COVID-19 Planned Expenditures

The purpose of this online annex is to summarize the total COVID-19 authorities that have been included in the Main Estimates 2021-22, and to provide a reconciliation between these authorities and the COVID-19 Economic Response Plan presented in the Fall Economic Statement 2020.

Authorities for COVID-19 Response in 2021-22

COVID-19 initiatives were implemented through both voted and statutory expenditures.

Additional details on statutory COVID-19 expenditures can be found in the Supplementary Estimates (C), 2020-21 COVID-19 online annex.

Statutory COVID-19 expenditures in 2021-22 have been granted through several time-limited authorities:

  • An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy and Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy) extended the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, originally implemented by the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act, No. 2, to June 30, 2021. The Act also introduced the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy which provides relief in respect of rent and interest on debt obligations incurred to acquire real property used by businesses, charities and not-for-profit organizations. The subsidy period began on September 27, 2020 and ends on June 30, 2021.
  • The Canada Recovery Benefits Act authorizes the payment of the Canada Recovery Benefit, the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit. The benefit period began on September 27, 2020 and ends on September 25, 2021.
  • The Economic Statement Implementation Act, 2020 (Bill C-14) was introduced in the House of Commons on December 2, 2020. If approved, the Act will provide four additional payments to families with children under the age of six, with the final payment for October 2021; waives interest charges on student and apprentice loans from April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022; and increases the maximum amount of certain borrowings.

Payments for COVID-19 activities specified in statutory acts, but to be made after the act is repealed, are included in these Estimates as voted expenditures.  Additional payments for activities not specified in a statutory act are also included in these Estimates as voted expenditures.    

COVID-19 Spending included in the 2021-22 Main Estimatestable 1 note *
  2021-22 Main Estimates
Voted 11,620,276,960
Employee Benefit Plans 104,035,715
Statutory 10,992,173,216
Total 22,716,485,891

Table 1 Notes

Table 1 Note 1

The $22.7 billion identified in the Main Estimates for COVID-19 includes approximately $0.6 billion that is outside the scope of the Economic Response Plan.

Return to table 1 note * referrer

Overall, these 5 organizations account for 95% of the total COVID-19 authorities included in the 2021-22 Main Estimates:

  • Department of Employment and Social Development ($11.7 billion)
  • Public Health Agency of Canada ($8.1 billion)
  • Department of Health ($0.9 billion)
  • Department of Natural Resources ($0.6 billion)
  • Department of Industry ($0.3 billion)

The full list of measures can be found on GC InfoBase.

COVID-19 Response: 2021-22 Estimates to Fall Economic Statement reconciliation

Below is a reconciliation of the $22.7 billion of authorities included in the Main Estimates 2021-22 in response to COVID-19 and the $50.6 billion announced for 2021-22 in the COVID-19 Economic Response Plan (i.e., Chapters 1 and 2 of the Fall Economic Statement 2020).

Total COVID-19 Authorities in the 2021-22 Main Estimatestable 2 note * 22.7
Plus: Items not included in the Estimates 25.3
Of which:
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy 16.2
Employment Insurance Benefits 6.4
Other 2.7
Plus: Accrual and other adjustments 2.6
COVID-19 Response in Fall Economic Statement 2020 for 2021-22 50.6

Table 2 Notes

Table 2 Note 1

The $22.7 billion identified in the Main Estimates for COVID-19 includes approximately $0.6 billion that is outside the scope of the Economic Response Plan.

Return to table 2 note * referrer

Items not included in the Estimates

The Fall Economic Statement forecast covers the complete scope of the Government’s fiscal framework, including revenues, program and tax expenditures, statutory expenditures such as Employment Insurance benefits, and provision for future obligations such as public service pensions. The scope of the Estimates is narrower than the Fall Economic Statement forecast. The main purpose of the Estimates is to support Parliament’s consideration of the appropriation bills, which are the legal instruments for authorizing certain payments.

The Estimates are therefore focused on the government’s cash needs which require parliamentary appropriations and exclude certain items reported in the Fall Economic Statement.

In particular, the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy is legislated through the Income Tax Act and is considered expenditures for government financial reporting purposes. Parliament does not authorize spending annually for these items or for other tax and liquidity measures.

Most Employment Insurance costs are paid directly out of the Employment Insurance Operating Account, rather than a departmental appropriation, and are therefore not included in the Estimates.

Accrual and other adjustments

The Fall Economic Statement is presented on a full accrual basis whereas the Estimates are presented on a modified cash basis. The accrual basis of accounting recognizes income when it is earned and expenses when they are incurred, whereas cash accounting recognizes them when the cash or its equivalent has been paid. As a result, certain items will be reported differently between the two publications. This category also includes other adjustments necessary to forecast expenses on a fully consolidated basis.

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