Appropriation Act No. 1, 2018-19

An Act for granting to Her Majesty certain sums of money for the federal public administration for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2019

This bill was last introduced in the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session, which ended in September 2019.


Scott Brison  Liberal


This bill has received Royal Assent and is now law.


This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment grants the sum of $30,907,763,956 towards defraying charges and expenses of the federal public administration for the fiscal year ending March 31,2019 that are not otherwise provided for.


All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, an excellent resource from the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Concurrence in Vote 1—Northern Pipeline AgencyMain Estimates, 2018-19Government Orders

June 14th, 2018 / 5:30 p.m.
See context

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia


Scott Brison LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board


That Vote 1, in the amount of $465,000, under Northern Pipeline Agency — Program expenditures and contributions, in the Main Estimates for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2019, be concurred in.

Mr. Speaker, tonight, I am pleased to speak about the 2018-19 main estimates, which I tabled on April 16. The main estimates provide information to support the government's request that Parliament approve $276 billion in spending to deliver programs and services in the fiscal year starting April 1, 2018. This includes $113 billion in planned voted expenditures, and $163 billion in statutory expenditures.

The main estimates support two appropriation bills, the first Appropriation Act No. 1, 2018-19, approved $31 billion in interim funding for voted expenditure requirements in the first three months of the fiscal year. The second Appropriation Act No. 2, 2018-19 will approve the remaining $82 billion. Through these main estimates, the government continues to make important investments in the priorities of Canadians: growth, progress, reconciliation, and advancement as part of our plan to grow and strengthen Canada's middle class.

We are also delivering on our commitments in a manner that is open, transparent, and accountable to Parliament.

Canadians and the parliamentarians representing them have the right to know how public funds are being spent, and to hold government to account.

That is why we made changes to the estimates process to make it easier for Canadians and parliamentarians to track expenditures. For the first time in recent history, the main estimates will include all budget measures announced in this year's budget.

This is a major step forward, and it has been made possible in part by changing the tabling date of the main estimates to mid-April, after the budget. In the past, new initiatives announced in the budget did not appear in the main estimates because the main estimates were tabled before the budget. Parliamentarians were left largely in the dark about how spending announced in the budget would be allocated to departments. The Globe and Mail rightly called the system bad to the point of absurdity, with spending estimates usually coming before the budget and in a different accounting format, rendering them virtually meaningless. As the Globe put it, “It's a discredited practice that has only served to keep MPs in the dark about how tax dollars are being spent.” That is why our government has taken steps to address these problems and strengthen transparency to Parliament.

We have revised the Standing Orders so that the main estimates are much more likely to be tabled after the budget. To do this, we have added the new budget implementation vote to the main estimates. Changing the sequencing allows the 2018-19 main estimates to include all the measures announced in the budget for this year. Therefore, today, parliamentarians have a document in front of them that is relevant and complete so they are better able to hold government to account for how it spends tax dollars. By law, this money can only be spent on the measures announced in the budget tabled on February 27, 2018. Treasury Board, as a central agency, does not have any discretion to use the funds for any other purpose. Parliamentarians can now trace each and every allocation from this new central vote to a specific line in the budget. That is table A2.11 in the budget, and in the main estimates in annex 1.

Allow me to address some of the concerns that have been raised recently about the budget implementation vote. Let us take the assertion that the budget implementation vote does not allow sufficient oversight by parliamentarians. As someone who has served in this House for over 21 years, I respectfully disagree. In fact, parliamentarians still have the opportunity to study and vote on the budget and the estimates and the appropriation bills for the main and supplementary estimates. In both the budget plan and the main estimates, they have a detailed disclosure of the measures to be funded from the central vote. Former parliamentary budget officer, Kevin Page, recently called the detailed table in the 2018 budget, “a 'clear signal' that the federal government wants and is working to give a more accurate figure of the year's upcoming spending”.

Parliamentarians will also be able to see allocations to departments and remaining balances for the line-by-line budget measures in monthly reports online and in the next available estimates.

I would add that former Department of Finance officials and economists, Scott Clark and Peter DeVries, gave budget 2018 an A grade for fiscal credibility, writing:

With respect to transparency the 2018 budget provides more detailed financial analysis and information than any budget that we can remember, and we go back a long way. For critics of the budget who felt such information was lacking, they should perhaps take the time to read the Annexes.

Let me now turn to the suggestion that the constraints placed around the use of the funds in the budget implementation vote are not sufficiently binding. This is completely untrue.

Annex 1 of the main estimates details, line by line, the limitations of the vote. It includes specific measures, departments, and maximum funding available for budget 2018 through the central vote. In addition, as I mentioned, on page 261 of the TBS main estimates, we reiterate these details.

Treasury Board cannot allocate additional funds or otherwise reallocate funding from other initiatives to support these programs.

Let us say, for example, that circumstances change, and the government proposes increasing funding for a budget measure identified in the budget implementation vote. The result would be that a separate funding decision would be required. Parliament would then be asked to approve the items separately in future estimates. I will provide an example.

Budget 2018 proposes a number of important investments, including $154 million to the Department of Health to address the opioid crisis. These funds are reflected in the 2018-19 main estimates budget implementation vote. Let us say that over the course of the year the opioid crisis worsened and the government decided it needed to invest more. If the government wanted to increase funding for this, or for any other budget measure identified in the budget implementation vote for that matter, a separate funding decision would be required and Parliament would be asked to approve the items separately in future estimates.

I spoke with the Parliamentary Budget Officer about the idea of amending the wording of the vote to create even more clarity and provide him and Parliament with even greater assurance. I am pleased to report that based on that conversation, we have amended the vote wording in the appropriation bill to incorporate by reference the details in annex 1 of the main estimates.

