Infrastructure Framework Agreement - Canada - Quebec
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This Agreement made as of September 3, 2008
HER MAJESTY IN RIGHT OF CANADA, ("Canada") represented by the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities
THE GOVERNMENT OF QUEBEC ("Quebec"), represented by the Minister of Finance, the Minister responsible for Government Services, the Minister responsible for Government Administration and the Chair of the Conseil du trésor, as well as the Minister responsible for Canadian Intergovernmental Affairs, Aboriginal Affairs, Francophones within Canada, the Reform of Democratic Institutions and Access to Information.
WHEREAS Canada and Quebec agree on the need for high-quality, modern public infrastructure;
WHEREAS Canada and Quebec agree on the need for long-term planning to strategically address infrastructure needs in priority areas, including water, wastewater, public transit, the core National Highway System and green energy. Canada and Quebec recognize that non-core National Highway System roads and highway safety are also priority areas;
WHEREAS, on October 11, 2007, Quebec announced the Quebec infrastructure plan "Foundations for Success", which provides for a total investment of $37.3 billion over five years — $29.7 billion for the implementation of an initial five-year investment plan covering 2007-2012 and $7.6 billion for the completion of projects already announced. Of the $29.7 billion for the 2007-2012 five-year investment plan, $23.4 billion, or nearly 80%, will be allocated to asset rehabilitation;
WHEREAS Quebec has also announced over the past few years an action plan for climate change, a new energy strategy, a public transit policy, a highway safety policy, a water policy and a sustainable development policy;
WHEREAS the Government of Canada established the seven-year, $33 billion Building Canada Plan under Budget 2007, so as to support economic growth, a healthy environment and strong communities, and which includes:
- the $11.8 billion Gas Tax Fund (extended to the end of Fiscal Year 2013-2014) and an estimated $5.8 billion in Goods and Services Tax Rebate, which represents the benefit of increasing the municipal GST rebate from 57% to 100%;
- a $2.275 billion Base Funding initiative ("Base Funding") to provide each provincial and territorial government with $25 million per year over seven years;
- infrastructure funding, including the $8.8 billion Building Canada Fund (BCF), the $2.1 billion Gateways and Border Crossings Fund, and a $1.25 billion Public-Private Partnerships Fund.
WHEREAS implementation of the Building Canada Plan in Quebec will support the Quebec infrastructure plan in order to help promote economic growth, a healthy environment and strong communities;
WHEREAS Canada and Quebec agree on the importance of developing and promoting the development of "public-private partnerships" (P3s);
WHEREAS Canada recognizes that Quebec has an agency responsible for P3s, a related policy framework and legislation to support the development of P3s in Quebec;
WHEREAS Canada recognizes that the contribution resulting from this Agreement will respect the jurisdiction, approaches and priorities of Quebec, and whereas Quebec intends to use the contribution in accordance with the provisions of this Agreement;
WHEREAS Canada recognizes that Quebec is accountable to the National Assembly for the use of funding related to infrastructure and that the Act to promote the maintenance and renewal of public infrastructure (Bill 32), which received assent on December 21, 2007, stipulates that a capital budget shall be tabled annually in the National Assembly, and shall include the amounts allocated to maintaining and developing public infrastructure and eliminating the rehabilitation deficit within 15 years, and providing for a rendering of accounts with respect to the use of that funding;
WHEREAS Quebec recognizes that Canada is accountable to the Parliament of Canada for the use of funding related to infrastructure, enabling it to table the results obtained from investments made under the Building Canada Plan in Quebec.
Terms are defined in Schedule H in addition to those terms that are defined in the preamble and elsewhere in the Agreement.
1.2 Duration or Term of Agreement
This Agreement will be effective as of the date it is signed by both Parties and shall terminate on March 31, 2015.
The following schedules are attached to, and form part of, this Agreement:
- Schedule A – Eligible projects under the Building Canada Fund (BCF);
- Schedule B – Eligible categories under the BCF and the Base Funding Initiative;
- Schedule C – Description of the documentation that will be provided to Canada supporting Quebec's decisions regarding P3s;
- Schedule D - Overview of the Quebec infrastructure plan, "Foundations for Success";
- Schedule E – Reporting, Audit and Evaluation Protocol;
- Schedule F – Quebec Infrastructure Management Framework;
- Schedule G – Communications protocol;
- Schedule H – Definitions.
2 PURPOSE OF THE AGREEMENT
2.1 General Statement
This Agreement identifies the main components of the Building Canada Plan for which funding has been allocated for Quebec, the management of each component and the administrative terms and conditions of the Agreement.
