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New Grant Funding Now Available in Ontario & Alberta

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The Government of Canada has released several new grant funding opportunities that may be of interest for companies with facilities in Ontario and Alberta.

Ontario – Meat Processors: Capacity Improvement Future Initiatives

  • This program has just opened up.
  • This program will provide funding for eligible recipients to implement projects to improve the productivity of their operations through equipment upgrades.
  • This program will support 60% cost-share, up to a maximum of $150,000 contribution under this initiative per business. Businesses will be able to submit multiple applications but cannot be approved for more than the maximum amount of available cost-share funding across all projects.
  • Funding is on a first come first serve basis. Complete applications that meet all eligibility criteria will be considered on a continuous basis while funding is available.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • An establishment identified in a licence that is issued under the Safe Food for Canadians Act (Canada) to slaughter a food animal, or to manufacture, process, treat, preserve, grade, package or label a meat product; or
  • A meat plant operated under a licence issued under the Food Safety and Quality Act, 2001.

Eligible Costs:

Incremental expenses specifically required to increase efficiency and productivity that are incurred on or after November 27, 2020 for the following:

Measures to support the productivity and efficiency of eligible businesses through the purchase and installation of new/ refurbished equipment and associated costs (including minor building modifications if necessary and feasible within timelines). Eligible activities and expenses for equipment and associated costs of:

  • Increased cooler/freezer capacity.
  • Reefer trailers.
  • Condenser units.
  • Seals on cooler/ freezer doors.
  • Air flow upgrades in coolers/ freezers (e.g. fans).
  • Waste management handling/processing.
  • Equipment and structures to handle, store and dispose of deadstock and processing by-products (e.g. blood and wastewater holding tanks).
  • Equipment and structures to handle, store and dispose of SRM (e.g. chilled and frozen storage, SRM screen system for whole plant).
  • In-vessel composting, treatment and disposal (e.g., hides, feathers, deadstock).
  • Barn/holding pen upgrades (e.g. chute design, increase size/capacity).
  • Animal restraints/knock boxes/upgrades (e.g. non-slip floor, upright restraints).
  • Kill floor/evisceration room equipment (e.g. Stunning equipment, hoists, bleed rail, saws, pneumatic skinning knife, hide pullers, leg cutters).
  • Conveyer/rail systems, winches, hydraulics, skinning beds/cradles, automated tote washer, scales, vacuum packaging, mixers.
  • Engineering/professional services for equipment that is part of the project.
  • One-time costs associated with training key personnel on project-related new equipment and technology (e.g., train the trainer).
  • One-time labour costs specifically required for the project, such as third-party advisory fees.

Additional program details:

  • Equipment must be for facilities in Ontario and must remain in Ontario.
  • In order to be eligible, costs must be for procurement of goods and services through a transaction with a third-party that is at Arm’s Length from the successful applicant. Any cost that is not incurred in this manner is not eligible.
  • When incurring eligible costs, successful applicants must follow a process that is transparent, fair and promotes the best value for the money expended at competitive prices no greater than fair market value after deducting available discounts.
  • During the application process, supporting documents (e.g. quotes) for eligible costs are required. This includes a minimum of one quote per eligible item.

Ontario: Producers/ Farmers: Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) Program

  • The next program intake period is between December 9th, 2020 to January 6th, 2021
  • The program is funding stream specific; this intake has a target stream geared towards labour productivity (capital equipment).
  • Producers will also qualify for environmental and food safety streams. Some of these streams do require the completion of OSCIA workshops.

Eligible Funding:

  • Maximum funding is 35% of project costs up to $100,000 (for labour productivity).
  • Other streams may have cost-share up to 50%, but with a reduced maximum funding.
  • Companies can apply twice per intake period.
  • Funding decisions are made approximately 45 days after the closure of the intake period.

Eligible Costs:

  • Costs must be incurred on/after the date on the letter of approval.
  • Equipment (emphasis on improving labour productivity/efficiency).
  • Software (emphasis on improving labour productivity/efficiency).
  • Consulting (feasibility, implementation).
  • One-time materials.

