Canada's Economic Action Plan - Tabling of the 2009-10 Main Estimates



    OTTAWA, Feb. 26 /CNW Telbec/ - 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 also include a special 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 Estimates and related documents are posted on the
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat Web site at: http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca.

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    IF THERE IS A DISCREPANCY BETWEEN ANY PRINTED VERSION AND THE ELECTRONIC
    VERSION OF THIS NEWS RELEASE, THE ELECTRONIC VERSION WILL PREVAIL.
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                                 Backgrounder
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                                                           February 26, 2009

                   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
                                                             Non-
    ($millions)                            Budgetary   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
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    ($ millions)                      Main Estimates      Change in Spending
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                                   2009-10     2008-09           $         %
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    Major transfers to
     other levels of government:
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    Alternative Payments for
     Standing Programs            (3,124.0)   (3,256.8)      132.8      (4.1)
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      Canada Health Transfer      23,987.1    22,629.3     1,357.8       6.0
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      Canada Social Transfer      10,860.8    10,557.7       303.1       2.9
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      Fiscal Equalization         16,086.1    13,619.9     2,466.2      18.1
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      Other statutory subsidies       32.0        32.0        ....       0.0
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      Payment to Ontario              ....       150.0      (150.0)   (100.0)
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      Incentive for provinces
       to eliminate taxes on
       capital                       123.0        ....       123.0       N/A
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      Territorial Financing        2,497.9     2,312.9       185.0       8.0
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      Wait Times Reduction
       Transfer                      250.0        ....       250.0       N/A
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      Youth Allowance Recovery      (688.9)     (717.4)       28.4      (4.0)
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    Sub-total major transfers
     to other levels of
     government                   50,024.0    45,327.7     4,696.3      10.4
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    Major transfers to persons:
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      Elderly Benefits            35,197.0    33,590.0     1,607.0       4.8
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      Employment Insurance        16,575.0    15,100.0     1,475.0       9.8
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      Universal Child
       Care Benefit                2,544.0     2,470.0        74.0       3.0
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    Sub-total major transfers
     to persons                   54,316.0    51,160.0     3,156.0       6.2
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    Transfers to international
     financial organizations         583.7       693.1      (109.4)    (15.8)
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    Other transfer payments
     and subsidies                34,139.9    29,306.2     4,833.7      16.5
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    Total transfer payments      139,063.6   126,487.0    12,576.6       9.9
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      Payments to Crown
       corporations                5,153.5     5,470.7      (317.2)     (5.8)
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      Operating and capital       59,699.6    54,970.0     4,729.6       8.6
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      Public debt charges         31,868.0    33,683.0    (1,815.0)     (5.4)
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    Total Budgetary
     Main Estimates              235,784.6   220,610.6    15,174.0       6.9
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      Adjustments to
       reconcile to the
       November 2008 Economic
       and Fiscal Statement       (2,745.6)    5,392.4    (8,138.0)   (150.9)
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      Net Adjustment, from
       net to gross basis of
       Budget Presentation        15,349.0    15,305.0        44.0       0.3
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    Total Budgetary Expenses     248,388.0   241,308.0     7,080.0       2.9
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    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 initiatives outlined 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.


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                         Frequently Asked Questions
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                    TABLING OF THE 2009-10 MAIN ESTIMATES
                    -------------------------------------

    Q1  What are the Main Estimates?

        Main Estimates provide 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 Estimates provide 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 initiatives outlined 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.
    




For further information:

For further information: 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; TTY (Telecommunications device for the hearing impaired), (613)
957-9090; This news release is available online at: www.tbs-sct.gc.ca


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