The main components of the Building Canada Plan are:
- The $1,854.20 million Gas Tax Fund, in accordance with section 3 of this Agreement.
- Base funding of $175 million over 7 years, to be managed under a "Base Funding Agreement", in accordance with section 4 of this Agreement.
- The Building Canada Fund of $1,953.45 million over 7 years in accordance with section 5 of this Agreement and which includes the following four components:
- The Communities Component: $210 million over 7 years, to be managed under a "Community Funding Agreement".
- The Large Urban Centres Component: $200 million over 7 years, to be managed under a "Large Urban Centres Funding Agreement".
- The Major Projects Component: $1,529.20 million over 7 years, to be managed under "Contribution Agreements".
- The Research and Planning Component: $14.25 million, to be managed under section 5.6 of this Agreement.
The Parties agree that projects requiring a Contribution Agreement shall only be publicly announced once a Contribution Agreement has been duly signed by both Parties for the project. This measure does not apply to projects under the Major Projects Component that are already set out in Schedule A to this Agreement.
This Agreement shall be managed according to the terms and conditions set out below, including:
- The establishment of a co-ordinating committee, the Infrastructure Framework Committee (IFC), that will be responsible for the duties set out in section 7;
- the co-ordination of communications activities set out in Schedule G.
2.2 Summary of allocations
Subject to Parliament making the necessary appropriations, and in accordance with the terms and conditions of this Agreement, Canada's contributions for 2007-2008 to 2013-2014 will total $3,982.65 million:
|Gas Tax Fund||$1854.20 million|
|Base Funding||$175.00 million|
|Building Canada Fund||$1953.45 million|
3 GAS TAX FUND
Canada and Quebec agree to amend the "Canada-Quebec Agreement on the transfer of revenue from a portion of the federal gasoline excise tax on gas and the provision of additional money under Bill C-66 to provide funding for municipal and local infrastructures, in a sustainable development context" (hereinafter called the "Gas Tax Agreement") within six months of the signing of this Agreement, so as to provide Quebec with an additional contribution of $1,854.2 million and to extend the Agreement to 2010-2014.
Moreover, as provided for in paragraph 3.1 of the Gas Tax Agreement, Canada and Quebec agree to review the terms and conditions of the agreement in the fourth year (2009-2010). Following the results of this review, with the agreement of Canada and Quebec, the Gas Tax Agreement may be amended.
4 BASE FUNDING
Base Funding is intended as a flexible and effective complement to other Building Canada Plan initiatives, providing annual support for Quebec over the next seven years for public infrastructure initiatives under the categories listed in Schedule B.
4.2 Amount Available in Quebec
The total amount of funding Canada will make available to Quebec under the Base Funding will be twenty-five million dollars ($25,000,000) annually between 2007-2008 and 2013-2014, for a total of one hundred seventy-five million dollars ($175,000,000), subject to Parliament appropriating the necessary funding.
4.3 Initiatives supported by Base Funding
Quebec agrees to provide Canada, three months prior to the start of each fiscal year, a list of initiatives from which Canada shall identify those that are to receive funding under Base Funding during the following fiscal year, which will commence April 1st of that year. In choosing the initiatives, Quebec will give priority to those included in the Quebec infrastructure plan. As such, a significant portion of Canada's funding could be allocated to asset rehabilitation initiatives.
4.4 Cost-sharing and stacking
The maximum share of funding from the Government of Canada for initiatives covered by Base Funding during a given fiscal year shall be 50% of the total eligible costs. If Quebec identifies an initiative to be funded by both Base Funding and another federal program, the provisions and limits with regard to cost-sharing for the other federal program shall also apply.
4.5 Terms and conditions of payment
With the exception of the payment to be made for 2007-2008, Canada shall pay Quebec the amounts indicated in paragraph 4.2 of this Agreement, in two equal semi-annual payments, in accordance with the Base Funding Agreement to be negotiated between the Parties within six months following the signing of this Agreement.
For 2007-2008, the transmission of a list of initiatives selected by Quebec, the confirmation by Canada of the selected initiatives, and the payment to Quebec shall all take place within 60 days of the signing of the Base Funding Agreement. The Parties agree that Quebec could allocate the federal contribution for 2007-2008 to initiatives to be carried out in 2008-2009.
5 BUILDING CANADA FUND
Under the BCF, major investments shall be provided for the renovation, modernization and construction of public infrastructure in Quebec.
