Details on Transfer Payment Programs (Exceeding $5 million during the reporting year)

Name of transfer payment program: Departmental Class Grants and Contributions (Voted)

Start date: January 31, 2008

End date: March 31, 2017

Description: The Departmental Class Grants and Contributions Program supports organizations associated with the research, development and promotion of activities that contribute to departmental objectives.

Targeted Geoscience Initiative - Phase 4 – The objective is to help the mineral exploration industry be more effective in finding deeply buried mineral deposits in mineral-producing regions of Canada.

Geo-mapping for Energy and Minerals – The objective is to increase activities of the Geological Survey of Canada to provide the public geoscience knowledge base needed to support increased economic prosperity of northern Canada through stable, long-term investments in resource development.

Program of Energy Research and Development (PERD) – The objective is to fund research and development designed to ensure a sustainable energy future for Canada in the best interests of its economy and the environment.

Clean Energy Housing activitiesThe objective is to increase energy efficiency by encouraging the use of energy efficient building standards in Canadian new home construction.

Strategic outcomes: 1) Canada’s Natural Resource Sectors are Globally Competitive, 2) Natural Resource Sectors and Consumers are Environmentally Responsible, 3) Canadians have Information to Manage their Lands and Natural Resources, and are Protected from Related Risks.

Results achieved:

Targeted Geoscience Initiative - Phase 4
Examples of achievements:

  • Development of robust vectors that can more effectively identify mineral/ore systems and innovations to determine the fertility of the geological environment, thereby reducing investment risk and cost through smarter targeting.
  • Dissemination of research results and data internally and in publicly accessible format for incorporation in development of new precious and base metal ore system models.
  • Transfer of new knowledge to stakeholders through workshops and presentations.
  • Training of students in high-level-research degree programs in order to increase the availability of highly qualified personnel.

Geo-mapping for Energy and Minerals

Examples of achievements:

  • Ongoing development of a modern geological framework for Canada’s North that can be used by the Canadian mining and energy industries to identify areas with potential sources of energy and mineral resources in order to increase exploration effectiveness.
  • Generation of reliable, accessible public geoscience information that enhances the critical knowledge base needed to support increased northern exploration investment, maintain and enhance the prosperity of Canada’s North, and support informed land-use decisions in the territories.
  • Increase the number of highly qualified geoscience-related personnel.
  • Facilitate greater involvement of Canadian-based minerals and energy exploration industries in academic research.

Program of Energy Research and Development
In 2012-13, PERD funded clean energy R&D projects, including research in the environmental aspects of oil sands, clean electricity and renewables, bioenergy, energy distribution, smart grid and storage and efficient end use (in the buildings industry and the transportation sectors).

Examples of achievements:

  • Improving lithium ion battery chemistries to increase the energy density and power density of these batteries for use in electric vehicles. Adopting electric vehicle technology contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions as well as advancing research and development innovations within the auto sector.
  • Identifying technical gaps in the production of liquid biofuels and related co-products that will lessen the use of fossil fuels, particularly in the transport sector. This research contributes to a reduction of environmental impacts relating to greenhouse gas and other emissions, waste utilization, and processing.
  • In collaboration with industry, developing new industry standards and test methods for biomass-derived pyrolysis oils, and revising and publishing the standard for performance testing of solid-fuel-burning heating appliances.
  • Supporting the development and optimization of biomass gasification technology for combined heat and power generation.

Clean Energy Housing activities
Funding has been provided to increase awareness of energy efficient technology and building practices among housing professionals and builders across the country; promote the benefits of energy efficient homes to home owners and builders through public forums; and support the development and progressive implementation of pilots in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec aimed at testing how innovative financing mechanisms could help increase the uptake of energy efficiency retrofits for homes.

Examples of achievements:

The Canadian Home Builders’ Association of Canada’s works to:

  • Demonstrate achievements of leading-edge builders with new home openings and publication of news and magazine articles on energy efficient housing;
  • Increase builders’ technical knowledge of energy efficient housing standards to improve construction best practices and the resulting quality of those houses built;
  • Conduct a retrospective of builders involved in the R-2000 program to demonstrate their more than 30-year commitment in building houses to Canada’s leading-edge housing standard.

Also, innovative financing pilots have allowed for the involvement of key stakeholders in the development of toolkits that are now ready to be used by municipalities in Ontario and Quebec to launch two to five pilots in the next couple of years.

Other Agreements delivered under the Departmental Class Grants and Contributions Program:

Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC)
CIFFC is a non-profit federally incorporated organization located in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The Centre plays a key role in facilitating the exchange of forest (or wild land) fire fighting resources (personnel, equipment and aircraft), gathering and exchanging fire management data and information, and facilitating the development of national standards and specifications for the same forest fire fighting resources. CIFFC is funded by federal, provincial and territorial governments.

