National Trade Corridors Fund Applicant’s guide | Advancing Supply Chain Digitalization Call for Proposals

The Advancing Supply Chain Digitalization call closed on April 11, 2023.

Transport Canada is no longer accepting proposals under this call. They will be evaluated, and results will be communicated to the applicants.

The $4.6 billion National Trade Corridors Fund (NTCF) helps fund transportation-related infrastructure projects in Canada.

Transport Canada has set aside up to $50 million for the new Advancing Supply Chain Digitalization call for proposals (Digital call), which targets projects that will strengthen Canada's digital infrastructure and make Canada's transportation supply chains more efficient and reliable. Proposals that only focus on physical infrastructure projects won't be considered under this call.

This new call for proposals is one of many actions being undertaken under the “Advancing Industry-Driven Digitalization of Canada's Supply Chain” initiative, which is focused on developing digital solutions and optimizing Canada's supply chains.

Table of Contents


This Digital call prioritizes projects that will strengthen Canada's digital infrastructure to enhance the efficiency and reliability of our transportation supply chains.

Under this call, applicants must submit a Streamlined Project Proposal (SPP) to Transport Canada by April 11, 2023 at 5:00 pm Eastern Time on the NTCF online application portal.

The proposal must provide a detailed description of the project and will be the basis for Transport Canada's evaluation and selection process. Details of proposed projects may be shared with other Federal government departments, agencies, and crown corporations, as well as the Provincial and Territorial government of the province or territory where the project is located.

This applicant's guide explains the objectives and criteria of this call for proposals, how to apply, and what information we will need from you in your submissions. This information will allow Transport Canada to conduct a thorough and rigorous evaluation of all submissions and support the assessment of each project's merits.

Part 1 – The National Trade Corridors Fund

1.1 About the National Trade Corridors Fund

The National Trade Corridors Fund (NTCF) is a dedicated source of funding to help infrastructure owners and users invest in the critical assets that support economic activity and the physical movement of goods and people in Canada. It represents a long-term commitment by the federal government to continue to work with stakeholders on strategic transportation-related infrastructure projects that help address transportation bottlenecks, vulnerabilities and congestion.

Funding under the NTCF will be allocated to projects based on their individual merits. Projects are selected by the Minister of Transport following a comprehensive evaluation by Transport Canada officials.

The ultimate outcome of the NTCF is to fund projects that contribute to making the entire Canadian transportation network (rail, road, air, or marine) more efficient, safe, and secure for the movement of goods and people within and beyond Canada's borders.

The NTCF is guided by the following overall program objectives and intended outcomes:

  • support the fluidity of Canadian trade to improve supply chain performance
  • increase the resilience of the Canadian transportation system in a changing climate and ensure it adapts to new technologies and future innovation
  • address unique and urgent needs in Canada's Arctic and Northern regions related to transportation safety and economic and social development
  • leverage investments from multiple partners as we work with provinces, territories, municipalities and the private sector

While proposals should focus on demonstrating that the project meets the specific objectives and assessment criteria of the Digital call, it should also consider how the project will help to achieve the overall program objectives and outcomes, described above.

1.2 Objectives of the Advancing Supply Chain Digitalization Call

Under the NTCF Advancing Supply Chain Digitalization call, Transport Canada is looking for projects that will:

  • Improve asset and operations management, coordination, planning, and optimization of supply chains to help alleviate bottlenecks and boost network fluidity and resilience

1.3 Eligibility requirements

To be eligible for NTCF funding, the following requirements must be satisfied.

1.3.1 Eligible recipients

The following organizations are eligible to apply under this NTCF call for proposal:

  • not-for-profit and for-profit private sector organizations
  • Canada Port Authorities, and
  • National Airport Systems airport authorities

Contributions to for-profit private sector organizations will be considered, but only when the benefits from the contribution accrue broadly rather than to the recipient (like, collect and share supply chain data with, or give access to supply chain optimization tools to multiple stakeholders).

Provinces/Territories and municipalities can contribute funds or provide support to projects, but applications submitted by Provinces/Territories or municipalities will not be prioritized.

1.3.2 Eligible activities and expenditures for contributions

Contributions will be provided in support of the following eligible activities, when undertaken to complete a project objective:

Contributions will be made towards eligible expenditures that, in the opinion of the Minister or his/her delegated representative, are reasonable, and required to achieve the objectives and results of the NTCF program.

A full list of eligible and ineligible expenses is provided in  Annex A – Eligible and ineligible expenditures.

