COVID-19 Planned Expenditures

The purpose of this online annex is to summarize the total COVID-19 authorities that have been included in 2020-21 Estimates, 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 2020-21

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

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

  • Provisions of the Financial Administration Act which authorized payments to provinces and territories (or organizations named by those jurisdictions) were repealed on ;
  • The Public Health Events of National Concern Payments Act was repealed on ;
  • The Canada Recovery Benefits Act (Bill C-4), enacted in , authorized payments for the Canada Recovery Benefit, the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit until ; and
  • The Economic Statement Implementation Act, 2020 (Bill C-14) was introduced in the House of Commons on . If approved, the Act will authorize payments for the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund, for specified initiatives related to health, and to make income support payments under the Canada Emergency Response Benefit Act.

Payments for COVID-19 activities specified in statutory acts, but to be made after the act is repealed, are included in these Estimates as voted expenditures.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 2020-21 Estimatestable 1 note *
  Supplementary A Supplementary Btable 1 note ** Supplementary C Total
Voted 1,303,530,541 15,874,033,362 9,928,143,544 27,105,707,447
Employee Benefit Plans 12,262,623 51,202,636 55,336,831 118,802,090
Statutory 81,022,958,441 58,128,290,604 (6,892,047,939) 132,259,201,106
Total 82,338,751,605 74,053,526,602 3,091,432,436 159,483,710,643

Table 1 Notes

Table 1 Note 1

The Main Estimates 2020-21 were tabled before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, there was no planned spending for COVID-19 in those Estimates.

Return to table 1 note * referrer

Table 1 Note 2

Includes $6,494,524 from TB Vote 5 – Government Contingencies to Department of Fisheries and Oceans to provide urgent payments for the “Grant Program to Support Self-employed Fish Harvesters in Canada Affected by COVID-19” between October 1 and .

Return to table 1 note ** referrer

Overall, these 6 organizations account for 94% of the total COVID-19 authorities included in the 2020-21 Estimates:

  • Department of Employment and Social Development ($100.7 billion)
  • Public Health Agency of Canada ($21.1 billion)
  • Department of Finance ($20.2 billion)
  • Department of Indigenous Services ($3.1 billion)
  • Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation ($2.9 billion)
  • Department of Health ($1.9 billion)

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

COVID-19 Response: 2020-21 Estimates to Fall Economic Statement reconciliation

Below is a reconciliation of the $159.5 billion of authorities included in Estimates in response to COVID-19 and the $275.2 billion announced as part of the COVID-19 Economic Response Plan (i.e., the Chapters 1 and 2 of the Fall Economic Statement 2020).

  2020–21 (billions of dollars)
Total COVID-19 Authorities in the 2020-21 Estimates 159.5
Plus: Items not included in the Estimates 118.3
Of which:
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
Canada Emergency Business Account
Enhanced GST Credit
Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy
Employment Insurance Benefits
Less: Accrual and other adjustments -2.6
Fall Economic Statement 2020 (Projected Total Expenses for 2020-21) 275.2

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, the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy and the Enhanced GST credit are legislated through the Income Tax Act and are considered expenditures for government financial reporting purposes. Parliament does not authorize spending annually for these items or for other tax and liquidity measures.

The Canada Emergency Business Account is provided through the Business Development Bank of Canada and Export Development Canada.

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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