Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements (DFAA)
In the event of a large-scale natural disaster, the Government of Canada provides financial assistance to provincial and territorial governments through the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements (DFAA), administered by Public Safety Canada (PS).
- DFAA Program Review
- Roles and Responsibilities
In the event of a large-scale natural disaster, the Government of Canada provides financial assistance to provincial and territorial governments through the DFAA, administered by PS. When response and recovery costs exceed what individual provinces or territories could reasonably be expected to bear on their own, the DFAA provide the Government of Canada with a fair and equitable means of assisting provincial and territorial governments.
Through the DFAA, assistance is paid to the province or territory – not directly to affected individuals, small businesses or communities. A request for reimbursement under the DFAA is processed immediately following receipt of the required documentation of provincial/territorial expenditures and a review by federal auditors.
Since the inception of the program in 1970, the Government of Canada has contributed more than $6 billion in post-disaster assistance to help provinces and territories with the costs of response and of returning infrastructure and personal property to pre-disaster condition.
DFAA Program Review
Disasters are growing in frequency and severity in Canada. Public Safety Canada is reviewing its program for post-disaster financial assistance to ensure there is an updated, comprehensive system available to provinces and territories for disaster recovery and to support the safety and well-being of Canadians.
The Honourable Bill Blair, President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Emergency Preparedness, has appointed an advisory panel to review and make recommendations to update the DFAA.
On behalf of the President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Emergency Preparedness, the advisory panel on the DFAA will review Canada’s approach to post-disaster recovery and financing.
The advisory panel represents a diverse interdisciplinary group that:
- is aware of natural disasters in Canada and how they affect Canadians of diverse backgrounds, including Indigenous communities,
- has expertise in disaster financing or the economic and social impacts of disasters,
- has knowledge of disaster financing in a multijurisdictional context, and
- is committed to building community resilience capacity.
Meet the advisory panel for the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements program review.
The advisory panel will meet virtually until September 2022 and submit its findings to the Minister in fall 2022. Its findings will inform the program’s policy review.
Roles and Responsibilities
The provincial or territorial governments design, develop and deliver disaster financial assistance, deciding the amounts and types of assistance that will be provided to those that have experienced losses. The DFAA place no restrictions on provincial or territorial governments in this regard - they are free to put in place the disaster financial assistance appropriate to the particular disaster and the circumstances, and the DFAA set out what costs will be eligible for cost-sharing with the federal government.
PS works closely with the province or territory to review provincial/territorial requests for reimbursement of eligible response and recovery costs.
In the event of a large-scale natural disaster, the Government of Canada provides financial assistance to provincial and territorial governments through the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements (DFAA).
When response and recovery costs exceed what individual provinces or territories could reasonably be expected to bear on their own, a province or territory may request Government of Canada disaster financial assistance. A request for reimbursement under the DFAA is processed immediately following receipt of the required documentation of provincial or territorial expenditures and a review by federal auditors.
The application process requires provincial or territorial action as well as federal action. Steps of the application process are outlined as follows:
Step 1 – Provincial or Territorial Action:
Following a natural disaster, the province or territory submits a request for assistance under the DFAA program through an Order-in-Council. As part of this request, the province or territory provides disaster information and financial estimates for approval and audit purposes.
Step 2 – Federal Action
The Order-in-Council is approved and financial cost-shared assistance under the DFAA is authorized.
Step 3 – Provincial or Territorial Action:
The province or territory may request advance interim payments by providing actual and estimated costs. This step is optional. Estimates and payment request timelines are revised every six months for the life of the Order-in-Council through a semi-annual exercise.
Step 4 – Federal Action:
The Government of Canada issues payment after completing a risk assessment of submitted costs. The Government of Canada assists the province or territory with early financial requirements.
Step 5 – Provincial or Territorial Action
The province or territory submits final audited costs. This is limited to a five year time period following the approval of the Order-in-Council.
Step 6 – Federal Action:
Final payment issued after completing a federal compliance audit. The file is then closed.