Ontario – Producers/ Farmers: Workplace Protection Program

The government of Ontario is providing support for occupational health and safety measures related to COVID-19 for agricultural operations with intensive use of labour.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • An established farm business that is a legal entity and produces agricultural commodities in Ontario under a valid Farm Business Registration Number (FBRN), or an allowable exemption.
  • The farm business must involve intensive use of labour where workers may operate within close proximity of one another, or where the operator is responsible for providing workers with on- or off-site accommodations.
  • A business that is a legal entity located in Ontario that provides off-farm primary packing services (e.g., cooling, washing, sorting, packaging, storing) for primary agricultural commodities (e.g., fruits and vegetables) and makes intensive use of labour where workers may operate within close proximity of one another, or where the operator is responsible for providing workers with on- or off-site accommodations.
  • A business that is a legal entity located in Ontario that provides corn detasseling services and makes intensive use of labour where workers may operate within close proximity of one another.

Eligible Activities:

Activities necessary to address an immediate health and safety issue directly related to COVID-19 response:

  • Modifications throughout an agricultural operation, worker housing, or worker transportation systems to ensure appropriate safety with regards to physical distancing needs (e.g., physical barriers).
  • Providing workers with personal protective equipment and other approved safety supplies for use throughout an agricultural operation, worker housing or worker transportation systems.
  • Cleaning and disinfection throughout an agricultural operation, worker housing or worker transportation systems.
  • Providing arrangements to support worker accommodations and work-site mobility that are necessary to address an immediate health and safety issue.

Eligible Costs:

Incremental expenses specifically required for the implementation of eligible activities that are:

  • Incurred on or after March 15, 2020.
  • Invoiced and paid for prior to submission.
  • Procured through a transaction with a third-party that is at Arm’s Length from the business that incurred and paid for the expense.
  • Procured through a process that is transparent, fair and promotes the best value for the money expended at competitive prices no greater than fair market value after deducting available discounts.

Enhanced Worker Safety Costs, such as:

  • Measures that enable workers to practice physical distancing: minor capital (physical/infrastructure), temporary or permanent modifications (e.g., reconfigurations, shielding, barriers), and rental of temporary structures.
  • PPE and other safety supplies for workers (e.g., masks, gloves and other protective gear).
  • There is a limit to funding available for disposable PPE for farm businesses (non-aquaculture).
  • $8,250 of the $15,000 in funding available to a farm business (non-aquaculture) can be used to purchase disposable PPE. A farm business can submit expenses of up to $11,786 for disposable PPE to receive reimbursement of up to $8,250.
  • The full $7,500 in funding available to an aquaculture farm business, an off-farm packing service, or a corn detasseling service can be used to purchase disposable PPE.
  • Medical equipment (e.g., body temperature remote sensors, thermometers and cameras; COVID-related testing equipment).
  • Cleaning/disinfection equipment and supplies to increase frequency and extent of cleaning
  • Third party services (e.g., third-party services to perform medical checks, third party cleaning services to increase frequency and extent of cleaning).
  • Short-term accommodations (e.g., hotel, dorm rentals) to enable physical distancing best practices and allow workers to attend workplaces to the limit of $80.00 per day per worker.
  • Work-site mobility and transportation to enable workers to access the work site while practicing physical distancing best practices to the limit of $60.00 per day per worker.

Eligible Funding:

  • Maximum program funding is 70% of costs.

For Farm Businesses (Non-Aquaculture):

  • Funding is limited to $15,000 per business.
  • Funding is limited to $15,000 per property.
  • Up to $8,250 of the $15,000 is available to support expenses for disposable PPE
  • The $15,000 limit is calculated based on the amount of all payments made under both this project category (i.e., Preventative Occupational Health and Safety Measures, under the Enhanced Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program) and the previous Program that was in place prior to June 12, 2020 (i.e., Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program for Producers)

For Aquaculture Farm Businesses, Off-Farm Packing Services and Corn Detasseling Services:

  • Total Funding is limited to $7,500 per business.
  • Total Funding is limited to $7,500 per property.

Ontario – Producers/ Farmers: Workplace Protection Program (Small Capital Projects)

The program will also include a new category for small capital projects of up to $100,000 for housing modifications, workplace modifications and equipment to allow greater physical distancing for workers.