5.2 Confirmation of amount available
The amount that Canada shall make available under the BCF shall be $1,953.45 million over seven years, from 2007-2008 to 2013-2014, subject to Parliament appropriating the necessary funding. The breakdown of funding under the four components of the BCF is provided in Schedule A.
5.3 Communities Component
5.3.1 Total funding by Canada
Of the amount made available by Canada for the BCF in Quebec, the Parties agree that $210 million will be applied to fund projects under the Communities Component, which shall be reserved for projects in municipalities of fewer than 100,000 inhabitants.
Canada's contribution to the Communities Component shall be paid to Quebec following negotiation of a funding agreement on the Communities Component, which is to be concluded in the three months following the signing of this Agreement. The Communities Component's targeted categories of project are listed in Schedule B.
5.3.2 Contribution from Canada
Canada's total contribution under the Communities Component shall not exceed Quebec's total contribution to projects funded under the Communities Component.
5.3.3 Funding condition
No calls for applications may be launched under the Communities Component until the last intake of applications has been closed under the 2005 Canada-Quebec Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund Agreement.
The BCF's Communities Component will be overseen by a subcommittee of the IFC, which will consist of senior officials appointed by the Parties.
The Parties agree that the process for the review, selection and approval of projects and of project amendment proposals will be carried out in accordance with the current practices under the Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund, that result from the "Canada-Quebec Infrastructure Program Agreement".
5.3.5 Cost-sharing and stacking
In most cases, Canada's contribution to a funded project will be one-third of the total Eligible Costs, with both Quebec and the municipality contributing an equal share. However, in some instances, Canada's contribution, from all sources, may be up to 50% of the total Eligible Costs of a project, provided that the share of eligible costs paid by Canada for all projects under the Communities Component does not exceed one-third. For each funded project involving Public Infrastructure owned by the for-profit private sector, the maximum federal share of funding, from all sources, will be up to a maximum of 25% of a project's total Eligible Costs.
5.4 Large Urban Centres Component
5.4.1 Total Funding by Canada
The Parties agree that $200 million of the amount allocated to Quebec by Canada under the BCF will be earmarked for projects funded under the terms of the Large Urban Centres Component, which is reserved for municipalities with a population of 100,000 or more.
Canada's contribution to the Large Urban Centres Component shall be paid to Quebec following negotiation of a Funding Agreement for the Large Urban Centres Component, which is to be concluded within three months following the signing of this Agreement. The project categories for the Large Urban Centres Component are set out in Schedule B.
5.4.2 Contribution from Canada
Canada's total contribution under the Large Urban Centres Component shall not exceed Quebec's total contribution to all projects funded under the Large Urban Centres Component.
The BCF's Large Urban Centres Component will be overseen by a subcommittee of the IFC, which will consist of senior officials appointed by the Parties.
The Parties agree that the process for the review, selection and approval of projects and of project amendment proposals will be carried out in accordance with the current practices under the Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund, that result from the "Canada-Quebec Infrastructure Program Agreement".
5.4.4 Cost Sharing and stacking
In most cases, Canada's contribution to a funded project will be one-third of the total Eligible Costs, with both Quebec and the municipality contributing and equal share. However, in some instances, Canada's contribution, from all sources, may be up to 50% of the total Eligible Costs of a project, provided that the share of eligible costs paid by Canada for all projects under the Large Urban Centres Component does not exceed one-third. For each funded project involving Public Infrastructure owned by the for-profit private sector, the maximum federal share of funding, from all sources, will be up to a maximum of 25% of the project's total Eligible Costs.
5.5 Major Projects Component
5.5.1 Projects funded under the Major Projects Component
The Parties agree that $1,529.20 million will be provided for the Major Projects Component of the BCF to fund Public Infrastructure with a national or regional impact.
Projects for which a funding commitment has already been made under the Major Projects Component are set out in Schedule A. Each project will be subject to concluding a Contribution Agreement no later than the target date set out in Schedule A.
5.5.2 Cost-sharing and stacking
Federal funding from all sources can be up to 50% of the total Eligible Costs of an approved project. For each funded project involving Public Infrastructure owned by the for-profit private sector, the maximum federal share of funding, from all sources, will be up to a maximum of 25% of the project's total Eligible Costs.
The selection of projects shall be made through an exchange of letters between the federal Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and the Chair of Quebec's Conseil du trésor. This selection will be made from a list of projects established by Quebec, taking into consideration the priorities the province has identified, particularly those found in the "Foundations for Success" plan.
A project can be added to this list if Canada and Quebec are both in agreement. The project categories for the Major Projects Component are set out in Schedule B.