1.3.3 Geographic location

The project must be located in Canada.

1.3.4 Project start and end dates

The project must be useable for its intended purpose no later than December 31, 2025. All final reports and project financial transactions on the part of the Government of Canada must be concluded by March 31, 2028. Preference may be given to projects that can get underway within one year.

1.3.5 Maximum contribution

To ensure that NTCF funding is used to unlock and leverage other investments, Transport Canada's maximum contribution will be up to a maximum of 50% of the total eligible expenditures for a project, with the following exceptions:

  • public-private partnerships (P3) projects where the maximum contribution will be up to 33% of the total eligible expenditures, and
  • Transportation projects in the Arctic and northern regions as defined by the Arctic and Northern Policy Framework (ANPF), where the maximum contribution will be up to seventy-five percent (75%) of the total eligible expenditures.

The amount of funding provided under the NTCF will take into consideration other sources of funding (including funding from other Canadian government entities) available to the recipient and will be subject to the eligibility requirements, and maximum amounts payable for the program.

The maximum level of total Canadian government funding (municipal, provincial, territorial and federal) must not exceed 100% of total eligible expenditures for any project.

NOTE: The NTCF is a contribution program that will reimburse the percentage of the eligible expenses outlined in the contribution agreement that is negotiated between Transport Canada and the recipient, based on the maximum allowable contribution, as described above.

Recipients incur eligible expenses and submit claims to Transport Canada. Once the claims have been reviewed, Transport Canada will issue payment. The schedule and frequency of expenses submissions and payments are determined on a case-by-case basis and laid out in the contribution agreement. NTCF contributions are non-repayable.

Part 2 – Evaluating your application

Your proposal will be assessed by Transport Canada's evaluation committee based on its overall strengths and individual merits. Note that merit will be assessed based on the quality and overall strength of the proposal as well as the project's demonstrated ability to advance the NTCF program objectives, supported by quantitative and qualitative evidence.

2.1 Overall assessment criteria

Table 1: Overall assessment criteria

Selection Criteria

Assessment and Evaluation

1. The applicant's relevant experience and capacity to complete the project and/or undertake the activities carried out in the proposal

  • Assessment based on: evidence provided by applicant demonstrating project management experience, clear mandate to undertake the project, expertise, human and capital resources, and partners/service providers; departmental experience or knowledge of, applicant and/or similar organizations.
  • Strong proposals will demonstrate a track record of successful project delivery, a clear link between the proponent's mandate and the proposed project, and that resource planning is consistent with past projects of similar scope, cost and level of risk.

2. The relevance of the project outcome(s) to the objectives of the NTCF program

  • Assessment based on: project business case provided, demonstrated benefits of the project once completed and anticipated useable life of the asset (e.g., database management system hardware and software, web-based visibility platform, data analytics and optimization tools, sensors, cameras, databases, data sharing platforms etc.).
  • Strong proposals will show a clear alignment between 1 or more of the NTCF core objectives and the expected outcome(s) of the project.

3. The quality and completeness of the proposal

  • Assessment based on: the inclusion of all key proposal components including the project's budget and timelines, financial plan (including evidence of secured balance of funding balance), risk management plan and performance measurement and project monitoring strategies.
  • Strong proposals will include all sections outlined in the Streamlined Project Proposal template, adhere to professional standards for the preparation of business cases, as well as demonstrate sufficient planning to deliver on time and on budget and support assertions with data.

2.2 Criteria to evaluate the impacts of your project on the supply chain digitalization

Objective: Digitalization projects will improve asset and operations management, coordination, planning, and optimization of supply chains to help alleviate bottlenecks and boost network fluidity and resilience.

Digital projects should be centered around business function or processes to be digitalized (use cases): specific operational pain points, inefficient (e.g., manual information exchange) business processes or other clearly defined multimodal supply chain issues.

Table 2: Digital call-related assessment criteria

Assessment Criteria

Assessment and Evaluation

1. Impacts:

  • Does the project address a key supply chain pain point and is it likely to generate substantive benefits? 
  • Does the proposal generate data or analytics that will help multiple stakeholders to make better decisions or coordinate to enable more efficient movement of goods? 
  • Will the project lead to more data sharing (of new or existing data) with multiple stakeholders? 

Assessment: Project proposals must provide a detailed description of the business function or processes that will be digitalized and the digital solutions that will be deployed.

In particular, show how the project will address a specific supply chain pain point and/or increase gateway-corridor efficiency and performance by: making use of digital tools and technology to provide supply chain visibility, sharing data in a secure and timely way, and/or optimizing tools for the benefit of multiple stakeholders.