Eligible Applicants:

  • An established farm business that is a legal entity and produces agricultural commodities in Ontario under a valid Farm Business Registration Number (FBRN), or an allowable exemption. The farm business must involve intensive use of labour where workers may operate within close proximity of one another, or where the operator is responsible for providing workers with on- or off-site accommodations.
  • Aquaculture farm businesses are not eligible for funding under this project category for the Farm Worker Safety Improvement Program.

Eligible Cost Sharing Funding:

  • 60% funding for projects of total value of $15,000 or more.
  • Funding is limited to $100,000 per business.
  • Funding is limited to $100,000 per property.

Eligible Activities:

  • Retrofit or adjustments to existing operations to cover extraordinary costs associated with COVID-19 to ensure worker safety;
  • Work space adjustments to allow for proper safety measures and physical distancing;
  • Enhancement to required employer-provided housing for workers as a result of COVID-19 to ensure worker safety;
  • Support for temporary housing arrangements for workers in cases where existing facilities cannot adequately allow or be modified to allow for physical distancing;
  • Training workers on COVID-19 safety protocols (e.g. interpretation, materials, external support.)

Eligible Expenses:

Incremental expenses specifically required for the implementation of eligible activities that are:

  • Incurred on or after March 15, 2020 invoiced and paid for prior to submission.
  • Procured through a transaction with a third-party that is at Arm’s Length from the business that incurred and paid for the expense.
  • Procured through a process that is transparent, fair and promotes the best value for the money expended at competitive prices no greater than fair market value after deducting available discounts.

Adjustments to operations as a result of COVID-19 to ensure worker safety:

  • Added sanitation (cleaning and disinfection) and security requirements
  • Adjustments to current processes and processing stations to accommodate physical distancing
  • Adjustment to transportation to ensure physical distancing during movement within the operation or between accommodations and the operation.
  • HVAC modifications or upgrades
  • Equipment such as safety barriers (e.g. Plexiglass dividers)
  • Purchase/rental/lease of additional on- or off-site housing and ancillary buildings (e.g., washrooms, kitchens, laundry facilities) for workers, portable or relocatable buildings, and/or installations/site modifications related to COVID-19 measures.
  • Site modifications and/or transportation for wellness checks
  • Disinfection and cleaning in the event of an outbreak

Non-disposable PPE that were not part of normal operations before COVID-19:

  • Body temperature screening/fever detection systems, including thermal scanners
  • Washing stations
  • Workstation dividers
  • Full and half facepiece respirators
  • Impact goggles and face shields
  • Face masks and coverings
  • Safety glasses

Cost related to worker training and safety protocols:

  • Interpretation services
  • Training on COVID-19 protocols

Alberta – Energy Savings Future Initiatives

  • Energy Savings funding opportunity to support small- and medium-scale industrial and commercial businesses by helping them reduce their carbon footprint by upgrading their technologies.
  • The program will support up to 30% of the project costs (can range between 15-30%) capped at $250,000 per application, to a maximum of $500,000 per company.
  • Typical technologies include targeted commercially available energy-efficient upgrades such as heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) technologies, building automation, hot water systems, indoor/outdoor commercial and industrial lighting systems and controls, and onsite electricity generation.
  • Application intake opens January 2021 – first come first serve.
  • Projects can be retroactive from November 2nd, 2020.
  • Applicants must submit an expression of interest, decision provided within 60 business days.

Eligible Applicants:

  • Applicants must use Alberta based sub-contractors to purchase and install equipment/ technologies (internal labour does not qualify)
  • Sub-contractors must register with the program before applicant submit an application to the program
  • Program anticipates the funding to deplete quickly as they have gained lots of interest (3-4 months).

Eligible Activities:

Examples of the types of projects that qualify for investment include (but are not limited to):

  • HVAC projects can include the installation of efficient boilers, hot water tanks, furnaces, pipe insulation.
  • Upgrades to fan and pump motors, including the installation of variable frequency drive units.
  • Installation of electronic building automation systems to control temperature, airflow, and even lighting across the facility.
  • Lighting projects can include replacement of outdated lighting systems, addition of automation, etc.
  • Installation of alternate on-site power sources such as solar photovoltaic and combined heat and power systems.
  • May also include measures specific to industry/facility needs (e.g., restaurant, manufacturing)
  • Insulation/building envelope/air sealing.
  • Waste management.