Once the selection of projects has been confirmed, Canada will flow its contribution to the projects on the list as soon as possible according to the terms of individual project Contribution Agreements, or Contribution Agreements grouped by investment category (for example, wastewater infrastructure, cultural infrastructure, highway infrastructure).
5.6 Research and Planning Component
5.6.1 Funding and cost-sharing
The Parties agree on the importance of research and planning with respect to Public Infrastructure.
Canada will make available to Quebec an amount of $14.25 million, which will represent up to 50% of the Eligible Costs for research, knowledge, planning, feasibility and other selected studies. This amount will be earmarked for research projects in support of the Communities Component, the Large Urban Centres Component and the Major Projects Component.
During January of each year covered by this Agreement, Quebec agrees to provide Canada a list of projects. From this list Canada will identify those that are to receive funding under the Research and Planning Component of the BCF in the following fiscal year beginning April 1st of that year.
No later than March 31st of each year, an exchange of letters between the Parties to this Agreement will confirm the list of projects identified by Canada. Once the list of projects has been confirmed, Canada will flow its contribution to those projects as soon as possible in accordance with the terms of a Contribution Agreement that is to be negotiated within six months following the signing of this Agreement.
5.7 Consideration of the Public-Private Partnership (P3) Option
The Parties recognize that public-private partnerships (P3s) can further the public interest by providing access to private sector financing, innovation and expertise and by ensuring a suitable allocation of risk between the private and public sectors.
In cases where Canada's contribution to a project would be equal to or exceed $50 million, Quebec will provide Canada the relevant documentation consistent with the general principles and processes described in Schedule C.
6 QUEBEC INFRASTRUCTURE PLAN
On October 11, 2007, Quebec published its infrastructure plan. The overview of the Quebec infrastructure plan, "Foundations for Success" is presented in Schedule D.
In order to help the Parties better understand and situate infrastructure priorities in Quebec, Quebec will provide Canada, for information purposes and guided by already existing documentation, a summary of its objectives, strategies and expected long-term results in the following areas: water, wastewater, public transit, the core National Highway System and green energy.
7 INFRASTRUCTURE FRAMEWORK COMMITTEE
Each Party will, within 60 days of the date of this Agreement, appoint one person to be a co-chair of the IFC. The Co-Chairs will be the only voting members of the IFC and a quorum for a meeting of the IFC shall exist only when both Co-Chairs are present. The Minister of the Government of Canada and the Minister of the Government of Quebec may appoint two additional members to the IFC. The Co-Chairs may jointly agree to invite representatives of other entities or departments of the Government of Canada and of the Government of Quebec to participate in meetings of the IFC as observers.
7.2 Role and mandate of the IFC
The IFC will be the official forum for discussion for the implementation of the Agreement, particularly with respect to the communications protocol and the settlement of disputes. Furthermore, it will supervise all sub-committees that it may create in response to its needs.
The mandate of the IFC will be to:
- oversee progress of the Building Canada plan in Quebec;
- where appropriate, direct project proposals to other suitable federal funding programs;
- discuss methods for streamlining Agreements to be signed;
- establish sub-committees as needed;
- fulfill other duties as may be assigned by the Parties.
7.3 Discussions of the Committee
Discussions of the IFC must be recorded in writing.
7.4 Meetings and administrative matters
The IFC will:
- Meet at least once each calendar year. No more than twelve (12) months shall pass between IFC meetings;
- Keep minutes of meetings, which shall be approved and signed as a true record at the following IFC meeting;
- Establish rules and procedures with respect to its meetings and those of its sub-committees, including rules for the conduct of meetings;
- Establish Quebec City as the fixed location where this Agreement will be administered and maintained until the Committee's activities have concluded; and
- Ensure that all documentation needed for the proper administration of this Agreement is prepared and retained at that location.
The IFC will exist until its activities, including any final reports, have been completed.
7.6.1 Record Keeping
The Parties agree that proper and accurate accounts and records related to this Agreement will be maintained for a period of six (6) years following the termination of this Agreement, and that they will be available to the Parties for inspection at all reasonable times.
7.6.2 Information Management and Sharing
The Parties agree to jointly support the IFC, which will be the forum for exchanging information related to management of this Agreement.
8 PRESENTATION OF RESULTS AND COMMUNICATIONS
Quebec recognizes that Canada must report to the Parliament of Canada on investments made under the Building Canada Plan, in accordance with the Financial Administration Act.
