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Archived - Tabling of the 2009-10 Main Estimates

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Date: 26 February, 2009

Ottawa – The Honourable Vic Toews, President of the Treasury Board, today tabled in the House of Commons the 2009-10 Main Estimates totalling $236.1 billion in expenditures. Main Estimates provide a detailed listing of the resources required by individual departments and agencies for the upcoming fiscal year.

"The Government of Canada is moving forward to provide the funding needed for initiatives in Canada's Economic Action Plan to help stimulate and protect the Canadian economy," said President Toews. 

This year's Main Estimates alsoinclude aspecial time-limited $3 billion fund (Vote) to provide departments with funding for ready-to-go projects and initiatives as identified in Canada's Economic Action Plan, starting April 1,2009. It is critical that economic stimulus funds flow as soon as possible to have the desired impact on the Canadian economy.  All monies distributed under this fund will be reported in upcoming Supplementary Estimates, as well as through regular reporting to Parliament.

Please refer to the attached backgrounder for more details on the 2009-10 Main Estimates. The Main Estimatesand related documents are posted on the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat Web site.

For more information, contact:

Christine Csversko
Director of Communications
Office of the President of the Treasury Board
613-957-2666

Robert Makichuk
Chief, Media Relations
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
613-957-2391

If there is a discrepancy between any printed version and the electronic version of this news release, the electronic version will prevail.

TTY (Telecommunications device for the hearing impaired) — 613-957-9090


Backgrounder - Overview of the 2009-10 Main Estimates

Part I – The Government Expense Plan

Overview

The Main Estimates present information on both budgetary and non-budgetary spending authorities. The 2009-10 Main Estimates include details on $236.1 billion in planned spending for the fiscal year as shown in Table 1. This planned spending is based on Budget 2008 and previous budgets.

Table 1: 2009-10 Main Estimates

($millions)

Budgetary

Non-Budgetary

Total

Voted

85,627.5

78.6

85,706.1

Statutory

150,157.1

271.4

150,428.5

Total Main Estimates

235,784.6

350.0

236,134.6

Budgetary Main Estimates

Budgetary Main Estimates are expenditures that include the cost of servicing the public debt; operating and capital expenditures; transfer payments to other levels of government, organizations or individuals; and payments to Crown corporations.

This type of expenditure includes Voted and Statutory Main Estimates:

  • Voted Main Estimates - 2009-10 Main Estimates support the Government's request for Parliament's authority to spend $85.6 billion under program authorities that require Parliament's annual approval of their spending limits.
  • Statutory Main Estimates - The remaining $150.2 billion is for statutory items previously approved by Parliament, including interest payments on the public debt. These details are provided in Main Estimates for information purposes only.  

Non-Budgetary Main Estimates

Non-budgetary Main Estimates are expenditures (loans, investments and advances) that represent changes in the composition of the financial assets of the Government of Canada. They also include Voted and Statutory spending. The 2009-10 Main Estimates include a total forecast in non-budgetary spending authorities of $350 million.

Table 2 below presents the total budgetary expenditures of $235.8 billion for 2009-10  Main Estimates according to type of payment.

Table 2: Budgetary Main Estimates by Type of Payment

($ millions)

Main Estimates

Change in Spending

 

2009-10

2008-09

$

%

Major transfers to other levels of government:

 

 

 

 

  Alternative Payments for Standing Programs

(3,124.0)

(3,256.8)

132.8

(4.1)

  Canada Health Transfer

23,987.1

22,629.3

1,357.8

6.0

  Canada Social Transfer

10,860.8

10,557.7

303.1

2.9

  Fiscal Equalization

16,086.1

13,619.9

2,466.2

18.1

  Other statutory subsidies

32.0

32.0

. . . .

0.0

  Payment to Ontario

. . . .

150.0

(150.0)

(100.0)

  Incentive for provinces to eliminate taxes on capital

123.0

. . . .

123.0

N/A

  Territorial Financing

2,497.9

2,312.9

185.0

8.0

  Wait Times Reduction Transfer

250.0

. . . . .

250.0

N/A

  Youth Allowance Recovery

(688.9)

(717.4)

28.4

(4.0)

Sub-total major transfers to other levels of government

50,024.0

45,327.7

4,696.3

10.4

Major transfers to persons:

 

 

 

 

  Elderly Benefits

35,197.0

33,590.0

1,607.0

4.8

  Employment Insurance

16,575.0

15,100.0

1,475.0

9.8

  Universal Child Care Benefit

2,544.0

2,470.0

74.0

3.0

 Sub-total major transfers to persons

54,316.0

51,160.0

3,156.0

6.2

Transfers to international financial organizations

583.7

693.1

(109.4)

(15.8)

Other transfer payments and subsidies

34,139.9

29,306.2

4,833.7

16.5

Total transfer payments

139,063.6

126,487.0

12,576.6

9.9

  Payments to Crown corporations

5,153.5

5,470.7

(317.2)

(5.8)

  Operating and capital

59,699.6

54,970.0

4,729.6

8.6

  Public debt charges

31,868.0

33,683.0

(1,815.0)

(5.4)

Total Budgetary Main Estimates

235,784.6

220,610.6

15,174.0

6.9

  Adjustments to reconcile to the November 2008 Economic and
  Fiscal Statement

(2,745.6)

5,392.4

(8,138.0)

(150.9)

  Net Adjustment, from net to gross basis of Budget Presentation

15,349.0

15,305.0

44.0

0.3

Total Budgetary Expenses

248,388.0

241,308.0

7,080.0

2.9

Special Fund (Vote) for Canada's Economic Action Plan

This year's Main Estimates for the Treasury Board Secretariat have been adjusted to include a special central fund (Vote) of $3 billion.  This fund is one of the measures the Government of Canada is taking to ensure funding flows quickly to implement Canada's Economic Action Plan. It is a temporary measure for 2009-10 only.

