Governor General's Special Warrants

Governor General Special Warrants are used by the government to obtain the funds that are urgently required for the public good when Parliament is dissolved due to an election.

To be used, a minister must report that an expenditure is urgently required for the public good, and the President of the Treasury Board must report that there is no funding available through current appropriations to make the payment.

Governor General Special Warrants may be used to fund the normal operations of government, ongoing programs, contractual obligations or services to Canadians, such as passport delivery services, payments related to Old Age Security, or other income support benefits that must continue to be provided when Parliament is dissolved.

Governor General Special Warrants also allow organizations to continue to do the work that is essential to the normal operation of government until a new Parliament is formed and the next appropriation act is granted royal assent.

Any initiative that is to be considered for funding through Governor General Special Warrants must have received the appropriate Cabinet and Treasury Board approvals.

Every Governor General Special Warrant must be published in the Canada Gazette, within 30 days after it is issued. In addition, within 15 days of a new Parliament, the government must table a statement in the House of Commons displaying all of the Governor General Special Warrants that were issued while Parliament was not in session.

According to subsection 30(4) of the Financial Administration Act, the amounts of these warrants are deemed to be included in the next appropriation act. They will also be reflected in the next appropriation bill, but will not be voted on.

The last three Statements on the Use of Governor General Special Warrants are:

Archived Statements on the Use of Governor General Special Warrants

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