Canada recognizes that Quebec must report annually to the National Assembly under the Act to promote the maintenance and renewal of public infrastructures.
The Parties agree to follow the Audit, Evaluation and Reporting protocol set out in Schedule E.
Further, the Quebec Infrastructure Management Framework is described in Schedule F.
The Parties agree to implement the Communications Protocol set out in Schedule G.
9 DISPUTE RESOLUTION
9.1 Dispute resolution
The Parties agree to keep each other informed of any disagreement or contentious issue, by notifying the IFC, which will attempt to find a solution.
Any disagreement or contentious issue that cannot be resolved by the IFC will be submitted to the Ministers for resolution.
10 GENERAL (MISCELLANEOUS)
The Parties mutually declare that the execution of this Agreement was duly and validly authorized, and that each Party's signature constitutes a legal and valid obligation in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Agreement.
10.2 Counterpart signature
This Agreement may be signed in counterpart, and the signed copies will, when attached, constitute an original Agreement.
This Agreement may only be amended with the written agreement of both Parties, subject to the necessary approval.
Canada and Quebec may not waive any commitment or legal condition provided for under this Agreement without providing written notice. Any tolerance or indulgence demonstrated by the Parties shall not constitute waiver of said commitment or condition and, until the commitment or condition is performed or waived in writing, they have the right to exercise any remedy available to them under this Agreement or the law, regardless of any tolerance or indulgence demonstrated.
This Agreement must be interpreted and governed in accordance with the applicable laws of Quebec.
10.6 Addresses and notices
Any correspondence to Canada will be addressed to:
Assistant Deputy Minister, Policy and Communications
606-90 Sparks Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5B4
Any correspondence to Quebec will be addressed to:
Department of Finance
12 St. Louis Street
Québec, Quebec G1R 5L3
Fax: (418) 646-0923
Canada and Quebec may send written notice by any pre-paid method, including regular or registered mail, courier, facsimile or e-mail. Notices will be considered as received upon delivery by the courier. Notices sent by facsimile or by e-mail will be considered as having been received one day after being sent. Notices sent by mail will be considered as having been received five calendar days after being mailed.
HER MAJESTY IN RIGHT OF CANADA
Original signed by:
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities
GOVERNMENT OF QUEBEC
Original signed by:
Minister of Finance, the Minister responsible for Government Services, the Minister responsible for Government Administration and the Chair of the Conseil du trésor
Minister responsible for Canadian Intergovernmental Affairs, Aboriginal Affairs, Francophones within Canada, the Reform of Democratic Institutions and Access to Information
PROJECTS TARGETED BY THE BUILDING CANADA FUND
1. BREAKDOWN OF CANADA'S CONTRIBUTION TO QUEBEC UNDER THE BUILDING CANADA FUND
The $1,953.45 million allocated to Quebec under the Building Canada Fund (BCF) will be distributed as follows:
Breakdown of Canada's contribution to Quebec under the Building Canada Fund (in millions)
Projects in municipalities with a population under 100,000: $210.0
LARGE URBAN CENTRES COMPONENT
Projects in municipalities with a population of 100,000 or more: $200.0
MAJOR PROJECTS COMPONENT
Already identified transportation projects:
- Highway 30
- Highway 73 / Route 175: $112.5
- Highway 73 / Route 173: $75.0
Sub-total: "Transportation projects"
Already identified cultural/sports projects:
- Quartier des spectacles in Montréal: $40.0
- Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec: $33.7
- Montréal Museum of Fine Arts: $13.0
- Physical Education and Sports Pavilion, Université Laval: $37.5
Sub-total: "Cultural/sports projects": $124.2
Amount available for projects to be determined at a later date
Sub-total: Major Projects Component: $1529.2
RESEARCH AND PLANNING COMPONENT: $14.25
2. PLANNED SCHEDULE FOR SIGNING OF CONTRIBUTION AGREEMENTS FOR PROJECTS UNDER THE MAJOR PROJECTS COMPONENT
|Highway 30||September 2008*|
|Highway 73 / Route 175||October 2008|
|Highway 73 / Route 173||October 2008|
|Quartier des spectacles in Montréal||September 2008|
|Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec||November 2008|
|Montréal Museum of Fine Arts||September 2008|
|Physical Education and Sports Pavilion, Université Laval||September 2008|
* The final Canada-Quebec Contribution Agreement on the extension of Highway 30 will be signed once Quebec has reached an Agreement with its private partner, expected to take place in September 2008.
