Interim supply refers to the funds required by the government to conduct its activities from April 1, the beginning of the fiscal year, to the final supply day in the period ending June 23, when the House votes on the main estimates for the year.
The government must give 48 hours’ notice of an interim supply motion, setting out in detail the sums of money it will require, expressed in twelfths of the amounts to be voted in the main estimates. Most are three-twelfths of the total amount, corresponding to the three-month hiatus between the beginning of the new fiscal year and the final passage of the main estimates, but the government may request more.
The motion for interim supply is considered on the last allotted day of the period ending March 26. Adoption of the motion is followed by the consideration and passage at all stages of an appropriation bill based on interim supply and authorizing the prescribed withdrawals from the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
The granting of interim supply does not necessarily constitute immediate House approval for the programs to which it applies in the main estimates. However, neither the House nor its committees can reduce a vote to an amount less than the amount already granted in interim supply.
A provisional change, in place for the remainder of the Forty-Second Parliament, was adopted by the House in June 2017 to replace the interim supply process with interim estimates. Interim estimates are treated in the same manner as other estimates, including being tabled and deemed referred to committee. The interim estimates are also considered during the supply period ending March 26.