There’s a new fund in town! – Quebec’s Regions and Rurality Fund (FRR) replaces FARR and FDT funds


Allyson Beauregard

QUÉBEC – The MRC Pontiac invites local organizations to participate in the new call for projects under Component 1 – Support for regional outreach of the Fonds régions et ruralité (FRR). For the 2020-2021 fiscal year, $2 million is reserved for non-profit organizations, cooperatives and social economy enterprises (including education), with the exception of enterprises in the financial sector and economic
development organizations.
To be eligible, projects must have a regional scope, i.e., impact more than one MRC or an equivalent organization. Projects must also meet at least one of
the five priorities for the Outaouais region: catch up with the region’s historical backlog in health and social services, education and economic development; foster strong and sustainable community development based on solidarity and a strong link between rural and urban areas; build a strong regional identity; foster resilience to climate change by ensuring sustainable development; and develop the economy and improve the competitive position with respect
to the border situation through innovation and diversification.
Those eligible may apply through the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MAMH) no later than September 11, 2020, by filling out the
form available on their website. Employees in the MRC Pontiac’s economic development department are available to help with applications and
can provide additional information.
What’s FRR?
The province’s FRR came into effect on April 1, 2020 following the adoption of Bill 47 (An Act to ensure the implementation of certain measures of the 2020-2024 partnership between the province and municipalities) on December 11, 2019. This new fund has four components, two of which replace the Territorial Development Fund (FDT) and the Fonds d’appui au rayonnement des régions (FARR).
The FRR has an envelope totalling nearly $1.3 billion for the duration of the 2020-2024 partnership; $250 million is available in 2020, rising
to $267.5 million for each subsequent year until 2024.
Component 1 – Support for regional outreach: replaces FARR and is designed to support projects with benefits that extend beyond the territory of an MRC. The annual envelope is $50 million, divided among the administrative regions.
Component 2 – Support for MRCs’ local and regional development: replaces the FDT and aims to help MRCs pursue their local and regional development missions. For 2020-2021, $145 million is available, which will increase to $150 million in the following years. The MRC Pontiac received $1.489 million through this fund for 2020. Of this, $424,718 is available for development projects and a call for
projects will be launched August 26. The remainder will go toward the MRC’s operational budget and things like $85,000 for PPJ maintenance, $20,000 for Energy-from-Waste, $10,000 for the Chemins d’eau tourist trail, $56,000 for TransporAction, $70,000 for discretionary COVID relief measures
and $45,000 for tourism marketing, among others.
Component 3 – MRC “Innovation Signature” projects: aims to encourage the implementation of major projects at the supra-local level (multiple local regions), with an envelope of $25 million per year.
Component 4 – Support for vitalization and inter-municipal cooperation: this component has two sides. The first ($27.5 million annually) aims to provide greater support to territories facing particular vitalization challenges. The second concerns inter-municipal cooperation and supports local municipalities so they can offer citizens quality services at lower costs. For 2020-2021, $2.5 million will be devoted to this, while $15 million is planned annually starting in 2021-2022.