2018–19 Pilot Project on a Purpose-based Vote Structure

For a third year, the Department of Transport is subject to a pilot project to assess the impact of a purpose-based vote structure for grants and contributions.

Specifically, this means that Parliamentary control of voted grants and contributions will be brought down to the purpose level. In the 2015–16 Main Estimates, the department had only one vote in the appropriation acts for all their grants and contributions. For the 2016–17 Main Estimates and 2017–18 Main Estimates, the department had three separate votes for grants and contributions, according to their Program Alignment Architecture. The current year presents the distribution of planned expenditures in accordance with the organizations’ departmental results framework.

This annex provides additional detail on Transports’ 2018–19 Main Estimates by presenting grant and contribution authorities under a purpose-based vote structure.

Listing of the 2018–19 Transfer Payments (dollars)


Main Estimates

Main Estimates

Efficient Transportation System
Port Asset Transfer Program
0 46,987,200 68,203,329
Grant to the Province of British Columbia in respect of the provision of ferry and coastal freight and passenger services
29,157,898 29,784,793 30,488,126
National Trade Corridors Fund
0 0 1,000,000
National Trade Corridor Fund
0 0 98,319,090
Gateways and Border Crossings Fund
147,664,998 81,422,921 77,340,913
Ferry Services Contribution Program
40,595,398 16,720,000 41,884,680
Airports Capital Assistance Program
32,323,739 38,000,000 38,000,000
Port Asset Transfer Program
5,375,382 27,036,763 23,065,000
Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Transportation Infrastructure Fund
9,510,920 32,552,622 16,000,000
Contributions to provinces toward highway improvements to enhance overall efficiency and promote safety while encouraging industrial development and tourism from a regional economic perspective: Outaouais Road Development Agreement
736,172 11,829,848 4,307,000
Airports Operations and Maintenance Subsidy Program
1,879,777 1,600,000 1,600,000
Labrador Coastal Airstrips Restoration Program
930,000 1,000,000 1,000,000
Transportation Association of Canada
431,922 419,000 419,000
Allowances to former employees of Newfoundland Railways, Steamships and Telecommunications Services transferred to Canadian National Railways
250,258 484,000 259,000
Canadian Transportation Research Forumʼs Scholarship program
24,000 24,000 24,000
Green and Innovative Transportation System
Community Participation Funding Program
275,618 200,000 3,400,252
Program to Protect Canada's Coastlines and Waterways
0 0 1,200,000
Grants to support the Transportation Assets Risk Assessment initiative
0 0 800,000
Grants to support Clean Transportation Program
250,000 450,000 600,000
Grant for the Northern Transportation Adaptation Initiative
90,000 0 200,000
Program to Advance the Transportation Innovation
0 0 75,000
Contribution for Arctic Safety and Basic Infrastructure
0 0 18,516,934
Program to Protect Canada's Coastlines and Waterways
0 0 13,600,000
Contribution to the Northern Transportation Adaptation Initiative
738,514 0 1,045,000
Contribution Program for the Centre of Excellence for Marine Transportation of Oil and Liquefied Natural Gas
781,847 1,489,984 909,686
Contribution to Advance Transportation Innovation
0 0 650,000
Contribution to Support Clean Transportation Program
5,042,883 8,177,704 404,903
Contributions to support the Transportation Assets Risk Assessment initiative
0 0 200,000
Safe and Secure Transportation System
Rail Safety Improvement Program
0 800,000 800,000
Grant to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for Cooperative Development of Operational Safety and Continuing Airworthiness Program (COSCAP)
130,000 130,000 130,000
Rail Safety Improvement Contribution Program
20,000 20,725,000 21,075,000
Road Safety Transfer Payment Program
3,487,963 4,442,681 4,442,681
Contribution in Support of Boating Safety
1,327,786 1,000,000 1,225,000
Payments to other governments or international agencies for the operation and maintenance of airports, air navigation and airways facilities
54,628 100,000 100,000


The government can only spend money for purposes authorized by Parliament. In the appropriation acts, these spending authorities are separate “votes” for each organization. Votes are currently based on the type of expenditure to be made – such as operating expenditures, capital expenditures, and grants and contributions.

The Estimates also report spending authorities on the basis of standard objects of expenditure, as well as programs or purpose. However, Parliamentary control of appropriated authorities is based strictly on the vote structure.

In 2012, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates recommended that Parliamentary control of appropriations be based on the purpose rather than the type of expenditure. Moving the appropriation acts and Estimates to a primarily purpose-based structure was expected to facilitate Parliament’s study of the Estimates and scrutiny of government expenditures overall.

This pilot project with Transport is intended to assess the impact of a purpose-based vote structure for grants and contributions, on both the usability of information provided to Parliament as well as the financial management practices of the department.

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