Before proceeding to the next vote on supply I want to make a ruling on a point of order that was raised by the hon. member for St. Albert.
The hon. member raises about the same point that he raised on the consideration of the main estimates last June. He is concerned that the supplementary estimates under consideration today authorize expenditure for the next fiscal year, namely 2000-01.
As I indicated in my ruling on this point on June 8, 1999, at page 16065 of Hansard , the “fiscal year” runs from April to March and a “yearly appropriation” bill must be based on the estimates for the fiscal year to which it relates and must be adopted by parliament to cover the government's expenses for that fiscal year.
I thank the hon. member for bringing up the point earlier in the day so it would give me a chance to look it over. I have looked carefully at the supply bill which is now before the House and I am satisfied that indeed it is based on the supplementary estimates for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000. As in the previous appropriation bill, this appropriation bill provides the same short title “Appropriation Act No. 3, 1999-2000”.
The so-called multi-year appropriation authority provided in schedule 2 of the bill is based on legislation approved by parliament in 1998, by which the Parks Canada Agency and the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency are granted authority to carry over to the end of the 2000-01 fiscal year any unexpended balance of money remaining at the end of the fiscal year 1999-2000.
As was the case last June so also it is the case now. This money is being appropriated for the 1999-2000 fiscal year. It might all be spent in this fiscal year and, if so, it must be authorized by an appropriation for this year. We are talking here about a yearly appropriation bill for the fiscal year 1999-2000.
The hon. member refers to subclause 6(2) of the supply bill now before the House and compares it against the language of carryover that I used last June with reference to the enabling legislation relating to Parks Canada. In my view subclause 6(2) serves the same purpose as did subclause 6(2) in Bill C-86 on June 8, 1999, namely, to reflect the authorization provided in the enabling legislation and a process whereby multi-year spending is to be applied to the applicable appropriations act in sequence.
Accordingly what is included in schedule 2 is already authorized by parliament and is referred to in clause 2 for information purposes only. My ruling is therefore that the supply bill is properly before the House.
I would like to thank the honourable member for his interest in the business of supply. I encourage him to keep on being vigilant and I thank him.