TARA applicant’s guide

Transport Canada's (TC) Transportation Assets Risk Assessment (TARA) Program provides funding to projects that increase awareness and understanding of climate risks and vulnerabilities to federally-owned and/or federally-managed transportation assets and potential adaptation solutions that could be employed.

The applcation period is now closed.

On this page

  1. Program description
  2. Eligible recipients
  3. Available funding
  4. Eligibility assessment criteria
  5. Eligible expenditures
  6. Ineligible expenditures
  7. Merit selection criteria
  8. Notification
  9. Service standards
  10. Funding agreements
  11. How to apply
  12. Submitting your application 

1. Program description

The overall objective of TARA is to provide funding for projects that focus on improving the understanding of climate change related-risks and vulnerabilities to federally-owned and/or federally-managed transportation assets. The program has the following specific objectives:

  • Increase the resiliency of federally-owned and/or federally-managed transportation assets by giving decision-makers the information they need to make informed decisions; and,
  • Support research and analysis that identifies and remedies gaps or barriers to assessing climate risk.

These objectives help to strengthen the resilience of Canada's transportation system and supports the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. 

2. Eligible recipients

Eligible recipients include:

  • Federal Agent Crown Corporations (Jacques-Cartier and Champlain Bridges Inc., the Federal Bridge Corporation Limited)
  • Canada Port Authorities (can only apply through a contribution type of funding under this third call for proposals)
  • National Airports Systems Airport Authorities
  • Provinces and territories, including provincially and territorially owned entities
  • For-profit and not-for-profit private sector organizations
  • Academia

3. Available funding

This element of the TARA program will provide up to $4,000,000 over 4 years. All projects must be completed by March 31, 2022.

The maximum contribution per project is $1,600,000 and the maximum grant per project is $50,000.

Funding is available through a grant or a contribution. Transport Canada will apply a risk-based approach in its evaluation of applications and may determine that a different funding instrument (grant or contribution) is appropriate. The key difference between a contribution and a grant is the reporting requirements for payment and the maximum amount that can be provided by Transport Canada.

All eligible recipients may be reimbursed up to 100% of eligible expenditures for a grant.

The following eligible recipients may be reimbursed through a contribution for:

Up to 90% of eligible expenditures for:

  1. Canada Port Authorities
  2. National Airports Systems Airport Authorities
  3. Provinces and territories, including provincially and territorially owned entities
  4. For profit organizations

Up to 100% of eligible expenditures for:

  1. Federal Agent Crown Corporations
  2. Not-for-profit private sector organizations
  3. Academia

4. Eligibility assessment criteria

Eligible activities for both grant and contribution applications include:

  1. Risk and/or vulnerability assessments, other studies, or research relevant to understanding climate change impacts to federally-owned and/or federally-managed* transportation assets (on infrastructure systems or components, or on future/planned infrastructure) to provide those responsible for the asset with information to strengthen decision-making.

    * The majority of federally-owned assets are listed in the Directory of Federal Real Property; federally managed assets are those assets directly managed by a federal government department or agency. Assets where the ownership/management is unclear will be considered on a case by case basis.
    • For eligible activity #1, which involves research or other studies, the applicant must demonstrate that they have the knowledge and capacity to implement the project, have established a clear methodology and plan for undertaking the work, and have identified potential outcomes and applications in support of an improved understanding of climate risks to federal transportation assets.
  2. Purchase (and installation, where appropriate) of data, equipment, technology, software systems and/or associated training to investigate and understand climate impacts to federally-owned and/or federally-managed transportation assets or infrastructure components.
    • For eligible activity #2, which is to acquire data, equipment, technology and software systems, the activity needs to support either ongoing or future climate risk assessment work or allow for the further investigation of the performance of an asset (or component thereof), to one or more identified climate change risks. Acquisition and installation shall be consistent with generally accepted industry standards.

      NOTE: For activity #2, grants may be provided upon demonstration of completion of the acquisition as long as the acquisition took place within the last three months from the time of the application for the grant

For grant applications, the following criteria must also be demonstrated:

  • The project will directly contribute to program objectives (as described in Section 1 );
  • The recipient has the knowledge and capacity to implement and complete the project;
  • The quality and completeness of the application;
  • A clear methodology and plan for undertaking the activity; and
  • The budget is reasonable and demonstrated to be necessary to support the project's objectives.

