. Maximum Amounts Payable

The maximum payment to any one recipient is $10 million in one year.

Kashechewan Repatriation Project: The maximum payment to the Kashechewan First Nation is $25 million per year for 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18. This increase to the maximum amount payable is to accommodate the Kashechewan Repatriation Project, which will construct 36 duplexes and return evacuees to the community.

The maximum payment to any one provincial or territorial governmental recipient is $20 million in one fiscal year to reflect the leading role of provincial and territorial governments in emergency management within their respective jurisdictions. In addition, emergency management organizations which have a national mandate and may operate across multiple provincial and territorial jurisdictions in Canada will also have a maximum amount payable of $20 million in one fiscal year.

9. Basis on Which Payments will be Made

Payments will be made based on actual invoices. In extraordinary circumstances, advance payments can be made to address the cash flow requirements of a recipient that would, otherwise, not be able to financially manage the emergency event in a timely fashion.

10. Application Requirements and Assessment Criteria

Before entering into a funding arrangement, DIAND shall confirm its authorities to enter into an agreement with the recipient and fund the proposed activities.

The Treasury Board Policy on Transfer Payments requires that all federal departments apply a more recipient-specific, risk-based approach when managing transfer payments. It is part of federal initiatives to strengthen accountability and improve results for Canadians. As part of its response to this policy, DIAND has developed the General Assessment (GA), a tool that supports the management of funding agreements designed to provide a more recipient-focused, risk-based approach to transfer payment management. A GA Workbook is used to assess the following risk factors: governance, planning, financial management, program management and other considerations. Information about recipients is compared to a series of benchmarks that describe different risk levels and the recipient is assigned a risk level according to the following categories: "low", "medium" or "high".

Depending on the results of this GA, DIAND may also adjust its reporting requirements for a recipient. This would allow the department to work more closely with the recipient with higher risk profiles. For example, a recipient with a lower risk profile may be required to submit fewer reports than a recipient with a higher risk profile. The results of the GA will potentially affect the duration of funding agreements, the frequency and type of departmental monitoring activities (and related reporting requirements), the flexibility of the funding arrangement and a recipient's eligibility for certain funding approaches.

In many cases, emergency management assistance would be one of several public services to be funded by DIAND for a particular recipient, and there would also be an expectation of an on-going relationship between DIAND and the recipient and a current, updated and valid GA. Therefore, the recipient shall be required to provide any required information to complete the annual review of its GA unless their last assessment had a low risk rating, i.e., the recipient is meeting agreement requirements and there is no reason to believe the risk rating has changed, then the review can be conducted every second year. For Project Recipients, the GA will be performed prior to entering into a funding agreement.

Recipients shall comply with the Conflict of Interest and Post-employment Code for the Public Service and the Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment Code for Public Office Holders in addition to the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector and the AANDC Values and Ethics Code. Where an applicant employs or has a major shareholder who is either a current or former (in the last twelve months) public office holder or public servant in the federal government, compliance with the Code(s) shall be demonstrated.

Emergency Preparedness Activities: Eligible recipients for this component of EMA will be required to provide the following information in order to be eligible to enter into a funding arrangement with DIAND: a detailed description and costing of the proposed preparedness initiative; a payment schedule including basis and timing of payments; in the case of third party delivery, a description of the arrangement which indicates their respective roles, responsibilities and accountabilities; provision for DIAND to receive financial and program performance reports from the recipient no less frequently than once a year, or more often at the discretion of the funding authority based on the GA rating; provisions for appropriate program compliance review or test, provision for DIAND auditors to have access to relevant documents, on the premises of the recipient or their third party delivery agent consistent with the funding agreement terms and conditions.

Emergency Response: Due to the unpredictable and urgent nature of emergency response to emergencies, disasters or accidents, the usual formal application process may be waived. However, when a First Nation declares an emergency, a common understanding must be reached between the First Nation, the province or territory and DIAND to trigger a shared response as each have a specific role to play. This must be communicated to DIAND as soon as is practical. For instance, in support of a shared response, the decision to evacuate a First Nation must be based on a consensus of opinion between the First Nation Chief and Council, DIAND and the corresponding provincial Emergency Management Organization (EMO) in the absence of a present or imminent threat requiring prompt and immediate actions to protect the health, safety and/or welfare of people. Not obtaining this consensus of opinion beforehand may make the evacuation costs ineligible for reimbursement from DIAND.

Eligibility for financial assistance for emergencies including preparedness, mitigation, response, recovery, forest fire suppression and search and recovery will be assessed upon the signing of funding agreements with provincial or territorial governments, corporations, local authorities, First Nations or other emergency organizations. Eligible recipients will enter into discussions with DIAND officials to establish the process for managing the emergency response activities and each party's respective roles and responsibilities. Where appropriate, funding arrangements will be put in place to ensure effective control over financial resources and to establish the financial accountability requirements respecting records, documents, reports, financial statements, and where appropriate, audit as per Treasury Board Policy on Transfer Payments.

