Terms and Conditions for Grants and Contributions under the Heavy Urban Search and Rescue Program

1.0 Purpose

The purpose of this document is to establish the terms and conditions to financially support Canada's Heavy Urban Search and Rescue capabilities through grant or contribution agreements as the funding mechanism of the Heavy Urban Search and Rescue (HUSAR) Program Terms and Conditions.

2.0 Authority

The Minister's authority to make transfer payments in section 6(1)(c) of the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Act, S.C. 2005, ch.10. provides that the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness may, in exercising his or her powers and in performing his or her duties and functions and with due regard to the powers conferred on the provinces and territories, make grants or contributions.

The Minister's authority to establish policies and programs respecting emergency management under section 4(1)(m) of the Emergency Management Act S.C. 2007, c. 15 provides that the Minister is responsible for exercising leadership relating to emergency management in Canada by coordinating, among government institutions and in cooperation with the provinces and other entities, emergency management activities.

3.0 Objective

The overall objective of the program is to support Canada's Heavy Urban Search and Rescue (HUSAR) capacity by strengthening the abilities of six HUSAR Task Forces across Canada.

4.0 Expected Results & Key Performance Indicators

The program contributes to the achievement of departmental and governmental objectives by contributing to enhanced public safety and emergency management.

The activities and outputs of the program are expected to lead to the immediate and longer term outcomes, ultimately leading to a safe and resilient Canada.

The program falls under section 1.4 (Emergency Management) and section 1.4.3 (Emergency Response) of the department's Program Activity Architecture.

The Performance Measurement Strategy for this program outlines a plan that will be implemented by the Department to ensure that there is sufficient performance information available to effectively plan, monitor, and report on results throughout the delivery of the Program, and to effectively support evaluation of the Program.

The Performance Measurement Strategy identifies the causal links between its main activities, the key outputs that are produced from these activities, and the intended outcomes arising from the activities and outputs. The key outcomes are:

  1. HUSAR Task Forces are effectively equipped to respond to disasters;
  2. Increased interoperability between HUSAR teams; and
  3. Canada has HUSAR capabilities that are able to respond to emergencies affecting urban centres in an efficient, effective and coordinated manner.

Program Outcomes


HUSAR Task Forces are effectively equipped to respond to disasters.

  • Number of teams with a deployable HUSAR capacity.
  • Percentage of activity reports which demonstrate use of at least 95% of approved funding.

Increased interoperability between HUSAR teams

  • Number of Task Forces that have jointly trained/exercised

Canada has HUSAR capabilities that are able to respond to emergencies affecting urban centres in an efficient, effective and coordinated manner

  • Number of Task Forces able to jointly respond to disasters

5.0 Eligible Recipients

The Provincial or municipal legal entities responsible for the management of one of the six HUSAR Task Forces located in Vancouver (British Columbia), Calgary (Alberta),  Brandon (Manitoba), Toronto (Ontario), Montreal (Quebec), and Halifax (Nova Scotia).

6.0 Eligible Activities

Activities that contribute to the achievement of the objective(s) of the HUSAR Program are eligible under these Terms and Conditions. They are those related to supporting and bolstering a HUSAR Task Force's response capacity, such as the purchase of equipment, training, workshops, conferences, and interoperability exercises. Activities should align with the Urban Search and Rescue Classification Guide, the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) Guidelines, or the Federal Emergency Management Agency's best practices.

7.0 Eligible Expenditures

Eligible expenditures will be those that are incurred by the recipient, are reasonable, incremental, directly related to, and required to carry out the eligible activities, such as;

  1. Equipment and its associated operating and maintenance costs, including but not limited to supplies and items recommended for HUSAR teams in the Canadian Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Classification Guide.
  2. Expenditures associated with instructors, rental of facilities, equipment and supplies, travel, food and accommodation in accordance with federal (or the National Joint Council) per diem rates allocated for travel;
  3. Direct operating and maintenance costs to sustain projects; for example: purchase of pallets, veterinarian costs, warehouse lease for specialized vehicles, etc.
  4. Expenditures associated with development, coordination and execution of domestic interoperability exercises that include members from one or multiple  HUSAR Task Forces;
  5. Expenditures associated with participating in domestic response exercises;
  6. Expenditures associated with participating in meetings or exercises with the Federal Emergency Management Agency or other emergency services in the United States, made in accordance with applicable foreign relation policies;
  7. Salary, including benefits and overtime for administrative and operational employees engaged in eligible activities, in accordance with existing collective agreements or contracts of employment;
  8. Administrative expenditures associated with the project up to 10% of the funding agreement;
  9. Professional fees, including printing fees, consulting fees, audit or evaluation fees, accounting fees;
  10. Certification and/or designation fees for groups, individuals, or canines;
  11. Expenses that are deemed reasonable and necessary to fulfill the activities of the Task Force's project, including honoraria;
  12. Costs associated with constructing or renovating HUSAR equipment storage and/or training facilities;
  13. Costs associated with meeting official language requirements; and
  14. Other costs, as deemed necessary by the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada.