The proposal should clearly describe the current situation versus what is expected upon project completion.

Strong proposals should have a well-defined scope and will demonstrate how the proposal creates value for a minimum of 3 types of transportation service providers (like railways, trucking, terminals, freight forwarders) and users (like shippers, consignees) by using digital tools that improve coordination and planning, optimize traffic, improve efficiency, and/or increase capacity utilization in multimodal supply chains.

The proposal should address a clearly defined pain point or improve operational efficiency or resilience, and demonstrate how the proposed digital infrastructure, digitized process, data sharing platform, and/or optimization tools will contribute to these outcomes and provide substantive benefits to operators and users.

2. Technology: 

  • Interoperability – Will the new digital solution be able to interface with other platforms? 
  • Is the proposed digital solution cybersecure and does it include ways to reduce key operational risks (like system outages, cyberattacks)? 
  • Does the project support innovation and improve productivity within the transportation system as a whole, or within/between specific transportation modes or corridors? 

Assessment: Project proposals must demonstrate the necessary digital infrastructure, data management system, online platform, and commitment to data standards and interoperability required for efficient, timely, and secure data sharing and dissemination. For example, Application Programing Interfaces (API), web platform import/export function) with industry stakeholders and a future national supply chain visibility platform.

Proposals should also outline the approach and methodologies (like Agile, UX, product management, service modelling, etc.) they will use to design (like user experience and testing), procure, configure, and deploy the technology tools (like an external consultant)

Strong proposals will demonstrate that decisions about technology will be informed by thoroughly assessing best practices in Canada and abroad, provide a detailed description of the function and benefits for technology tools being proposed (like sensors, online platforms), identify and integrate Agile practices for continuous improvement and evaluation, and a strong commitment to interoperability and adopting national data standards where appropriate.

3. Governance: 

  • Does the project have a strong data governance model?
  • Does the project rest on a financially sustainable model beyond the duration of the contribution agreement? 

Assessment: Project proposals must include an outline for a project and data governance framework that will guide the development and implementation of the use case(s).

The governance framework should address the structure of project decision-making and working groups, handling and storage of data, user access to data, dashboards, and/or optimization tools, as well as covering the operating costs of the digital platform/tools/applications following project completion.

The data governance should include developing interoperability and data sharing agreements for agreed-upon cargo activity and performance metrics with a future national supply chain platform that will give stakeholders a national view of supply chain visibility.

Strong proposals will include a proposed data governance framework based on best practices in Canada and abroad. This framework will guide engagement with digital supply chain ecosystem participants to develop a comprehensive data governance model covering data security, standards, interoperability, and how stakeholder data will be used and accessed. The framework will ultimately be supported and managed with rigorous data-sharing agreements between stakeholders.

The framework should include details about the decision-making processes, working groups, and a clearly defined and open process for how new stakeholders can participate. Proposals should also include a realistic plan for covering any operating costs in the years following the conclusion of the contribution agreement.

4. Ecosystem: 

  • Does the proposal leverage data from small, medium, and large companies from all transportation modes (marine, road, rail and air)? 

Assessment: Project proposals must include a detailed description of all potential supply chain ecosystem players that would be directly implicated in the use case(s), and key players for which participation is deemed essential to the success of the project.

Proposals should identify the roles and data that will be shared and include at least 2 letters of support from stakeholders that intend to participate.

Strong proposals will: demonstrate the intent and ability to create a digital transportation supply chain ecosystem with the participation of multiple transportation service providers and users that work together to improve data sharing, coordination and planning, and/or manage assets and traffic. This can be best demonstrated with some combination of multiple applicants and/or signed letters of support and intent to share data from key supply chain ecosystem players.

Ideally, a strong proposal would have more than 1 partner and more than 5 letters of support and intent to participate.

Proposals with use cases that focus primarily on developing digital infrastructure and tools for a single supply chain player rather than data sharing will need to show that the project will generate new data and supply chain visibility and/or optimization tools that will be available to and benefit multiple ecosystem stakeholders. This should also be supported by letters from stakeholders.

2.3 Criteria to evaluate contributions to other key objectives of the program

Table 3: Other criteria (leveraging investments)

Leverage investments from multiple partners

Assessment Criteria

Assessment and Evaluation

1. Support critical trade-enhancing projects that align with NTCF priorities and receive the financial backing of other public or private entities

Assessment: Project proposals must identify the number of organizations sharing in project costs and risks and/or data, and the apportionment of project costs by stakeholder; alignment with other capital works by public or private sectors.

