Capital Assets Guide: Overview
An updated PDF version of the Capital Assets Guide is now available by email request and will be published online in the coming months. Please note that until web updates have been completed, some information below may be outdated. To request the most up-to-date version of the guide, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
On this page:
- First Nations Child and Family Services (FNCFS) Program
- Jordan's Principle
- Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) orders related to capital
- Regular communication with funding requestor and service standards
- The assessment process and documentation required to support a request are reasonable
- Ongoing guidance available from ISC throughout the process
First Nations Child and Family Services (FNCFS) Program
The FNCFS Program oversees and provides contribution funding for the ongoing provision of culturally appropriate prevention, including early intervention and least intrusive measures, and legislated protection services in order to respond to child maltreatment, support family preservation and well-being, including cultural and linguistic connections for First Nations children, youth and families on reserve or in the Yukon.
Jordan's Principle ensures that First Nations children living in Canada can access the products, services and supports they need, when and where they need them.
Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) orders related to capital
On January 26, 2016, the CHRT ruled that Canada's provision of FNCFS, and Jordan's Principle was discriminatory on the prohibited grounds of race and national or ethnic origin. The ruling specifically noted capital as one area requiring redress. On August 26, 2021, the CHRT issued a 'letter-decision' pertaining to issues that had been before the CHRT for some time, including major capital. On November 16, 2021, the CHRT issued 2021 CHRT 41 and, on January 18, 2022, the CHRT amended its orders under 2021 CHRT 41 to reflect an agreement reached by the parties to the complaint and Canada. These consent orders require Canada to fund the planning, purchase and construction of capital assets for the delivery of FNCFS or for the delivery of services under Jordan's Principle.
The approach for implementing 2021 CHRT 41, was designed to enable First Nations, FNCFS agencies and First Nations-authorized Jordan's Principle service providers with access to capital funding in a way that is streamlined and timely, addresses actual needs, and minimizes administrative burden. ISC will exercise a "reconciliation first" approach when receiving, processing and assessing capital requests in a common-sense manner that meets the needs of service providers.
This Capital Assets Guide describes ISC's approach for implementing the 2021 CHRT 41 orders, outlines the scope of the orders and explains how funding requestors can access capital funding. Eligible funding requestors can access funding from ISC for capital projects that are underway or projects that are ready to proceed. Per the order, ISC will also provide funding to conduct capital needs assessments and feasibility studies. ISC will only fund costs incurred on or after August 26, 2021.
The Capital Assets Guide summarizes the terms and conditions, criteria, guidelines, and policies under which the FNCFS Program and Jordan's Principle provide funding for capital assets that provide safe, accessible, confidential and culturally-and-age-appropriate spaces that are needed to support the delivery of these services.
As policies and procedures evolve, the guide is updated accordingly and eligible funding recipients are advised of these changes through the newsletters and bulletins available on the FNCFS and Jordan's Principle website and other communication tools.
Eligible funding recipients are advised to read and retain the most current version of the guide to ensure continued compliance with the terms and conditions of their Funding Agreement. In the event of a contradiction between document versions, the provisions of the ISC web-posted guide, along with the latest capital publications and the funding agreement, will prevail.
ISC will apply the following principles when assessing the eligibility of requests:
- capital assets support substantive equality and culturally appropriate services, given the distinct needs and circumstances of the First Nation, including their cultural, historical, and geographical needs and circumstances;
- the purchase, construction or renovation of the capital asset must be underway or ready to proceed;
- the costs are generally recognized as necessary to purchase, construct or renovate the asset, or as appropriate to conduct pre-capital planning for a capital asset;
- generally accepted accounting principles, generally accepted public sector procurement practices, and relevant federal, provincial, and local laws and regulations are followed; and,
- a funding approach for the life cycle needs of the capital asset is provided.
Regular communication with funding requestor and service standards
ISC will send notifications to the funding requestor in writing as their capital funding request progresses through the assessment process and will respect the following service standards:
- ISC Headquarters will send a confirmation of receipt message in writing to the funding requestor within 2 business days of receiving the Capital Funding submission. Should, upon a quick initial glance, ISC notice any information missing from the Capital Funding form or the rest of the submission, ISC will notify the requestor in this message as well.
- As much as possible, ISC will support the requestor in gathering any missing information.
- Within 30 business days from the receipt of a complete capital funding request submission for a feasibility study or for a project that is ready to proceed with the purchase or construction of an asset, the department will notify the requestor in writing of the full funding decision. ISC may not need the full 30-business days to reach each funding decision – it will vary based on the circumstances of each project.
- If the 30-business day service standard for the full funding decision cannot be met because of the level of project complexity or other exceptional circumstances, ISC will notify the requestor in writing providing the rationale for the additional time needed.
- If ISC is not able to make a full funding decision because the project is not "ready to proceed", where possible, in consultation with the requestor, ISC will make a partial funding decision to enable the advancement of the project.
- Should additional information be required from the funding recipient to support decision making on whether the project can progress to the next stage, ISC will provide the requestor with a detailed list of outstanding information in writing.
- While the requestor is gathering further information or documentation, the 30-working day clock is placed on pause and restarts upon receipt of a complete submission.
The assessment process and documentation required to support a request are reasonable
- The capital funding request and assessment process outlined in the document has been designed to be adaptable to the various types of requests that will come forward, their varying degrees of complexity and different stages of project readiness in the capital project lifecycle.
- Straightforward funding requests (e.g., a vehicle purchase or replacement of windows) and/or requests for minor capital under Jordan's Principle will be assessed and processed through existing internal mechanisms and will not be subject to this Capital Assessment Process.
- Where the funding request is seeking support for a complex project (e.g., construction of a new building), the project will need to complete the approval stages of the capital project life cycle which includes: Pre-Capital Needs Assessment, Feasibility and Planning; Design; Construction; and Completion. The number of stages that each capital project must undergo depends on the type of proposal and its level of complexity.
- Where relevant, existing ISC program policies and other federal policies will be used to support the implementation of eligible capital requests. In cases where requests do not fall within these policies, ISC will work with the funding requestor to identify requirements based on industry standards and best practices.
- If a funding request does not fall within the scope of the 2021 CHRT 41 orders, to the greatest extent possible, ISC will help the requestor determine if there are other potential federal sources of funding that could be accessed to support the project.
Ongoing guidance available from ISC throughout the process
ISC officials will support funding requestors through the funding request process and the capital project stages to help ensure that eligible capital requests are funded and completed. The end of each chapter in the Capital Assets Guide contains contact information should guidance or support be needed.
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