Archived - Raison d’être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do
The Department of Finance Canada contributes to a strong economy and sound public finances for Canadians. It does so by monitoring developments in Canada and around the world to provide first-rate analysis and advice to the Government of Canada and by developing and implementing fiscal and economic policies that support the economic and social goals of Canada and its people. The Department also plays a central role in ensuring that government spending is focused on results and delivers value for taxpayer dollars. The Department interacts extensively with other federal organizations and acts as an effective conduit for the views of participants in the economy from all parts of Canada.
Created in 1867, the Department of Finance Canada was one of the original departments of the Government of Canada and had as its primary functions bookkeeping, administering the collection and disbursement of public monies, and servicing the national debt. Today, the Department helps the Government of Canada develop and implement strong and sustainable economic, fiscal, tax, social, security, international and financial sector policies and programs. It plays an important central agency role, working with other departments to ensure that the government’s agenda is carried out and that ministers are supported with high-quality analysis and advice.
The Department is responsible for:
- preparing the federal budget and the Fall Economic Statement
- preparing the Annual Financial Report of the Government of Canada and, in cooperation with the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat and the Receiver General for Canada, the Public Accounts of Canada
- developing tax and tariff policy and legislation
- managing federal borrowing on financial markets
- designing and administering major transfers of federal funds to the provinces and territories
- developing financial sector policy and legislation
- representing Canada in various international financial institutions and organizations
The Minister of Finance is accountable for ensuring that his responsibilities are fulfilled both within his portfolio and with respect to the authorities assigned through legislation.
The Department of Finance Canada leads the government priority of growing the middle class and supports the government priorities of:
- economic growth through innovation
- increased and diversified international trade and foreign direct investment
- effective action on climate change
For more information on the Department’s organizational mandate letter commitments, see the Minister’s mandate letter.
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