Strong proposals will demonstrate commitments from multiple organizations to either share in project costs and/or data, or align with other projects that help to achieve high leveraging of federal and other stakeholder investments, and greater capacity for trade.

Part 3 – The application process

As part of the application process, you must submit a proposal that explains the project and how it supports the call's criteria. All proposals will be screened for eligibility. If your proposal doesn't meet the eligibility criteria, we will stop our evaluation, and send you an email that lists the issues that must be addressed in order to re-apply (before April 11, 2023).

After this screening, we will assess the proposal's merit against the call for proposals' priorities.

During the course of our evaluation, we may contact you for additional information that is necessary to assess the eligibility and merit of the proposal and to undertake necessary due diligence.

3.1 Submitting a Streamlined Project Proposal

Your proposal should summarize your project and demonstrates how it meets the call's criteria and the objectives of Advancing Supply Chain Digitalization call for proposals.

You must submit your proposal through the NTCF's online application portal.

If you plan on submitting multiple projects, each project needs its own submission.

The SPP will be assessed by Transport Canada's cross-disciplinary review committee that will make formal recommendations to the Minister of Transport, who will make final funding decisions. NTCF project funding will be awarded to projects based on their individual merits and on the overall strength of the SPP. Once results of your application are available, you will be notified through email by the NTCF team.

NOTE: Upon request, applicants must provide additional information that Transport Canada deems necessary to assess the eligibility and contributions to program objectives, as well as undertake due diligence. Transport Canada reserves the right to reject submissions that are incomplete. Transport Canada will send you confirmation that we have received your submission within 10 business days of receiving it.

3.1.1 How to submit a SPP

To submit a SPP, you will need a Government of Canada-issued GCKey to access the NTCF online application portal. A GCKey is a unique electronic credential provided by the Government of Canada that allows you to communicate securely with online programs and services.

If you do not already have one, you can get a GCKey by taking the following steps:

  1. after opening the portal, clicking on “Continue to GCKey” will take you to the registration page;
  2. click on “Sign Up”;
  3. read and accept the GCKey Terms and Conditions of Use;
  4. create your username and password; and
  5. create three security questions

For more information and FAQs about GCKey, please visit the GCKey information page.

Once you have a GCKey, you can access the NTCF online application portal and submit your SPP.

  • Open your web browser and go to the application portal
  • Select “Advancing Supply Chains Digitalization” on the main page
  • On the next page, select “Choose file”, and
  • Upload a PDF version of your proposal, and then submit it

NOTE: Your proposal must be submitted as one PDF document. We won't accept any other document format.

The portal is designed to work best with either Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox internet browsers. If you experience any issues, please try accessing the portal from a different browser first.

If you cannot submit your SPP using the NTCF online application portal, please contact us by e-mail at:

3.2. Streamlined Project Proposal Template

Your SPP may be submitted in English of French and should not be more than 25 pages in length, including appendices. Letters of support are not included in this page count. It is strongly recommended to use the titles provided in this section as headings. The document type must be PDF and each page must be numbered and include the project name. To be considered complete, your SPP must include all the requested information in the format outlined below.

A. Cover page

All Proposals should have a cover page with the following information:

  • the title of the project (should be brief but descriptive)
  • the location of the project, and
  • the name of the organization applying for funding

B. Executive summary

The executive summary must address the major elements of the project, including:

  • a short project description including location, project scope, major activities, and timelines
  • the total project cost, total eligible and ineligible expenditures, total federal funding amount requested under NTCF, and all sources of funding for the project including the contributions made by other parties, and
  • a summary of the primary project objectives, briefly explaining how they align with the Advancing Supply Chain Digitalization call for proposals, and NTCF program objectives

C. Applicant information

  • Provide the following information:
C.1 Applicant organization
  • the full name and legal status of the organization, address, telephone number and email
  • the name and position of the primary and secondary contact for the organization who are authorized to advise and make decisions and representations on the project, and
  • the organization's mandate, its role in the project
C.2 Project team

This section should demonstrate the ability of the team (in terms of experience, personnel and expertise) to complete the project. The information provided should include:

  • a description of the proposed project's governance structure, including any partners, their role and how they would contribute to the project
  • all partner organization's legal name, address and point of contact, and
  • authorizations that provide the applicant and/or the contact the authority to submit this request and/or implement the project, and/or represent the applicant

D. Project description

This section describes the issues(s) that would be addressed by the project, the project scope and activities and how they are relevant in achieving NTCF program and specific Digital call objectives. Provide the following information:

