Good afternoon, Mr. Chair.
My name is Sherry Harrison. I am the executive director responsible for the Financial Management Directorate at the Department of Finance. With me today are officials who are here to assist in responding to your questions on the main estimates 2010-2011 for the Department of Finance.
The department's responsibilities include preparing the federal budget, developing tax and tariff policy and legislation, managing federal borrowing on financial markets, administering major transfers of funds to provinces and territories, developing regulatory policy for the country's financial sector, and representing Canada in international financial institutions and forums.
The 2010-11 estimates that have been tabled in the House identify total budgetary requirements for the Department of Finance of $88.5 billion.
Over 99% of this amount, or $88.1 billion, relates to statutory votes for items that have already been approved by Parliament through enabling legislation. These include items such as the payment of public debt charges, Canada health and social transfers, and equalization payments. The statutory votes are displayed in the estimates document for information and will not be included in the appropriation bill.
Within the statutory votes, there is a net increase of $5.7 billion over last year's main estimates, with the major changes being a $3.6-billion increase in transfer payments to the provinces and territories, and a $1.8-billion increase in public debt costs.
The non-statutory votes of the Department of Finance show a decrease over last year's main estimates. This consists of a $32.8 million decrease in grants and contributions, mainly due to the transfer of the debt payments on behalf of poor countries to international organizations to a new statutory vote and a decrease of contributions related to the Toronto waterfront revitalization initiative. The decrease is partially offset by an increase in grant payments for bilateral debt relief.
Additionally, there's an increase of $16.7 million in the operating vote. This is mainly due to increases in funding for the Canadian securities regulator, the 2010 G8 summit, the task force on financial literacy, workload in support of the economic action plan, implementing tax harmonization, and the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act. These items are time-limited.
We would be pleased to address any questions that the committee may have on these main estimates.