Federal Disaster Assistance Initiative

Public Safety Canada is leading the development of the Federal Disaster Assistance Initiative (FDAI). The goal is to provide provincial and territorial governments with a comprehensive suite of disaster recovery programs that respond to the needs of Canadians.

This will be accomplished in three ways:

  1. Revise the existing Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements (DFAA).
  2. Develop new or improved disaster assistance instruments to complement the DFAA.
  3. Create an inventory of existing federal and provincial programs, policies and legal tools for disaster assistance and recovery.

DFAA review

A review of the DFAA was undertaken in 2001 in consultation with the provinces and territories.  Proposed changes to the DFAA were approved and new Guidelines came into effect on January 1, 2008.  They apply to natural disasters which occur on or after that date.  The previous guidelines still apply to events which occurred before December 31, 2007, and for which Public Safety Canada is working with provinces and territories to finalize payments.

Complementary instruments

PS is working with other federal officials and their provincial/territorial counterparts to develop assistance programs for disasters not covered by the DFAA. For example, the DFAA is not applicable to public or animal health crises such as SARS or mad cow disease.

The objective of these complementary instruments is to stabilize economic and social activity in sectors that suffer serious disabling losses, interruptions or setbacks from such disasters.

Inventory of existing programs

PS is reviewing the range of federal, provincial and territorial programs, policies and tools that currently exist for disaster recovery. An inventory has been created and further development will continue with other federal departments and agencies.

PS is also working with provincial and territorial officials to include listings of provincial/territorial programs and initiatives related to disaster assistance. In March 2005, Ontario became the first province to have its programs included in the inventory. Work with other provinces and territories will continue over the coming months to expand the inventory.

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