D.1 Project location
  • Provide the location (city, province/ territory) of the project (specifically, the longitude and latitude).
D.2 Project background
  • Describe the existing conditions, background, constraints or issues (such as fluidity, bottlenecks or pain points, efficiency, service reliability, asset/traffic management, etc.) that your project will improve
  • Describe the current situation the proposed digital use case(s) your project will address (like inefficient/insufficient data and information exchange or business processes, lack of supply chain visibility, poor coordination, and planning, etc.)
  • Describe any work that has already been completed in relation to this project, by both the applicant or by other stakeholders
  • Indicate whether a project includes or anticipates investments from foreign state-owned enterprises and provide additional information as requested by Transport Canada. The evaluation of the proposal may be paused until the information is received
D.3 Project rationale
  • Describe the implications, as they relate to the relevant NTCF program objective(s), of the project not being implemented (that is, the “do nothing” option)
  • State how the project overlaps, supports or enhances any aspect of previous and/or planned work (such as planned investments by private or public sector partners)
  • Include a summary that quantifies expected improvements in the short-term (2 years) and longer-term (5 years) that would result from the project completion. Summary should clearly demonstrate with data-supported scenarios how the project will lead improvements in supply chain efficiency, fluidity and reliability/resilience, e.g., decrease in dwell times or vessel time in port, growth in freight volumes, etc
D.4 Alignment with NTCF program and Digital call objectives
  • Clearly explain how the project aligns with the National Trade Corridor Fund's objectives
  • Describe how the project will address a key supply chain pain point and is likely to generate substantive benefits
  • Describe how the proposal will generate data or analytics that will help multiple stakeholders make better decisions or coordinate the more efficient movement of goods
  • Explain how the project will result in increased data sharing (of new or existing data) with multiple stakeholders
  • Describe the project's interoperability and how it will be able to interface with other platforms
  • Explain how the project will support data security and how the proposed digital solution will reduce the impact of key cybersecurity risks (like cyberattacks, system outages)
  • Describe how the project will support innovation and improve productivity within the transportation system as a whole, or within/between specific transportation modes or corridors
  • Describe the governance model
  • Describe how the project rests on a financially sustainable model beyond the duration of the contribution agreement
  • Describe how the project will leverage data from small, medium, and large companies from all transportation modes (marine, road, rail and air)
D.5 Project scope
  • Present the overall work plan to ensure delivery of a quality project within the project's timeframe and budget
  • Describe the major components, partners and phases of the project, and present the corresponding scope of work and who will undertake the project activities
  • If you are planning to make use of sole-source contracts to deliver the project, please provide information on the amount of the contracts and the rationale for not undertaking a tendering process
D.6 Project work schedule
  • Provide all applicable key milestones, relevant project activities and include the corresponding timelines (refer to Table 4 for an example of a project work schedule)
  • Describe project dependencies, interdependencies or hurdles to implementing the project
  • All projects must be useable for its intended purpose (completed) no later than December 31, 2025 and all financial transactions related to the NTCF must be concluded by March 31, 2028
Table 4: Project work schedule example

Project activity / Milestone

Start date

End date


Finalize project design and leadership




Start project plan, create working groups, engage stakeholders




Finalize data governance model, data collected, shared, performance metrics




Sign data sharing agreements




Acquire and integrate core data, assess quality




Procure, develop, and configure




Build and test protype or pilot of digital tool (like dashboard, web platform, data management system, planning tool, etc.)




Launch digital tool(s)




D.7 Project delivery method
  • Include the current status of the project planning/design and timelines as well as how the project will be delivered (e.g., in-house planning/design or consultant, type of contracting process, procurement of digital tools, etc.)
D.8 Performance measurement strategy

The performance measurement strategy must be included in your SPP. The performance indicators you identify should make it possible for the recipient and Government of Canada to assess short-term, medium term and long-term outcomes of the investment, after the project has been completed. Please provide the following information:

  • describe a performance measurement strategy with expected project outcomes and/or outputs
  • using Table 5 below as an example, list these project outcomes/outputs
  • also using Table 5, for each specific outcome/output identify performance indicators, the current performance, the target performance after the completion of the project, the sources of the data, and the frequency the data will be collected
  • describe the methodology the applicant will use to measure the achievements of project goals and objectives, and
  • performance results should be quantitative data
Table 5: Performance indicators measurement template

Outcomes/ outputs

Performance indicator

Current performance

Performance target

Data source

Collection frequency

Example 1:

