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Green Municipal Fund

FAQs: Plans


Do you fund sustainable community plans?

No. We fund sustainable neighbourhood action plans, community brownfield action plans and greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction plans. In 2015—2016, we aim to approve approximately $5 million in grants for plans, feasibility studies and pilot projects combined. Given the limited funding available, we are targeting the types of plans that will have the greatest impact.

Our research indicates that most municipalities have already completed some form of municipal sustainable community plan (SCP) or strategy. We strive to help municipalities progress further in meeting their sustainability goals by funding action-oriented plans that build on previously completed SCPs or strategies.

For municipalities that wish to develop an SCP, we offer a suite of knowledge resources including case studies of award-winning plans, webinars, and planning publications. Examples of GMF-funded plans can also be found in our Approved Projects Database. Sign up for GMF Updates to find out when new resources and tools become available.

What percentage of eligible costs is covered for plans?

We cover up to 50 per cent of eligible costs for plans.

What is the maximum grant for plans?

We offer grants, which cover up to 50 per cent of eligible costs to a maximum of $175,000, to undertake eligible plans.

What costs are eligible and when do they become eligible?

If your application is approved, costs become eligible as of the date we receive your complete application. Costs incurred to hire a consultant to prepare the application are also eligibleup to 90 days before the date we receive your application. Eligible costs are partially reimbursed.

Please see our eligible costs for plans. Contact us for more details about our eligible cost dates and reimbursement procedures.

It is stated that GMF funds "50 per cent of eligible costs up to a maximum of $175,000" for plans. Does that mean the GMF funding total may be less?

Yes. You may not receive the full amount of funding that you request, usually because some of the costs incurred are ineligible. See our eligible costs for plans.

How long will it take to find out whether my plan will be funded?

We aim to provide a funding decision within four months from the time we receive your complete application, including all required documents.

What is the difference between the funding approval process effective April 1, 2015 and the previous one?

There is no change in the funding approval process for plans, feasibility studies, pilot projects and brownfield capital projects. Applications are reviewed as they are received in a non-competitive process. They are not compared against other applications; instead they are scored according to established criteria. By contrast, a competitive approval process, including an initial review stage, is required for capital project applications in the energy, transportation, waste and water sectors.



Sustainable neighbourhood action plans

What is the difference between a sustainable neighbourhood action plan and other sustainable planning processes such as an integrated community sustainability plan (ICSP), Local Agenda 21, strategic planning, and others?

A sustainable neighbourhood action plan is a local step in implementing an overarching plan such as an ICSP, Local Agenda 21 or strategic plan. A sustainable neighbourhood action plan translates into direct actions, such as a feasibility study or capital project.

Do you have any examples of sustainable neighbourhood action plans?

Yes. See these examples.

Would a plan that addresses local issues for our small town be considered a sustainable neighbourhood action plan?

In some cases, small, rural municipalities may wish to develop sustainable neighbourhood action plans that incorporate verifiable actions affecting the entire area within their municipal boundaries. We encourage this and recommend that you confirm your eligibility with us before you submit your application.

Do you have a template to create a sustainable neighbourhood action plan that would be eligible under the GMF program? Do you have examples of these types of plans?

An example would be the sustainable urban neighbourhood plan we funded in Strathcona County, Alberta (GMF 9030) that resulted in a template that is available on the SuNLIVING website. The SuNLIVING approach was developed by NRCan's Canmet Energy group.

We encourage you to seek information about comprehensive sustainable neighbourhood planning approaches such as Smart Growth and SuNLIVING.

What are the basic requirements of a sustainable neighbourhood action plan?

A sustainable neighbourhood action plan outlines a vision; sets environmental, social and economic goals and targets; and outlines actions to achieve them in all areas of municipal activity for a defined municipal boundary or neighbourhood, including energy, waste and water management; sustainable transportation, land use and brownfields remediation (if applicable). Actions outlined in the neighbourhood action plan include specific tasks, with details about  who will accomplish them, a timeline for implementation, and estimated costs.

We are preparing a sustainable neighbourhood action plan, but we don't have a specific sustainable community plan already developed. Would a regional sustainability plan that defines development goals for our municipality qualify as an eligible prerequisite?

Yes, provided that the sustainable regional plan identifies a vision and integrates all areas of municipal concern, such as energy, waste and water management; sustainable transportation; land use; and brownfield remediation (if applicable).

Who can apply for funding for sustainable neighbourhood action plans? Are private developers or community groups eligible?

Municipal governments are eligible to apply for funding to develop a sustainable neighbourhood action plan. Municipally owned corporations and private developers working in partnership with a municipal government are also eligible for funding, provided that they can demonstrate that the municipality is actively involved in developing the plan.



Community brownfield action plans

What is a community brownfield action plan?

A community brownfield action plan identifies priority redevelopment zones and opportunities including a framework of incentive programs and municipal actions to promote the remediation, rehabilitation, and overall improvement of underused properties in a community (such as community brownfield strategies, community improvement plans or revitalization plans).

Our plan will include brownfield redevelopment actions and will deal with other issues such as energy reduction, sustainable transportation and others. Would the costs associated with these other areas also be eligible for funding?

Yes. We encourage municipalities to consider other issues such as energy, transportation, waste and water in their community brownfield action plans. Costs related to those areas are eligible for funding.

During the development of our brownfield action plan, we plan to undertake several Phase 1 environmental site assessments (ESAs) to create an inventory of contaminated sites. Would the development of our ESAs be eligible for funding?

No. Phase 1 ESAs and site inventories are not eligible for GMF funding at this time.



Greenhouse gas reduction plans

What is a greenhouse gas reduction plan?

A greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction plan establishes a baseline through a GHG emissions inventory*, sets emission reduction targets, and outlines actions to reduce GHG emissions for municipal operations and the community in all areas of municipal activity, including energy use, transportation planning, land use, waste and water management. Actions described in a GHG reduction plan include specific tasks, with details on who will accomplish them, a timeline for implementation, and estimated costs.

A planning initiative that includes activities to reach milestones 1, 2 and 3 of the Partners for Climate Protection (PCP) program would qualify as a GHG reduction plan. This type of plan is also referred to as a climate change action plan or a local action plan and must contain certain mandatory elements required by the PCP program. See our FAQs on GMF funding for plans undertaken as part of the PCP program.

*Costs to complete the GHG emissions inventory are eligible for reimbursement by GMF only if the inventory is completed by a PCP member municipality as Milestone 1 of the PCP program. 

See some examples of GHG reduction plans.

If my municipality is not a member of the PCP program and does not wish to become a member can I still apply for funding for a GHG reduction plan?

Yes.



Page Updated: 04/05/2016