CATEGORIES OF PROJECT TARGETED BY THE BUILDING CANADA FUND AND BASE FUNDING
National Priority Categories
- Water Infrastructure
- Wastewater Infrastructure
- Public Transit Infrastructure
- Core National Highway System Infrastructure
- Green Energy Infrastructure
Local and Community Priority Categories
- Disaster Mitigation Infrastructure
- Solid Waste Management Infrastructure
- Brownfield Redevelopment Infrastructure
- Cultural Infrastructure
- Sports Infrastructure
- Connectivity and Broadband Infrastructure
- Local Road Infrastructure
- Short-Line Rail Infrastructure
- Short Sea Shipping Infrastructure
- Tourism Infrastructure
- Regional and Local Airport Infrastructure
Additional categories for Base Funding only
- Non-Core National Highways
- Highway safety and safety related to other infrastructure
1. GENERAL PRINCIPLES
Canada and Quebec recognize that use of public-private partnerships (P3s) may be in the public interest.
Canada would like to increase P3s opportunities by ensuring that large-scale infrastructure projects are assessed for their feasibility as a P3.
Canada acknowledges that Quebec has an agency responsible for P3s, a corresponding framework policy and legislation to guide the development of P3s in Quebec, and that duplication of processes should be avoided.
2. RELEVANT DOCUMENTATION
For projects where Canada's contribution would equal or exceed $50 million:
- No documentation will be sent to Canada where Quebec has decided to use a P3 to carry out the project;
- Where Quebec has decided not to use a P3 to carry out a project, Quebec, after having approved the project, will send Canada a summary of the business case, including the following elements, based on the Guide d'élaboration du dossier d'affaires :
- the need;
- the results sought;
- possible solutions;
- evaluation and choice of the most plausible solution;
- the reference project (PPP);
- the public sector comparator;
- the value analysis (both qualitative and quantitative).
This business case summary will be provided for information purposes, on condition that confidentiality agreements, similar to those in force within the Quebec government, are concluded with federal government representatives that will have access to it.
OVERVIEW OF THE QUEBEC INFRASTRUCTURE PLAN "FOUNDATIONS FOR SUCCESS"
1. OBJECTIVE OF THE QUEBEC INFRASTRUCTURE PLAN "FOUNDATIONS FOR SUCCESS"
On October 11, 2007, Quebec announced its infrastructure plan "Foundations for Success", which provides for a total investment of $37.3 billion over five years—$29.7 billion for the implementation of an initial five-year investment plan covering 2007-2012 and $7.6 billion for the completion of projects already announced.
The objective of the plan is ensuring the sustainability of public infrastructure which is vital for Quebec.
2. FIRST FIVE-YEAR PLAN - $30 BILLION
In order to attain its goal, Quebec took two key steps:
- Quebec announced that a significant investment would be made over the next fifteen years for the renovation and modernization of public infrastructure. Between now and 2012, an initial five-year plan will result in an investment of $30 billion.
- The Act to promote the maintenance and renewal of public infrastructures (Bill 32), received assent on December 21, 2007. This Act is intended to ensure that government investment in public infrastructure is made according to best practices in management, in a transparent manner, and that investments are adequately divided between rehabilitation and the development of infrastructure. To this end, the Act stipulates that a capital budget will be tabled annually in the National Assembly and will consist of amounts allocated to maintaining and developing public infrastructure and eliminating the rehabilitation deficit within 15 years, and providing for a rendering of accounts with respect to the use of the budget.
The Quebec plan covers the following nine areas:
- road network,
- public transit,
- municipal infrastructure,
- public housing,
- justice and public security.
Nearly 80% of the monies in the five-year plan, or $23.4 billion, will be allocated to the rehabilitation of assets and eliminating past rehabilitation deficits.
Over 20% of monies in the five-year plan, or $6.3 billion, will be allocated to infrastructure improvement and replacement.
In addition to that, an investment of $7.6 billion will be made over the next five years for projects already announced.
REPORTING, AUDIT AND EVALUATION PROTOCOL
This reporting, audit and evaluation protocol will apply to all Contribution Agreements to be concluded pursuant to this Agreement.
Information and reports released by Quebec on its approaches and strategies for infrastructure and its rendering of accounts, in particular the province's annual report on infrastructure that is submitted to the National Assembly, will be sent to Canada at the time of its publication.
Information on costs or on any other financial matter that Quebec transmits to Canada will have first been audited to confirm its accuracy and completeness, consistent with prevailing Quebec practices, through the work carried out mainly by the Auditor General of Quebec.