Improve supply chain efficiency and fluidity

Average Container dwell time

4 days

TBD by Industry Working Group

Reporting by applicant to Transport Canada


Example 2:

Reduction in gateway-corridor congestion

Vessel Cycle Time (at anchor and at terminal berth)

7 days

TBD by Industry Working Group

Reporting by applicant to Transport Canada


Example 3:

Improved supply chain reliability and resilience

Variability in dwell times, e.g., % of dwell times greater than 5 days


TBD by Industry Working Group

Reporting by applicant to Transport Canada


E. Federal Funding Rationale

Include a rationale for federal funding, the context for how the project will support the Digital call, based on data and analysis of key bottlenecks and supply chain challenges. It should include:

  • an analysis of the overall benefits of the project/activities
  • a summary of the project's cost-benefits analysis. This could include a statement of the major benefits of the project (such as travel time savings, reduced safety costs, expanded capacity, sustainable development, how the local and/or regional community (both businesses and residents) benefit from the project etc.)
  • a demonstration of how the project aligns with local, regional, and/or national transportation priorities
  • an explanation of how the financial support of the Government of Canada and, if applicable, of other funding sources, is required to enable the implementation, enhance the scope, or accelerate the timing of the proposed project/activities, and
  • data and sources used to support investment decisions
E.1 Evidence of support

Letters of support help explain how a project will benefit multiple stakeholders/users and can provide additional input on qualitative benefits to support trade diversification.

Proposals must include at least 2 letters of support from supply chain stakeholders that:

  • indicate their intention to share and/or use data generated from the digitalization project, or
  • explain how they will participate in the project

Including letters of support can help make your proposal more competitive. Strong letters of support will have a combination of the following elements clearly explained:

  • who penned the letter of support and which organization they're writing on behalf of (usually confirmed by the specific organization's letterhead and signature)
  • their relationship to the proponent (like, are they a client, supplier, Indigenous group or level of government with relevant jurisdiction? Has the organization lobbied for similar investments?)
  • why the project is important or valuable (like, how does the proposed project align with the organization's mandate, mission, priorities, and business development plans?)
  • the impacts the project will have on a particular region
  • how the project aligns with industry/sector interest
  • and what interests they have in the results and benefits of the proposed project (like, will the project facilitate related investments and/or spur job creation? What would happen if the investment or upgrade falls through?)

F. Project Budget

Include an expenditure breakdown by project activity and a cash flow forecast for all phases of the project delivery for each fiscal year of the project. For the following sections, please refer to Annex A – Eligible and ineligible expenditures of this guide for a list of eligible and ineligible expenditures.

F.1 Activity expenditure breakdown

Referring to Table 6 below as an example, provide the following information:

  • the estimated total project cost, including all eligible and ineligible expenditures under the NTCF
  • a project/activity budget and cash flow forecast, including estimates for substantive phases of project delivery for each fiscal year of the project
  • a statement as to the accuracy and level of confidence of the cost estimates
  • and a statement that the applicant will be responsible for all cost overruns
Table 6: Project activity expenditure breakdown

Project activity

Project costs by fiscal year (April 1 – March 31)



Footnote *


A – Ineligible expenditures by project activity and fiscal year

List all ineligible expenditures

Ineligible expenditure A1

(e.g., cost before contribution agreement is signed)





Ineligible activity A2

(e.g., legal fees)





Total ineligible costs:




$ Total A

B – Eligible expenditures by project activity and fiscal year

List all eligible expenditures

Eligible activity B1

(such as installation, and deployment of technologies.)





Eligible activity B2

(such as data sharing platforms)





Total eligible costs:




$ Total B

Total project costs

(ineligible + eligible)




$ Total A + Total B

F.2 Financial plan

Applicants must provide all of the following project information:

  • a financial plan, including the disclosure of all sources of funding for the project (secured and anticipated) and the estimated cash flow per fiscal year of the project, referring to Table 7 as an example
  • the requested NTCF funding contribution, the applicant's funding contribution to the project and any other sources of funding, including any other federal sources of funding
  • evidence of the applicant's ability to fund upfront expenditures and operating costs (such as bank statements and confirmation of funding sources form, duly signed by financial partners)
  • assurance of capacity to operate, maintain, support and deliver continuous improvements of the digitalization solution for as long as the process or functions are relevant
  • and a summary describing whether the project will have the ability to generate revenue to cover operating expenses, how the fees will be collected (e.g., port fees, user fees) and the anticipated annual revenue
Table 7: Project costs by funding source and fiscal year