8.0 Maximum Amount Payable and Period

Under this program, the Department would fund up to a maximum of 75% of a HUSAR project. The total program contribution will be determined by the minimum level required to ensure the project can proceed within the proposed time, location and scope and to further the attainment of the program objectives and expected results.

The maximum amount of financial assistance payable to each recipient will be limited by the vote appropriated for this purpose, and shall not exceed $6,250,000 per agreement. In addition, the maximum yearly amount (yearly = 12 month period) shall not exceed $1,250,000 per recipient, per year.

Funding agreements may be in the form of multiyear funding.

9.0 Stacking

Public Safety will ensure that the maximum level of Total Canadian Government Assistance (federal/provincial/municipal assistance) towards the same eligible supported expenditures shall not exceed 100% of the total eligible expenditures. The maximum federal contribution is 75% of the cost of a HUSAR project.

10.0 Official Languages

Public Safety Canada will work with applicants/recipients in their preferred official languages.

Communication with the public and delivery of the services by the recipient will be in both official languages, in accordance with the Official Languages Act (OLA).

All information published or made available as it relates to the program will be made available in both official languages and posted on Public Safety's website in both official languages.

The program's overall objective(s) are to be implemented within the broader context of the linguistic duality of Canada by supporting proposals that will serve official language minority communities.

11.0 Application Requirements and Assessment Criteria

The program's annual priorities will be determined by Public Safety Canada based on consultations with provincial emergency management offices represented at the Senior Officials Responsible for Emergency Management (SOREM), and SOREM's technical advisory committee (the Urban Search and Rescue Advisory Committee). The annual priorities will be announced to recipients prior to the call for proposals.

The following will be required of all applicants in order for the Department to consider a proposal. The application must clearly describe the activities and expected results (desired outcomes) of the project and how they meet the objectives of the HUSAR Program and the applicant's organizational priorities. Supporting material will include:

A completed proposal including:

Depending on the nature and duration of the proposal, the following additional supporting material could be requested:

In addition, to prevent the risk of conflict of interest, the applicant must:

Further application requirements regarding reporting needs will be outlined in the Calls for Proposals.

12.0 Selection of the Appropriate Transfer Payment Instrument

The use of grants or contributions for payment under these Terms and Conditions will be determined based on the requirements of the Treasury Board Directive on Transfer Payments.

The Department can use a grant or a contribution as the funding vehicle.

As the recipients of the funds will be provincial or municipal legal entities responsible for the management of one of the six HUSAR Task Forces, grants will generally be an appropriate choice.

13.0 Applicable Requirements when a Grant is the Most Appropriate Transfer Payment Instrument  

NOTE: In addition to the criteria outlined in sections 1-12, the following are the specific requirements when selecting grants.

13.1 Eligibility Criteria for Grants

13.1.1 The applicant is an eligible recipient as per section 5 of these Terms and Conditions.
13.1.2 The applicant has a well-established internal governance and reporting structure.
13.1.3 The proposed activities and expenditures are eligible as per section 6 and 7 of these Terms and Conditions.     
13.1.4 An application, compliant with these Terms and Conditions, is submitted.
13.1.5 The application received does not carry substantial risk as assessed under Public Safety's internal Risk Assessment Directive.
13.1.6 The application is approved by Public Safety.

13.2 Method of Payment

Payments over $250,000 will be made in the form of instalments, unless the full amount is required in a single payment to meet the objectives of the grant.

Payments can be made up to a portion of the grant amount as determined by an assessed level of risk, and prior to completion of the project.

13.3 Performance Reporting

Recipients will be requested to report on results achieved to support the program performance measurement strategy and departmental reporting.

14.0 Applicable Requirements When Using Contributions

NOTE: In addition to the criteria outlined in sections 1-12, the following are the specific requirements when using contributions:

14.1 Method of Payment

Payments for contributions, including advance payments, will be paid to recipients pursuant to the provisions of the Treasury Board Policy on Transfer Payments and based on the reimbursement of eligible expenditures.

Payments can be made up to a portion of the contribution based on a cash flow requirement and the assessed level of risk. A holdback provision may be included prior to completion of the agreement and the receipt of any recipient reports that may be required. 
Progress payments will be made upon receipt and acceptance by the Department of interim financial and non financial recipient reports that outline the activities and expenditures to date.

Advance payments can be made where necessary for the successful implementation of the project and in accordance with the recipient's cash flow requirements and the agreement's risk profile.

A schedule of reporting requirements will be included within the contribution agreement.
Provided that the recipient has met the terms of the contribution agreement, a final payment will be made only upon receipt and acceptance of a financial statement covering the duration of the project.

14.2 Monitoring and Reporting

Recipients are required to provide the Department with reports outlining the activities undertaken in support of the HUSAR projects. Reports are to include the results to be achieved with funding provided under the program and methods used. In addition, recipients will be required to provide detailed financial reports outlining the costs incurred in relation to the HUSAR project, including a final accounting of eligible expenditures.

Based on an assessed level of risk as identified by recipients and assessed by the Department's internal review committee, recipients may be required to provide the Department with an update on progress towards eligible activities to determine whether objectives and targets are being (or are likely to be) met for monitoring purposes, as deemed necessary.

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