This is necessary because the short period between the tabling of Budget 2009 and the tabling of Main Estimates 2009-10 does not allow sufficient time for departments and agencies to seek funding for initiativesoutlined in Canada's Economic Action Plan through the Main Estimates.

Main Estimates do not normally contain funding for Budget measures because of the timelines involved in seeking approval through policy committees and Treasury Board as well as Parliament. Typically, the earliest opportunity for Budget measures to receive funding is through Supplementary Estimates (A), which are voted on in late June.

However, our unprecedented economic situation requires extraordinary measures if we are to help Canadian families, communities, and businesses weather the current economic storm.  We need to get money to the people who need it as quickly as possible.

Starting April 1, following approval by Treasury Board, departments will be able to access this special fund (Vote) to start implementing their Economic Action Plan initiatives.

All funds used from this fund (Vote) will be accounted for in 2009-10 Supplementary Estimates as well as through regular reporting to Parliament.


Frequently Asked Questions – Tabling of the 2009-10 Main Estimates

Q1. What are the Main Estimates?

Main Estimatesprovide a detailed listing of the resources required for the upcoming fiscal year to deliver programs to Canadians.

Q2. Which departments receive funding through these Main Estimates?

The Main Estimatesprovide a detailed listing of the resources required by all departments and agencies for the upcoming fiscal year in order to deliver the programs for which they are responsible.

Q3. What is the process to have the Main Estimates formally approved by Parliament?

The process by which the Government submits its projected annual expenditures for parliamentary approval is called "Supply". Parliament authorizes both the amounts and destination of all public expenditures.

The Main Estimates are submitted to Parliament on or before March 1. There are two Supply bills associated with the Main Estimates. The first supply bill provides interim spending authority to departments and ensures government operations continue into the new fiscal year starting April 1. Known as "Interim Supply", it is introduced on or before March 26. The second supply bill covers the balance of funding required, or "Full Supply", and is introduced no later than June 23.

Q4. Do Main Estimates normally contain funding for Budget measures?

No.  Main Estimates do not normally contain funding for Budget measures because of the proximity of the tabling of the Budget and Main Estimates and the timelines involved in obtaining approval through Cabinet committees and Treasury Board. Typically, the earliest opportunity for Budget measures to receive funding is through Supplementary Estimates (A), which are voted on in late June.

Q5. So how will you fund the measures in the Economic Action Plan?

The Economic Action Plan will be implemented through three streams of funding:

  1. Once it is passed in Parliament (expected in April ), the Budget Implementation Act will provide spending authority of $6.2 billion for  priority initiatives as specifically identified in the Budget Implementation Act.
  2. The creation of a special central fund (Vote) in the 2009-10 Main Estimates will provide Treasury Board with authority to allocate $3 billion between April 1 – June 30 for approved Economic Action Plan initiatives.
  3. The Supplementary Estimates (A) and subsequent supplementary estimates during the 2009-10 fiscal year will provide further funding to departments to implement Economic Action Plan initiatives. 

Q6. What is this special central fund (Vote)? 

A central fund or vote includes funding required by multiple departments for a specific purpose.  The fund (Vote) description sets out the purpose and conditions under which the funds can be used. 

Given the requirement to implement Economic Action Plan initiatives as soon as possible, a central fund (Vote) totaling $3 billion has been created to provide funding to departments for approved Economic Action Plan initiatives.

The allocation of funds from this new central fund (Vote) must be approved by Treasury Board.

Access to this fund (vote) will be available between April 1 and June 30, 2009, until Supplementary Estimates (A) are in place.

Q7. Why is this central fund necessary?

In Budget 2009, the Government committed to adjusting the Main Estimates for 2009-10 to ensure that new funding for the Economic Action Plan flows quickly. 

This measure is necessary because the short period between the tabling of Budget 2009 and the tabling of Main Estimates 2009-10 does not allow sufficient time for departments and agencies to seek funding for initiativesoutlined in Canada's Economic Action Plan through the Main Estimates.

Main Estimates do not normally contain funding for Budget measures because of the timelines involved in seeking approval through Cabinet policy committees and Treasury Board as well as Parliament. Typically, the earliest opportunity for Budget measures to receive funding is through Supplementary Estimates (A), which are voted on in late June.

However, our unprecedented economic situation requires extraordinary measures if we are to help Canadian families, communities, and businesses weather the current economic storm.  We need to get money to the people who need it as quickly as possible.

This special Vote will allow the Government to provide funding for ready-to-go initiatives until departments and agencies can receive funding through Supplementary Estimates in accordance with the normal Supply process.

Q8. How will the government be accountable for this money?

The Government will be tabling regular whole-of-government reports on the status of Economic Action Plan initiatives.

Reports on items funded from the special Vote will also be contained in Supplementary Estimates.

We believe it is critical to strike the right balance between appropriate due diligence and transparency, and rapid delivery of stimulus measures. 

Departments are better equipped to manage this process than in previous years.  Over the past three years, financial management standards have improved across government.  In particular:

  • Departments now have independent internal audit committees that include members external to government;
  • There are now qualified Chief Financial Officers in every department, and
  • The state of financial management and control within departments is assessed annually under the Management Accountability Framework by the Treasury Board Secretariat.  Based on these assessments, large departments and agencies, representing over 90% of government spending, have improved in areas of financial management and controls. Recent financial management and control indicators rated "acceptable" and "strong" are now up to 90% in 2007-2008 from 59% in 2006-2007  

A committee of Deputy Ministers will track progress and oversee implementation of the Economic Action Plan measures. In addition, the Auditor General will be auditing spending as it rolls out.


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