I invite members to turn to page 29 of the supply bill, which states, “Authority granted to the Treasury Board to supplement any appropriation of a department or other organization set out in Annex 1 to the Main Estimates for the fiscal year, for an initiative announced in the Budget of February 27, 2018, and set out under that department or other organizations name in that Annex, in an amount that does not exceed the amount set out opposite that initiative in the Annex.”

With this amendment, it is even clearer that funding may only be provided for the measures, amounts, and organizations detailed line by line in annex 1 of the main estimates.

It is also worth noting that Auditor General Michael Ferguson has said “he’s less concerned by the $7-billion vote because...the government is bound to the line-by-line promises.” He said, “You have to allocate it”, funding for the budget measures, “on that basis, you can’t just decide somebody else should get more and somebody else can get less. To me that’s not the authority that they’ve been given by Parliament.” We wholeheartedly agree with the Auditor General.

Finally, I would like to address the view that the initiatives to be funded through this vote are not reflected in the departmental plans, that there remains a lack of alignment between the budget initiatives and the planned results. Allow me to clarify that alignment between the main estimates and departmental plans has not changed. Instead, we have actually improved transparency by including budget 2018 funding in a central vote managed by the Treasury Board Secretariat.

As the year progresses, parliamentarians will be able to better track budget allocations because they will be reported in the monthly online reports; the next available supplementary estimates; the departmental results report, after the fiscal year has ended; and through a budget implementation tracker on the GC infobase. This is a level of transparency not available in previous estimates that parliamentarians have been debating and voting on for years.

I would now like to talk about budget 2018 and highlight some of the measures our government is taking for the middle class. Canadians want to ensure that more and more people benefit from a growing economy.

That includes Canada's talented, ambitious, and hard-working women. By supporting women entrepreneurs, reducing the gender wage gap, and increasing the participation of women in the labour force, we are helping boost economic growth for all Canadians.

Budget 2018 also aims to close the gap between the living conditions of indigenous peoples and non-indigenous peoples, facilitate self-determination, and advance recognition of rights.

As of today, 63 long-term drinking water advisories on reserves have been lifted, but there is still much more work to be done. Our government is committed to ending long-term drinking water advisories on public water systems on reserves by March 2021, and we are making greater investments through budget 2018 to try to beat that deadline.

To help address employment gaps between indigenous and non-indigenous populations, we are investing $2 billion over five years to create a new indigenous skills and employment training program.

Budget 2018 also creates new opportunities for innovators since its invests nearly $4 billion over five years to support the next generation of Canadian researchers. This is the most significant investment ever made in basic research in Canada.

Through these estimates, we are investing in the priorities of Canadians. We are creating economic growth for the middle class and those working hard to join it. In addition, we are making important changes that will improve the clarity, transparency, and accountability of government spending. In doing so, we are continuing to raise the bar on openness and transparency to Parliament and Canadians.

March 23rd, 2018 / 2:40 p.m.
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Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to give my intentions for the remaining notices of opposition for the interim estimates.

Before I do, I want to express my sincere appreciation to all of you who have sat in the chair over the last many hours. I would like to especially express my thanks to those who have been at the table, those who have been calling the votes hour after hour, each and every one of the pages, as well as the security personnel, the restaurant staff, and others for their efforts to facilitate this extended sitting of the House.

I would like to remind the Liberal members that they came to power on a promise to be transparent with Canadians and to govern with respect for Parliament. Today they had a chance to make good on that promise. However, they failed to do so.

All we have been asking is that the government give the same briefing to members of Parliament as it gave to the media regarding the Atwal affair. The message to the members of the Liberal backbench has been clear. The Prime Minister, who has not shared in any of their pain overnight, clearly expects that they will do anything to protect him, his staff, and their reckless decision.

Mr. Speaker, I note that the date on the table is still Thursday, March 22. I believe you would agree with me that this has been a very long day. Canadians can be assured that, while Thursday is coming to a close, the Conservatives will continue to fight on their behalf for the answers they deserve.

Therefore, I think if you seek it you will find unanimous consent for the following motion.

I move:

That motions to concur in all opposed items listed on the notice paper under interim estimates be deemed adopted on division, and that the motion to concur in the unopposed votes be deemed adopted on division.

That Bill C-73, An Act for granting to Her Majesty certain sums of money for the federal public administration for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2019, be deemed introduced and read a first time, deemed read a second time, deemed referred to a committee of the whole, deemed considered by the committee of the whole and reported back to the House without amendment, deemed concurred in at report stage, deemed read a third time and passed on division.

Supplementary Estimates (C), 2017-18Government Orders

March 23rd, 2018 / 3:25 a.m.
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Andrew Scheer Conservative Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, I want to bring to the attention of the House a unanimous consent motion that I will seek approval from the House for.

Just a few hours ago, we learned through the media that the government is now offering me a briefing on the Jaspal Atwal affair from the national security adviser. The explanation was that it would be in my capacity as a privy councillor. I notice that members of the media who were on the conference call with the national security adviser were not members of the Privy Council.

I would seek unanimous consent to propose the following motion: That motions to concur in all opposed items listed on the notice paper under interim estimates be deemed adopted on division; that the motion to concur in the unopposed votes be deemed adopted on division; that Bill C-73, an act for granting to Her Majesty certain sums of money for the federal public administration for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2019, be deemed introduced and read a first time, deemed read a second time, deemed referred to a committee of the whole, deemed considered by the committee of the whole and reported back to the House without amendment, deemed concurred in at report stage, deemed read a third time and passed, and that the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security be instructed to summon the Prime Minister's national security adviser, Mr. Daniel Jean, to appear before the committee to give the same briefing to members of Parliament that was given to members of the media on February 23, 2018, and that the briefing take place no later than March 30, 2018.