Funding partners

Funding sources by fiscal year (April 1 – March 31)

Funding source

Secured funding (yes/no)





A - Funding source for the ineligible costs by fiscal year







Any other sources of project funding (specify each)






Total ineligible costs:





$ Total A

B - Funding source for the eligible costs by fiscal year

NTCF contribution












Any other sources of project funding (specify each)






Total eligible costs:





$ Total B

Total project cost





$ Total A + Total B

F.3 Confirmation of funding sources

The applicant and each third-party financial contributor to the proposed project, whether contributing cash or in-kind contributions shall complete and sign a Confirmation of Funding Sources Form (Form) below. The applicant will attach its and each third-party financial contributor's forms to its application for funding that it submits to Transport Canada. The total of all confirmed sources of funding, including those from the applicant, must equal the estimated total project expenditures, less the amount of funding requested from Transport Canada.

In the matter of the application for funding for (Insert name of project) by (Name of applicant) to His Majesty the King in right of Canada, as represented by the Minister of Transport under the National Trade Corridors Fund Program:

I ________________________ (Name), of the City/Town of___________________________,

Province/Territory of ________________________________, declares as follows:

  1. That I hold the position of ______________ with (Insert name/company of contributor).
  2. I am duly authorized by (Name/company) to give this declaration under (Contributor inserts the complete reference to the bylaw or internal policy authority that allows them to provide this declaration) dated (insert date of the bylaw or internal policy authority).
  3. (Insert name/company of third party contributor or applicant) will provide the contribution(s) noted below for the expenditures under the (Insert title of proposed project) (Insert when), should the proposed project be approved for funding by His Majesty the King in right of Canada, as represented by the Minister of Transport for funding under the National Trade Corridors Fund program:

Type of Contribution

(Insert type of contribution)

Value of Contribution

(Insert amount of contribution)

Example: Cash contribution


Dated this _________________ day of ____________________, 20_________.



G. Project Risks

Include an overview of the project risks, the significance of their impact and likelihood, and the mitigation measures/strategies the organization plans to adopt. For the purpose of this assessment, please consider potential financial and legal risks as well as risks related to project schedule, stakeholder support, etc. 

  • Risks are uncertainties or constraints that may impact project completion within the proposed scope, timelines and budget. They often include short construction season, delayed permits or materials, lack of participation, etc. Clearly indicate the implications to the schedule if approval dates are delayed
  • Mitigation measures are the planning and management activities that the organization will undertake in the course of the project to avoid these risks and reduce their consequences or impact on the project

If the proposed project requires real property acquisition and/or land/Right of Way access agreement with a third party, explain the status of the progress of acquisition and/or negotiations including the timelines.

Table 8: Project risks template

Risk statement, type and description

Probability and impact

Initial risk level


Residual risk level

Risk 1: Provide a statement that summarizes the risk event and risk type (see the table below for examples).

Provide a detailed but brief description of the risk, outlining why this risk was identified or may occur.

Provide the probability of the risk event (i.e., Low, Medium or High) and describe in detail the expected impact of the risk and assessed level of each.

Low, Medium or High

Outline the detailed, concrete proposed response to the risk (e.g., mitigate, transfer, accept).

Low, Medium or High

H. Legal, Regulatory, and Other Requirements

The SPP must:

  • identify any legal or regulatory requirements that apply to the project
  • demonstrate that the project will adhere to all applicable federal legislation
  • and indicate the status and estimated timelines of any approval/permits/licenses that are required
H.1. Indigenous Consultation - Duty to consult

The Government of Canada has a legal duty to consult and, where appropriate, accommodate Indigenous groups when its conduct might adversely impact potential or established Aboriginal or Treaty rights. Through consultations with Indigenous Peoples, the Government of Canada seeks to identify potential adverse impacts of federal activities on potential or established Aboriginal or Treaty rights and related interests and to find ways to avoid or minimize these adverse impacts.

The provision of federal funding to recipients can trigger the Crown's legal duty to consult, if a proposal might adversely impact potential or established Aboriginal or Treaty rights.

If your project is approved for funding under the NTCF, the contribution agreement will stipulate Canada's expectations with respect to the consultations that the recipient must carry out.

I. Declarations

I.1 Conflict of interest

Applicants must indicate any employee or major shareholder who is a former public office holder (as defined by the Parliament of Canada Act) or public officer (as defined by the Financial Administration Act). If that person left the federal government within the last 12 months, indicate whether that person was at an executive level or above.

