Undertaking in Relation to a Physical Work or Physical ActivitiesCIHR is subject to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (the Act). The Act requires that federal departments and agencies carry out environmental assessments, if needed, to ensure that the projects they fund are not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.
In general, proposals where the work is to be carried out exclusively in a laboratory or office, and does not contribute to the construction, operation, modification, decommissioning, abandonment, or other undertaking in relation to a physical work that is constructed and fixed in place, are not likely constitute a project.
A project is defined in the Act as:
- any kind of undertaking (including any proposed construction, operation, modification, decommissioning, and abandonment) in respect of a physical work; or
- any physical activity, not relating to a physical work, that is described in the Act's Inclusion List Regulations.
The following are considered undertakings in relation to a physical work under the Act.
- boreholes that are drilled and lined with concrete or plastic sleeves;
- poles or transmission towers that are erected;
- ditches that are dug and maintained - for example, with reinforced sides; and
- culverts that are installed.
Note: This list of examples is not exhaustive. Applicants should consider what is defined as an "undertaking" and a "physical work" to determine whether any phase of their proposal involves an undertaking in relation to a physical work.
Undertakings include activities such as:
- operating or the provision of funds/funding or in-kind contributions towards the operation;
- modifying (i.e., altering the physical work to suit a new purpose);
Note: User fees are not recognized as contributions.
A physical work has the following characteristics:
- it is constructed or assembled;
- it is fixed in place (that is, it is not intended to be moved frequently);
- it is permanent (e.g., a building made of ice blocks is not permanent);
- it is to be maintained on an ongoing basis.
Other examples of physical works include buildings, greenhouses, synchrotrons and radars. Again, this list is not exhaustive.
Examples which have been deemed most likely to be relevant to proposals received by CIHR include items #5, 10, 19.1(a), 27(a), 31, 39.1, 40, 42, 48, 49, 50, 51, 54 (a)(b), 55, 56, 58, 69, 74, 77, 78(a) of the Inclusion List Regulations.