5. Eligible expenditures

Eligible expenditures include:

  • Staff salaries and benefits
  • Professional services (e.g., accounting, auditing and consulting)
  • Translation costs
  • Purchase, lease, or charter of assets, technology, equipment and supplies
  • Purchase of data and associated training
  • Licenses and permits
  • Rents, leases, leasehold improvements and insurance
  • Room rentals and other facility costs
  • Costs related to telecommunication, data analysis and data validation services
  • Hospitality costs up to 5 % of total project costs, in accordance with the Directive on Travel, Hospitality, Conference and Event expenditures;
    1. Note: Hospitality expenses cannot be more than the rates determined in the Appendix B of the Directive on Travel, Hospitality, Conference and Event Expenditures - Canada.ca.
  • Honoraria payments for Indigenous persons
  • Administrative expenditures for up to 15% of total project costs (including general administration, expenditures, rent, insurance, office equipment rental and membership fees)
  • Travel expenditures (including the cost of accommodations, vehicle rental and kilometric rates, bus, train, airplane or taxi fares, allowances for meals and incidentals)
    1. Note: Travel and per diem expenses cannot be more than the rates and allowances determined in the Travel Directive of the National Joint Council
  • Other costs that are, in our opinion, considered to be direct, reasonable and incremental for the successful implementation of the project and have been approved in writing, prior to being incurred

Eligible expenditures can be either cash or cash-equivalent in-kind contributions. In-kind expenditures may be reimbursed so long as the following three criteria are met:

  • The associated costs are deemed as eligible expenditures and have been approved by Transport Canada
  • The associated costs are not a donation received from a third party
  • The associated costs are related to goods, services or assets that would otherwise be purchased and paid for by the applicant as essential for the project

Note: In kind-contributions received from a third party are considered donations and may form part of the total eligible expenditures of the project, but are not reimbursable.

5.1 Eligible project duration and approvals

  • The project must end by March 31, 2022
  • Single-year (12-month) and multi-year projects are eligible
  • We cannot issue advance payments. Therefore, the applicant must demonstrate that they have sufficient funding available to ensure the successful completion of the project
  • The applicant must identify the source of all project funding in their project proposal (e.g., in-kind, third-party). Letters from partner organizations that confirm financial support should be attached to the proposal
  • Projects may begin incurring reimbursable eligible expenditures once approved and confirmed in writing by Transport Canada. The exception for grants is outlined in Section 4.

6. Ineligible expenditures

Certain expenditures are not eligible for funding and therefore will not be considered in the calculation of the total eligible expenditures of the proposed project, including:

  • Costs incurred before the funding approval date or after the final claim date, except as noted for Activity #2 in Section 4 
  • Expenditures for Provincial Sales Tax and Goods and Services Tax, or the Harmonized Sales Tax, where applicable, for which the recipient is eligible for a rebate, or any other costs eligible for rebates
  • Purchase of land and/or buildings and, related real estate fees
  • Financing charges and interest payments on loans
  • Expenditures that have been reimbursed from other sources of funding, federal statutes or funding programs

7. Merit selection criteria

Transport Canada will assess all grant and contribution applications to determine if they meet the eligibility assessment criteria (see Section 4). If eligible, the proposed project will be assessed against the merit selection criteria described below.

Applicants must also provide the following information in the application. Application templates for either a grant or contribution are available upon request at Tc.tara-erat.tc@tc.gc.ca and must be used to request funding.

Relevance of the project

Relevance of the project relates to how closely the proposed project relates to the TARA's objectives, as described in Section 1.

Applicant's relevant experience and capacity

Relevant experience and capacity relates to how well the applicant is able to complete the proposed project in terms of resources, personnel and expertise. More specifically, Transport Canada will consider the applicant's:

  • Mandate and/or experience and expertise
  • Demonstrated commitment based on past or current projects
  • Institutional, management/organizational structures, financial controls and other support available to successfully deliver the proposed project

Quality of the proposal

The quality of the proposal refers to the degree in which the planned activities, schedule, budget, targeted results and roles and responsibilities are clear, realistic and consistent with the proposed project's objectives. Transport Canada will assess whether the proposed project has:

  • Clearly stated goals, objectives and outcomes
  • A realizable project plan, concrete deliverables, budget and timelines
  • A detailed risk analysis and mitigation strategy
  • An experienced and qualified project delivery team with clearly established roles and responsibilities

Performance measurement strategy (for ocntribution only)

Transport Canada wants to contribute to projects that generate results which can be reported to Canadians. Transport Canada will assess the applicant's project performance measurement strategy as set-out in the contribution application template, the results that the proposed activities would achieve and how they would align with the TARA's objectives (identified in Section 1).

