Report on Annual Expenditures for Travel, Hospitality and Conferences

As required by the Treasury Board Directive for the Management of Expenditures on Travel, Hospitality and Conferences, this report provides information on the total annual expenditures for each of travel, hospitality and conferences for the Health Canada for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2018.

This information is updated annually and does not contain information withheld under the Access to Information Act or the Privacy Act.

Health Canada's mandate is to help Canadians maintain and improve their health. The Department is committed to improving the lives of all Canadians and to making this country's population among the healthiest in the world, as measured by longevity, lifestyle and effective use of the public health care system.

First, as a regulator, Health Canada is responsible for the regulatory regime governing the safety of products including food, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, natural health products, consumer products, chemicals, radiation emitting devices, cosmetics and pesticides. It also regulates tobacco products and controlled substances, and helps manage the health risks posed by environmental factors such as air, water, radiation and contaminants.

The Department was also a service provider of health services to the First Nations and Inuit Community until the OIC P.C. 2017-1465 took effect on November 30th, 2017, which transferred from the department of Health (HC) to the department of Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) the control and supervision of that portion of the federal public administration in HC known as the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch. The federal government has provided basic health services to First Nations since 1904. Health Canada provided basic primary care services in approximately 200 remote First Nations communities, home and community care in 600 First Nations communities, support for health promotion programs in Inuit communities across four regions and a limited range of medically-necessary health-related goods and services not insured by private or other public health insurance plans to eligible First Nations and Inuit. The Department also funded or delivered community-based health programs and public health activities to First Nations and Inuit. These activities promoted health, prevent chronic disease and address issues such as substance abuse and the spread of infectious diseases.

Health Canada is a catalyst for innovation, a funder, and an information provider in Canada's health system. It works closely with provincial and territorial governments to develop national approaches on health system issues and promotes the pan-Canadian adoption of best practices. It administers the Canada Health Act, which embodies national principles to ensure a universal and equitable publicly-funded health care system. It provides policy support for the federal government's Canada Health Transfer to provinces and territories, and provides funding through grants and contributions to various organizations to help meet Health Canada's objectives.  Lastly, the Department draws on leading-edge science and policy research to generate and share knowledge and information to support decision-making by Canadians, development and implementation of regulations and standards, and health innovation.

More information on Health Canada activities, plans and performance are detailed in the Departmental Results Report.

Health Canada travel, hospitality and conferences costs are associated with activities and events necessary to support the statutory, regulatory and the service provider requirements to deliver services to Canadians and to meet government wide priorities and departmental mandates.

As summarized in the table below, Health Canada's expenditure for travel, hospitality, and conferences (THC) totalled approximately $163.9M in 2017-2018, and is broken down as follows;

Travel: The majority (99.6%) of Health Canada's total THC envelope in 2017-18 is attributed to travel amounting to $163.2M. There are five components to travel as listed below:

Operational activities: In 2017-18, $160.5M was spent on travel required to support the department's operational activities, legislative or legal requirements.  This includes patient travel for Non-Insured Heath Benefits and eligible former students and their families under the Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program to access mental and emotional support services.  The department was obligated to provide these services under the 2006 Court-Approved IRS Settlement Agreement until the date of the OIC, that transferred First Nations and Inuit Health Branch from Health Canada to the newly created Department of Indigenous Services Canada effective November 30, 2017.

Key Stakeholders: In 2017-18, $1.1M was spent on travel to engage key stakeholders in relation to such matters as policy, program and regulatory development or renewals.

Internal Governance: In 2017-18, $0.3M was spent on travel necessary to support sound internal departmental governance.

Training: In 2017-18, $1.2M was spent on travel related to employee training.

Other: In 2017-18, $0.1M was spent on travel that does not fit into one of the four above identified categories.

Hospitality and conferences expenditures: In 2017-2018, hospitality and conference expenditures totaled $0.7M, or less than 1% of the Health Canada's THC expenditures.  These expenditures are associated with essential activities necessary for delivery of Health Canada programs and services, including conducting business with other levels of government, industry, or public interest groups.

Overall, Health Canada manages travel, hospitality, and conference activities / expenditures with prudence and probity so that they demonstrate value for money and use the most economical options to minimize costs whenever possible.

The total annual expenditures for travel, hospitality and conferences for 2017-18 for Health Canada are summarized below:
Expenditure category Expenditures ($ thousands)
Operational activities $160,463.7
Key stakeholders $1,149.0
Internal governance $331.7
Training $1,213.6
Other $86.3
A. Total travel $163,244.3
B. Hospitality $186.3
C. Conference fees $488.9
Total [A+B+C] $163,919.5
International travel by minister and minister's staff (included in travel) $46.8

Note: This is a new/reorganized report layout with no requirement to restate previously posted data; therefore no comparison with the previous year is provided.

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