Example of achievements:

  • Managed forest fighting resources across Canada for 7,288 fires (as of September 12, 2012) covering 1,921,372 hectares. 73 resource orders across the provinces including 835 personnel, 29 skimmers and 10 land base aircrafts (with an additional 5 CV-580s sent to the United States), 150 power pumps and 7,000 lengths of hose.
  • Maintained and updated daily fire situational reports across Canada, which included operational and risk summaries for each province (number of fires and hectares burning), resources in use and available for deployment to other provinces, and anticipated load on resources for the next seven days for each province.
  • CIFFC administered a number of working groups established to address issues of national fire management concern. These working groups comprised representatives from all provincial, territorial, and federal fire management agencies with some of the working groups extending membership to advisors from the United States and Australia. Working groups included Aviation, Fire Equipment, Training, Resource Management, Geospatial, Forest Fire Meteorology, and Fire Science and Technology.
  • CIFFC is also involved in negotiations of mutual aid agreements with other countries, in collaboration with NRCan’s Canadian Forest Service and Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada.

Cube Werx
The Geo-Connections program in NRCan’s Earth Sciences Sector was able to draw from the Departmental Class Grants and Contributions Program to support its goal of facilitating accessibility and use of geospatial information in Canada. This is carried out through the development, integration and use of the Canadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure (CGDI). The recipient CubeWerx was tasked with deploying a Cloud-based National Imagery service for multiple agencies (federal and provincial).

Example of achievements:

  • The product would enable users to access imagery data from multiple federal and provincial government sources in an interoperable and integrated way. With the use of GeoConnections standards, tools and operational policies for sharing, using and integrating geospatial data and service expertise, the recipient was able to develop an effective, standards-compliant National Imagery Service housing a large volume of imagery from the collaborating partners.

International Energy Agency
NRCan provided funding to the International Energy Agency to assist with the costs of hosting the Secretariat of the International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation (IPEEC). G8 Ministers established the IPEEC in 2008, and its purpose is to facilitate those actions that yield energy efficiency gains through high-level dialogue, consultation and exchange of information. The Secretariat’s coordination supports the collaboration of member countries, which includes sharing best practices for programs and policies and encouraging broad progress on energy efficiency. Canada currently chairs the IPEEC’s Policy Committee.

  • Example of achievements:Through the Super-Efficient Equipment and Appliances Deployment Initiative, an IPEEC Task Group, Canada contributed significant expertise towards the development and ongoing implementation of a tool to assist municipal officials in building a business case for energy efficient street lighting. Canada is also leading the Distribution Transformers task force, which will assess the prospect of global test and performance standards for electrical distribution transformers.
Programs: 1.1) Market Access and Diversification, Innovation for New Products and Processes, 1.3) Investment in Natural Resource Sectors, 2.1) Energy-Efficient Practices and Lower-Carbon Energy Sources, 2.2) Technology Innovation, 2.3) Responsible Natural Resource Management, 3.1) Protection for Canadians and Natural Resources, 3.2) Landmass Information
Total grants 1.9 2.1 2.9 2.3 2.1 0.8
Total contributions 11.8 8.1 1.6 4.4 4.1 -2.5
Total program 13.7 10.2 4.5 6.7 6.2 -1.7

Comments on variances:As a mechanism that enables NRCan managers to take advantage of opportunities to provide financial support to projects falling under the departmental mandate but not covered under other transfer payment programs, Class Grants and Contributions actual spending exceeds the planned spending, primarily due to ad hoc opportunities identified as the fiscal year progresses, which are typically funded via cash management.

Audits completed or planned:An audit of the GEM program was completed and approved by the Departmental Audit Committee in 2012-13.

Evaluation completed or planned: The evaluation found that the broad scope of the Class Authority has strong practical value to the Department in that it is available to all sectors for a variety of activities. It supports a range of non-R&D (e.g., support for international organizations, students, publications, conferences, Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre) and R&D activities. The evidence suggests that the Program has supported departmental outcomes and contributed to increased knowledge and interest in natural resource priority areas such as energy efficiency and market opportunities in the forest sector.

Engagement of applicants and recipients: NRCan engages recipients by performing regular ongoing monitoring of funded projects, communicating with recipients, reviewing information provided by recipients, and following up to ensure outstanding issues are addressed and to ascertain that the project is progressing as outlined in the agreement. Other engagement activities may include site visits and recipient and technical audits.