Quebec will ensure that accurate and appropriate accounting and records are kept for projects initiated under the Building Canada Plan and will undertake to allow Canada access to audit these accounts and records when provided reasonable notice.
The Parties acknowledge that Canada must be able to prepare a report on the results of its infrastructure programs under the Building Canada Plan in Quebec, to be completed no later than March 31, 2016. The Parties further agree that the IFC will draw up an evaluation plan and an evaluation budget for the Base Funding, Communities, Large Urban Centres and Major Infrastructure components. Evaluation costs associated with these components of the Building Canada Plan in Quebec will be borne by Canada. The Parties agree to provide each other with all data and information available for the purposes of evaluations envisioned under this Agreement.
QUEBEC INFRASTRUCTURE MANAGEMENT FRAMEWORK
Section 5 of Quebec's Act to promote the maintenance and renewal of public infrastructure (2007, chapter 38) stipulates that
"a body that receives a financial contribution for public infrastructure from the Government must provide, at the request of the Chair of the Conseil du trésor or of the Minister responsible for the body, information the Chair considers necessary to prepare the capital budget and a yearly report detailing how the allocated amounts have been used…"
To this end, the government departments involved shall produce an investment management framework that includes the following elements.
1. OBJECTIVES OF THE MANAGEMENT FRAMEWORK
- To define the following concepts: the nature of assets, maintenance of assets, the accrued maintenance deficit, replacement value and other associated technical concepts.
- To set out guidelines for planning and managing the investment allocated for maintenance of public infrastructure.
- To present the roles and responsibilities of the competent authorities (local, regional or national level) in terms of accountability and reporting.
2. KNOWLEDGE OF THE ASSET STOCK
- Characteristics of the stock: number, age, useful life, obsolescence rate, replacement value and accrued maintenance deficit.
- Description of the method used to evaluate the accrued maintenance deficit.
- Tracking of the asset stock:
- description of the measurement instruments and sources of information (eg: permanent inventory, computerized system);
- authorities responsible for tracking.
3. BUDGET ALLOCATION
3.1. Maintenance of assets
- Manner for determining the amounts allocated.
- Identification of the standards recognized or used in the industry (eg: allocation equivalent to 2% of a building's replacement value).
- Rationale for choice of standards.
- Standard recognized by a professional order or some other authority of sectoral, national or international scope.
- Manner for distributing the envelopes among the competent authorities.
3.2. Clearing the accrued maintenance deficit
- Description of the methods for the annual allocation of amounts equal to at least 6% of the value of the accrued maintenance deficit to eliminate it over 15 years.
- Description of the mechanisms used to carry over the unused 6% balance from one year to the following three years.
Section 6 of the Act to promote the maintenance and renewal of public infrastructure (2007, chapter 38) stipulates that the Chair of the Conseil du trésor will table a capital budget in the National Assembly, as well as a descriptive yearly report, and that the relevant committee of the National Assembly may examine the tabled documents.
This Communications Protocol sets out the principles and practices guiding any announcement or event related to this Agreement.
Canada and Quebec agree on the importance of communicating in an open, transparent, effective and proactive manner with citizens through appropriate public information activities.
All public information material shall fairly reflect the contribution of all Parties to the project. This includes ensuring equitable recognition and prominence where words, logos, symbols and other types of identification are incorporated into materials. The Parties may carry out their own non-project specific communications activities relating to infrastructure funding contemplated by this Agreement, but such communications should recognize the partnership and financial contributions of the Parties and other significant funding contributors, if any.
The IFC is responsible for coordinating and monitoring communications under this Agreement, and will establish a communications sub-committee comprised of at least one provincial and one federal representative to provide advice and support on such matters. This will include proposing to the IFC a communications plan to increase opportunities for publicizing activities under the Agreement. The IFC will be responsible for the implementation of the plan and any amendments which may be required.
In addition, Quebec acknowledges the legitimacy of Canada receiving appropriate credit and visibility when investments financed through funds granted under this Agreement are publicly announced.
To this end, Quebec and Canada agree to inform each other of any communications activity related to the announcement of investments funded under this Agreement. To facilitate implementation of the Communications Protocol, in a manner in keeping with this principle, the Parties agree that the IFC (or a sub-committee) shall be informed of communications activities at least fifteen (15) working days in advance, so as to give the two Parties time to agree on the appropriate communications activities. This provision concerning prior notice does not apply if a news release or public announcement must be issued in less than 15 working days as the result of unforeseeable circumstances, including matters of public safety or where an emergency response is required.