Value for money

Value for money refers to how well the proposal sets out efficient use of resources and plans for producing outputs in an affordable manner.

Other criteria

Priority will be given to projects that:

  • Demonstrate the need for the project and its link with climate change impacts
  • Support the efficiency and reliability of the transportation system
  • Advance transferable technologies and/or knowledge amongst stakeholders
  • Provide a regional balance for the distribution of funding across Canada
  • Demonstrate the ability of the applicant to leverage cash or in-kind support from non-federal sources and minimize the share of federal government funding

8. Notification

After Transport Canada has evaluated a project proposal, Transport Canada will inform the Applicant as to whether or not they have been selected for funding. Transport Canada reserve the right to accept or reject any project proposal.

9. Service standards

In an effort to continually improve service and maintain a transparent process, Transport Canada has established the following service standards:

  • Our goal is to provide applicants with written acknowledgement of receipt of their application and/or project proposal within 10 business days of the application deadline date
  • Our goal is to issue payments within 20 business days following the notification to the recipient that the requirements related to payment, as outlined in the funding agreement have been fulfilled

Note: If the program cannot meet the above standards, departmental officials will advise recipients in a timely manner.

10. Funding agreements

10.1 Grant agreements

10.1.1 Agreement for funded activities

The Applicant's Guide, the application package (includes Part 1 – Application Form and Part 2 – Terms & Conditions of the Grant Agreement) and the letter of funding approval, once completed and signed where applicable, form the funding agreement between Transport Canada and the recipient for grants under the TARA Program.

10.1.2 Letter of funding approval for eligible activities

Eligible applicants will receive a letter of funding approval. This letter will indicate when the eligible expenditures become eligible for reimbursement under the Program.

10.1.3 Project scope and agreement

Funding will be provided to recipients for eligible expenditures upon having met the following requirements:

  • Only eligible expenditures incurred after the date indicated in the letter of funding approval will be eligible for reimbursement. The exception for grants is outlined in Section 4.
  • Reimbursements will be made upon achieving eligible activities as set-out in the Application Form, Section 4.
  • The maximum amount of total government funding cannot exceed 100% of total eligible expenditures

Note: Reimbursements will be made to the applicant as a lump sum payment and only on costs incurred. No funding will be provided in advance. Funding is conditional on the availability of funding under the Program.

10.2 Contribution agreements

A funding agreement signed by both the recipient and Transport Canada is required to receive TARA funding. The following sections highlight some of the key areas of this legal document.

10.2.1 Risk-based funding agreements

Transport Canada will conduct a risk assessment of all approved projects prior to signing a funding agreement. This ensures that funding agreement requirements correspond to the project's risk levels, and the recipient's capacity to deliver results. The project risk assessment will determine:

  • How often the recipient must report project progress
  • Financial documentation the recipient must submit with payment claims
  • How often Tranport Canada will make site visits with and/or contact the recipient
  • Audit requirements (all funding agreements indicate our right to audit)

The risk assessment will be based on, but not limited to, the information provided in the applicant's project proposal.

10.2.2 Project scope and agreement

The applicant's project proposal will form the foundation of the project scope, mandatory legal documentation, clauses, terms and conditions, performance measurements and payment structure that are included in the funding agreement. Once the funding agreement is signed, no change to the scope of the project (including budget, structure, timelines, etc.) is possible without prior written agreement between the recipient and Transport Canada.

10.2.3 Reporting requirements

Reporting requirements will be established in the funding agreement and may include progress reports and/or annual reports, as well as providing financial claims, list of invoices, progress reports, annual reports and a final report, among other elements.

Progress reports

Recipients may have to submit progress reports quarterly, semi-annually, or annually, as identified in the funding agreement. Progress reports will identify the progress achieved during the reporting period and accompany financial claims.