As part of the SPP, applicants must provide assurance that:

  • no former public servant who is not in compliance with the Values and Ethics Code for Public Servants shall derive benefits from the Contribution Agreement
  • no former public office holder who is not in compliance with the Conflict of Interest and Post- Employment Code for Public Office Holders shall derive a direct benefit from the Contribution Agreement
  • and no member of the House of Commons of Canada shall be admitted to any share or part of the Contribution Agreement or to any benefit to arise therefrom
I.2 Applicant declaration

The SPP must include the following declaration, signed by a duly authorized person:

I/we, the undersigned, hereby certify that:

  • all information provided to Transport Canada in support of this request for NTCF funding is true and complete
  • if funding requested in this application is approved, the funds will be spent solely for the project and activities described in this application
  • I/we provide consent to Transport Canada to make necessary credit and other enquiries in support of this application

_____________________________________   ______________________________________

Name                                                                               Title

________________________________               _____________________________________________

Signature                                                                         Date

Annex A – Eligible and ineligible expenditures

Eligible expenditures

Contributions will be made towards eligible expenditures directly related to eligible projects that, in the opinion of the Minister of Transport or his delegated representative, are reasonable, required to achieve the objectives and outcomes of the NTCF program, and have been incurred on or after the signing of a contribution agreement, including, but not restricted to, the following:

  • Expenditures related to preparation (for example, site preparation), construction, rehabilitation and improvement of assets
  • Professional fees for contracted services*
  • Costs of engineering and environmental reviews, including environmental assessments, follow-up programs, and the cost of remedial activities, mitigation measures and follow-up identified in any environmental assessment*
  • Costs of environmental consultations*
  • Expenditures for Aboriginal consultations, specifically project-related consultation activities pursuant to the Crown’s legal duty to consult*
  • Expenditures related to public outreach and Indigenous engagement, dissemination of information, communications materials and other associated costs*
  • Staff salaries and benefits such as: wages; employer’s portion of: Employment Insurance, Canada Pension Plan/Quebec Pension Plan, and disability insurance; private insurance; and benefits paid to staff working on the project/activities where the recipient can demonstrate value for money
  • Expenditures related to telecommunication, data analysis, and data validation services
  • Purchase or lease of technologies, equipment, software, data and systems
  • Licenses and permits
  • Training costs related to new technologies, equipment, software and systems
  • Travel expenditures (including the cost of accommodations, vehicle rental and kilometric rates, bus, train, airplane or taxi fares, allowances for meals and incidentals in accordance with established policies and directives)*
  • Administrative expenditures (including expenditures for general administration, rent, insurance and office equipment rental)*
  • Rental of meeting rooms and audio/video equipment*
  • Hospitality, in accordance with federal government policies and directives*
  • Honoraria payments for Indigenous persons
  • For projects administered as a P3, expenditures for the development of a P3 business case and other costs related to the delivery of a project through a P3

For capital infrastructure projects, no more than 15% of NTCF funding will be provided for expenditures identified with an asterisk (“*”).

Where Transport Canada's contribution is less than 100% of the total eligible expenditures, the above eligible expenditures may include those associated with in-kind contributions. In-kind contributions may take the form of:

  • Goods, services or assets consumed by the recipient for which costs are incurred and no cash is exchanged
  • Donations of goods, services or assets to the recipient, for which no costs are incurred and no cash is exchanged

Donations are not eligible for reimbursement but may form part of the recipient's share of the total eligible expenditures for the project/activities.

Ineligible expenditures

Certain costs are not eligible for funding; therefore, applicants must not include them in the calculation of the total eligible costs of the proposed project. These ineligible expenditures include, but are not limited to:

  • Costs incurred before the signing of the Contribution Agreement (unless Transport Canada has agreed in writing to make certain costs eligible prior to the signature of the agreement)
  • Costs incurred after the agreement termination date
  • The costs of purchasing land, associated real estate and other fees, financing charges and interest payments on loans
  • The costs of purchasing rolling stock or mobile equipment
  • The costs of leasing land, buildings, and other facilities
  • Legal fees
  • The costs of developing a proposal
  • Provincial sales tax and the goods and services tax or harmonized service tax for which the recipient or a third party is eligible for a tax rebate and all other costs eligible for rebates
  • General repairs and maintenance of a project work and related structures
  • Services or works normally provided by the applicant (e.g., employee wages, benefits, overhead costs or any other direct or indirect operating, maintenance or administrative costs) incurred in the course of implementation of the project except those specified as eligible costs