All communications products produced under this Agreement shall comply with the Federal Identity Program (FIP) and Quebec requirements in this regard. Canada will provide specific identity standards and graphic design guidelines for the development of communications products and activities under the Building Canada Plan.
2 PROJECT COMMUNICATIONS
2.1 Project promotion
- Recipients are responsible for ensuring that the contributions of the Parties are mentioned in annual reports, speeches and all other occasions where projects are promoted.
- Recipients are solely responsible for operational communications, particularly calls for tender, construction and public safety notices.
- Recipients and the Parties shall notify Canada and Quebec as soon as possible of new questions or requests from the media with regard to a project (for example, questions on joint management or serious security issues.)
- Quebec and Canada agree to inform one another of any communication activity related to the announcement of investments financed with federal funding or related to the attainment of key steps in a project which has received federal funding under this Agreement.
- Contribution Agreements for projects funded under the Major Projects Component shall include a communications plan.
2.2 News conferences, public announcements, official events or joint ceremonies
- When the Parties agree to the joint organization of an event, they will do everything possible to choose a mutually convenient date and location, so as to facilitate the participation of ministers or their representatives.
- The Table of Precedence for Canada, as established by Canadian Heritage, or other mutually agreed protocol, should be respected.
Where circumstances permit, fixed signs or billboards shall be installed on the sites of projects funded under this Agreement, acknowledging the contributions of each of the partners. All signs or billboards shall be placed so that they are easily visible to users, visitors and passers-by for the duration of the work and for a maximum period of one year after completion of the project.
With respect to investments in public transit, communications activities shall be agreed upon by both Parties, with the understanding that no signage may be installed on vehicles or rolling stock.
Upon completion of the project, Canada and Quebec can, by mutual agreement, provide and install a plaque or permanent sign bearing an appropriate inscription. The design, wording and specifications must be approved by the IFC.
3 GENERAL CLAUSES
Unless otherwise agreed, the Parties will each bear their own direct costs associated with communications activities.
All joint communications related to investment funded under this Agreement shall clearly indicate the respective financial contribution of the Parties and, if applicable, those of other partners.
In addition to the terms defined in the preamble and elsewhere in this Agreement, words used in this document have the meaning set out in this Schedule.
"Agreement" means this Agreement and all of its schedules.
"Base Funding Agreement" means the funding agreement to be negotiated between Canada and Quebec in respect of Base Funding.
"BCF" means the Building Canada Fund, which includes the Major Projects Component, the Large Urban Centres Component, the Communities Component and the Research and Planning Component.
"BCF and Base Funding Eligible Categories" means the project categories described in Schedule B.
"Building Canada Plan" means the Government of Canada's new $33 billion Building Canada Plan established under Budget 2007.
"Communities Component" means the infrastructure funding component under the BCF dedicated to funding projects located in Communities of fewer than 100,000 inhabitants, described in section 5.3 of this Agreement.
"Communities Funding Agreement" means the Funding Agreement for the Communities Component to be negotiated between Canada and Quebec.
"Community" means an entity with the legal status of a municipality pursuant to provincial legislation in Quebec, including unincorporated areas.
"Contribution Agreement" means the Agreement between Quebec and Canada for projects for which Canada contributes under the BCF.
"Eligible Costs" means project costs eligible for funding pursuant to the federal Treasury Board Approvals.
"Federal Minister" means the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, in his capacity as minister responsible for infrastructure.
"Fiscal Year" means the period beginning April 1 of a year and ending March 31 of the following year.
"IFC" means the Infrastructure Framework Committee created pursuant to Section 7 of this Agreement.
"Large Urban Centres Component" means the infrastructure funding component under the BCF dedicated to funding projects located in communities with a population of 100,000 or more, described in section 5.4 of this Agreement.
"Large Urban Centres Funding Agreement" means the Funding Agreement for the Large Urban Centres Component to be negotiated between Canada and Quebec.
"Local and Community Priority Categories" means the project categories described in Schedule B.
"Major Projects Component" means the BCF component described in Section 5.5 of this Agreement.
"Ministers" means the Government of Canada Minister and the Government of Quebec Minister.
"National Priority Categories" means the project categories described in Schedule B.
"P3" means a cooperative venture between the public and private sectors for the provision of Public Infrastructure.
"Party" means Canada or Quebec and "Parties" means both Canada and Quebec.
"Public Infrastructure" means publicly or privately owned fixed capital assets in Canada for public use or benefit.
"Quebec Minister" means the Minister of Finance.
"Research and Planning component" means the BCF component described in section 5.6 of this Agreement.
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