Annual reports

For multi-year projects, the recipient will be required to produce an annual report. This report will include, but may not be limited to the following:

  • A detailed description of the project's progress and major achievements during the year, an update on how the project is moving forward and how it relates to initial objectives and final results
  • Updated data on performance indicators as identified in the funding agreement and in comparison to the start of the project
  • Annual reporting on the recipient's eligible expenditures incurred including a breakdown of the eligible expenditures claimed, in accordance with the funding agreement budget
  • Issues, areas of concern or risk factors that may affect the completion, schedule or budget of the project as per original plans, and proposed mitigation strategies to address any issues/gaps.

Final reports

When the project is complete, recipients will be required to submit a final report. The final report should be the overall roll-up of the information requested in the annual reports and verification of all project activities, costs and outcomes. Under the funding agreement, Transport Canada must receive the final report before Transport Canada will pay the final expense claim.

Along with the information required in the final report, recipients may also be asked to include an overall assessment and analysis of the objectives and outcomes met, results achieved and lessons learned.

Financial claims

Recipients can only submit claims for reimbursement of expenditures incurred that are listed in the funding agreement. Transport Canada will provide recipients with templates that will list the eligible expenditures as indicated in the funding agreement. Recipients will also be required to submit a list of invoices with each claim.

Other funding agreement clauses

Official languages

All recipients must respect the Official Languages Act when delivering a project funded under TARA. Linguistic requirements may apply to projects depending on their scope (national, regional or local), or on the specificity of the regions and targeted audiences of projects. Transport Canada will work with successful recipients to determine how this applies to their projects.

11. How to apply

The following sections detail the documents required to submit an application or proposal.

Application templates for both a grant and a contribution are available upon request and must be used to apply for funding.

11.1 Documentation required for grant agreements

Applicants must submit a completed application package for grants, which includes two parts, both of which must be completed in full in order to apply to the Program.

Application Package – Application Form for grant (Part 1) and terms and conditions of the grant agreement (Part 2)

11.2 Documentation required for contribution agreements

Applicants will submit a completed project proposal which must include the following:

  1. Applicant information
    1. Legal name of the organization
    2. Name and position of the primary contact for applicant organization
    3. Mailing address for all correspondence
    4. Contact information such as office phone and fax numbers, email, Internet address, etc.
    5. Project management personnel
      1. Each project must have a designated project manager. Please include contact information, if different from applicant organization.
  2. Declarations
    1. Conflict of interest questionnaire
    2. Declaration by applicant organization attesting to the accuracy of the project proposal and the commitment of the organization to carry out the project signed by an authorized agent.
  3. Rationale for funding
  4. Project description
    1. Project objectives and goals in relation to those of TARA (Section 1)
    2. Location of project delivery
    3. Listing of federally-owned assets assessed or benefiting from the work
    4. Proposed start and completion dates
    5. Major activities for the project
    6. Project work plan
    7. Partners and contributions
    8. Risk assessment and mitigation measures
    9. Performance measurement strategy
      1. Output/outcome monitoring
      2. Methodology of measurement
    10. Communications plan, if applicable
    11. Letters of financial support
  5. Budget information (as per eligible expenditures in Section 5)

Important note: A project proposal template is available upon request at tc.tara-erat.tc@tc.gc.ca as a Microsoft Word document for the proposal and a Microsoft Excel document for the budget and cash flow template.  The templates must be used to apply.

12. Submitting your application

Application deadline

The application period is now closed.

Note: All applications and project proposals must be signed, complete, accurate, comprehensive and presented using the templates provided. All applicants other than individuals must provide legal documentation confirming their organization is legitimate (i.e., letters of patent, certificate of incorporation or other such legal documents). Missing or incomplete information will slow the processing of the application and may result in its rejection.

An application package may be submitted by email or mailing address, at the applicant's discretion.


Sign your application and save it in PDF form with original signature if you are submitting electronically. Send the application to:


Mailing address:

A signed hard copy may be sent by mail, and must be received in this office by the application deadline.  

To maintain the transparency and fairness of the selection process, no extensions can be granted.

Mail applications to:

Transportation Assets Risk Assessment (TARA) Program
Transport Canada 
330 Sparks St., Place de Ville – Tower C (AHSA) 
Ottawa ON  K1A 0N5

Transport Canada will confirm receipt of application packages.