Good morning, Mr. Chair, and members of the committee.
Thank you for the opportunity to present the main estimates for the 2019-20 fiscal year on behalf of the Department of Finance.
With me today, as you mentioned, are departmental officials to assist in providing you with a more in-depth perspective on the rationale and policy supporting the numbers within our estimates.
As you know, the Department of Finance's mandate is to assist the government in developing and implementing strong and sustainable economic, fiscal, tax, social, security, international and financial sector policies and programs with the goal of creating a healthy economy for all Canadians.
This year's main estimates reflect a departmental budgetary spending of $99 billion, which is composed of $99.4 million in voted expenditures, $1.4 million in budget implementation vote items, and $98.9 billion in statutory expenditures. These main estimates reflect a net increase of $5 billion in departmental budgetary expenditures, stemming from forecasted increases of $4.2 million in vote 1 program expenditures and an increase in statutory spending of $5 billion.
The increase of $4.2 million in vote 1 program expenditures in this year's main estimates is due to increased activity under the following initiatives: $1.6 million for a carbon pollution pricing system, $1.5 million for tax competitiveness monitoring, $1.2 million to enhance capacity for indigenous policy, $0.8 million for an open banking review, and $0.6 million to increase trade dispute resources. This increase is partially offset by sunsetter funding that the department received for the G7 summit.
The 2019-20 main estimates also include $1.4 million of new budget implementation votes for each spending measure announced in budget 2019. Funding for these initiatives will be allocated to the department through Treasury Board submissions.
The 2019 budget implementation vote items are made up of $0.8 million to strengthen Canada's anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing regime, $0.4 million to introduce a Financial Consumer Agency of Canada governance council, and $0.2 million to protect Canadians' pensions.
The 2019-20 anticipated statutory spending is based on the most recent official estimates from budget 2019, released by the Department of Finance on March 19, 2019. Statutory expenditures are not included in the appropriation bill, as they have already been approved by Parliament through enabling legislation. They are included for information in the estimates documents.
As identified in the statutory forecast, the main contributing factors to the $5-billion increase are an accumulation of the following: $2.1 billion due to increased interest on unmatured debt, $1.8 billion due to an increase in the Canada health transfer, and $0.9 billion due to an increase in fiscal equalization payments.
Mr. Chair, this concludes my overview of the main estimates for the department.
We would be pleased to answer any questions the committee members may have.