Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I am here today to present the proposed main estimates for the House of Commons for 2022‑23, which I submit for your approval.
My presentation is divided into two parts since I am also recommending a change to how the statutory authorities are presented.
In accordance with the Parliament of Canada Act, the House of Commons must complete its expenditure estimates for the upcoming fiscal year and submit them to Treasury Board for tabling along with the main estimates of the Government of Canada.
These estimates summarize the funding for items already approved by the Board of Internal Economy. The House of Commons regularly aims to keep requests for additional funding to a minimum, so as to promote the efficient use of resources and avoid having to seek approval for additional resources.
The total proposed 2022‑23 main estimates for the House of Commons are $563 million, which represents a 3.5% increase over the previous fiscal year. As shown in the table, the total increase in the proposed 2022‑23 main estimates is $19.3 million.
Funding changes for initiatives approved by the Board of Internal Economy are broken down as follows. First, $5.4 million in funding is sunsetting, which is offset by $1.3 million in security support enhancements for members. Second, committee operations support is increasing by $800,000, that is, $300,000 in permanent funding and $500,000 in temporary funding. Third, funding to sustain facility assets from the long-term vision and plan has increased by $2.3 million. Fourth and finally is an $800,000 increase for the 47th annual session of the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie.
Turning now to items included under the category of cost of living increases, an amount of $6.3 million, representing an increase of 3.7% compared to the previous year, has been added to the members' and House officers' budgets as well as the travel expenses accounts. This increase follows the board decision of 2015 to apply the annual CPI rate to these budget items.
Continuing with other cost of living increases, the sessional allowance and additional salaries for members and House officers have been increased by $1.1 million, or 1.8%, as provided for in the Parliament of Canada Act. This increase is tied to the remuneration increase that came into effect on April 1, 2021.
Also included are economic increases over multiple years that were approved by the board earlier this year for represented and unrepresented employees of the House administration, for a total amount of $6.4 million.
The last category of adjustments relates to items that are more technical in nature, stemming from board-approved methodologies or established rates set by the Treasury Board. There's a budget adjustment of $38,000 for House officers to account for the revised party representation in the House following the 2021 general election. There is also an increase of $3.6 million for the contributions to the members' pension plans relating to the revised contribution rates for members as set by the Treasury Board, and an adjustment of $2.2. million for the statutory funding for employee benefit plans as per the revised Treasury Board rates.
In the main estimates, the total funding of $563 million is divided between voted and statutory authorities.
Voted authorities would be provided through appropriation acts approved by Parliament and account for $395.3 million of the total $563 million, whereas the statutory authorities are grounded in separate legislation and are estimated at $167.7 million.
With that said, it is recommended that the board approve the House of Commons' proposed 2023 main estimates in the amount of $563 million.
Mr. Speaker, that concludes the first part of my presentation. I'll be pleased to answer any questions you may have.