Mitigation: Recipients will be required to comply with the requirements of the department's capital project planning directive and guideline for infrastructure remediation. This includes the need for site assessment; feasibility study including legal, health or safety considerations; project risk assessment and management plan; professional engineering and project management skills; an approved project plan with provisions for contingencies; compliance with all related Acts and Regulations respecting the Building Code, Health and Safety, licenses and permits; proper insurance; public tendering process; bid bonding of the winning general contractor; a contract specifying the respective roles, responsibilities and deliverables of each party in accordance with the time frames established in the construction work plan; penalties for non-completion on a timely basis; payments tied to key deliverables; and where both parties cannot agree, an alternative dispute resolution process. For structural mitigation activities, e.g., dam or dyke building, the department's Capital authority will be used and recipients will have to comply with all its terms and conditions. The present authority only allows funding of non-structural mitigation activities and related costs such as professional engineering plans or reports.

11. Due Diligence and Reporting

DIAND has procedures and resources for ensuring due diligence in approving these payments, verifying eligibility and entitlement, and for managing and administering the program. (SEE EMAP Annex for more details)

As part of the monitoring efforts, a Performance Measurement Strategy consistent with the requirements of the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat Policy on Transfer Payments will provide baselines and benchmarks from which the EMAP's effectiveness in achieving its set purpose, objectives and outcomes can be evaluated.

12. Official Languages

Where a program supports activities that may be delivered to members of either official language community, access to services from the recipient will be provided in both official languages where there is significant demand and Part IV of the Official Languages Act is applicable. In addition, the Department will ensure that the design and the delivery of programs respect the obligations of the Government of Canada as set out in Part VII of the Official Languages Act.

13. Intellectual Property

Where a contribution is provided for the development of material in which copyright subsists, conditions for shared rights will be set out in the funding agreement.

14. Repayable Contributions

Provisions for repayable contributions do not apply. Any contributions made to private firms under these programs are not intended to generate profits or increase the value of a business.

15. Redistribution of Contributions

Where a recipient delegates authority or further distributes contribution funding to an agency or a third party (such as an authority, board, committee, or other entity authorized to act on behalf of the recipient), the recipient shall remain liable to the Department for the performance of its obligations under the funding agreement. Neither the objectives of the programs and services nor the expectations of transparent, fair and equitable services shall be compromised by any delegation or redistribution of contribution funding.

Recipients have full independence in the selection of such third parties and will not be acting as an agent of the government in making distributions.

16. Other Terms and Conditions


Annex for EMAP funding request (information required):

1- Detailed breakdown of info as per table below:

Region details
Recipient Type of cost Fiscal year of event Detailed activity description Actuals Forecasted Total
Regional Office Budget for personnel and operating expenditures   Actuals: Emergency Management staff      
Province or Emergency Management authority Base Forest Fire Suppression Costs   Actuals: Base funding is directly committed to federal/provincial fire suppression agreements
Province or Emergency Management authority Forest Fire Suppression Costs   Actuals: Additional costs to base contracts
Other recipient Preparedness, mitigation (non-structural), response, recovery   Actuals: Evacuations costs including: catering (food), Communications, Hotels, Security, Transportation (Air), Transportation (Ground), Incidentals, Evacuation Support Expense and Project Management. Forecasted:      
First Nation Community Preparedness, mitigation (non-structural), response (evacuations?), recovery   Actuals: Design and cost for temporary dyke construction or infrastructure reconstruction
Forecasts: of recovery costs, etc.
      Total Emergency Management Costs for 2013-2014      

2- In addition to the above information, for each recipient, please provide:

Recipient General Assessment Result Date of last GA Any mitigation activities required to maintain ongoing agreement management Any Default Management Status (date) Last update on management action plan
Non-aboriginal organization Low, medium, high        
First nation community Low, medium, high        

3- Finally, for each recipient requesting funding, please provide the source of the cost estimate and the class of estimate as per definitions below.

Definitions of class of estimate:

Class "A" Cost Estimate: estimate based upon a complete description of the equipment or facility sought, such as would exist when the concept design, working drawings and specifications, and other significant conditions of production or construction are available. It can be used to evaluate tenders or as a basis of cost control during construction.

Class "B" Cost Estimate: estimate based upon data of quality equivalent to that available following the definition of the major systems and sub-systems of the equipment or facility, including an outline of specifications and preliminary drawings and models. It should provide for establishment of a realistic budget and schedule sufficiently accurate to permit control of a project within allocated funds.

Class "C" Cost Estimate: estimate based upon proposals requested from a number of contractors for the design, production or construction of the equipment or facility, or upon system concept designs and analyses of their costs and schedules conducted by experienced personnel. It should be sufficient for making the correct investment decision.

Class "D" Cost Estimate: estimate based upon a comprehensive statement of requirements, in mission terms, and an outline of a solution. It is strictly an indication in round terms of the total project cost or completion date.

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