Spending and human resources – 2020–21 Departmental Plan
This section provides an overview of the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer's planned spending and human resources for the next three consecutive fiscal years and compares planned spending for the upcoming year with the current and previous years' actual spending.
Elections Canada's unique dual-funding mechanism and planning practices are part of its mandate. The agency is partly funded by an annual appropriation that covers the salaries of its indeterminate positions and is not affected by the electoral cycle. The agency also has a statutory authority that allows it to draw directly from the Consolidated Revenue Fund for all other expenses. The statutory authority ensures that Elections Canada has access to the funds required for elections that may occur at any time and reflects Elections Canada's independence from the government.
Under Canada's parliamentary system, general elections are scheduled to take place on fixed dates but can still be called in advance, particularly during a minority government. By-elections, which take place whenever seats in the House of Commons become vacant, are also unpredictable, as Elections Canada has no control over their frequency and timing. Legislative changes and market forces for procured goods and services can also significantly impact a general election.
Departmental spending from 2017–18 to 2022–23
The following graph presents planned (voted and statutory) spending over time.
Totals may not add up due to rounding.
Budgetary planning summary for core responsibilities and Internal Services (dollars)
The following table shows actual, forecast, and planned spending for each of Elections Canada's core responsibilities and Internal Services for the years relevant to the current planning year.
|Core responsibilities and Internal Services||2017–18 expenditures||2018–19 expenditures||2019–20 forecast spending||2020–21 budgetary spending (as indicated in Main Estimates)||2020–21 planned spending||2021–22 planned spending||2022–23 planned spending|
|Electoral Administration and Oversight1||n/a||120,907,167||505,419,063||82,078,356||82,078,356||80,523,784||78,279,618|
|Electoral Compliance and Enforcement2||n/a||n/a||n/a||7,413,185||7,413,185||7,413,185||7,413,185|
|Regulation of Electoral Activities3||15,196,088||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a|
1 Due to changes in Elections Canada's reporting framework starting in fiscal year 2018-19, annual expenditures by core responsibility are not available prior to that year.
2 Core responsibility added to reflect the reintegration of the Office of the Commissioner of Canada Elections to the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer effective April 1, 2019. Annual expenditures are not available prior to 2019-20.
3 Due to changes in Elections Canada's reporting framework starting in fiscal year 2018-19, annual expenditures by Program Alignment Architecture are not available beyond 2017-18.
The total planned spending shows the year-to-year fluctuation in resources. The spending pattern is a result of the election cycle and is typical for the agency.
During 2017–18, Elections Canada worked on a number of initiatives for asset renewal and electoral services modernization, which reached a peak in 2018–19. Starting in 2018–19 the agency also increased its field operations in preparation for the conduct of the 43rd general election. The increase in the 2019–20 forecast spending includes expenditures related to election delivery. In the years following an election (2020–21 and 2021–22) expenditures drop sharply, returning to their usual level as election activities wind down. Additionally, the decennial Electoral Boundaries Redistribution exercise will begin in 2020–21. These variations affect only the statutory portion of the funding.
The agency's Voted Appropriation increased as a result of the Budget 2018 measure on Rebalancing Elections Canada's Expenditures, and following the coming into force of the Elections Modernization ActFootnote xix and An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act (political financing).Footnote xx
Due to the election cycle, the annual percentage of Internal Services over total expenditures varies significantly. In the years covered in the table, it varies from 12% to 36%, with an average of 24% over the period.
Beginning in 2020–21, the agency's planned spending includes $7 million in support of projects to modernize the electoral process to ensure its remains relevant and meets the expectations of Canadians, and to renew assets to ensure the electoral process benefits from a secure and reliable infrastructure. At this time, approved projects include the modernization of the National Register of Electors, the migration of the agency's financial systems to the Government of Canada standard solution, and the replacement of systems that support the political financing program.
Over the next four years, the agency's total investments towards service modernization and asset renewal are expected to total approximately $50 million. The agency will provide regular updates on the projects, including resources used, in its reports to Parliament.
Planned human resources
The following table shows actual, forecast, and planned full-time equivalents for each core responsibility in Elections Canada's departmental results framework and Internal Services for the years relevant to the current planning year.
|Core responsibilities and Internal Services||2017–18 actual full-time equivalents||2018–19 actual full-time equivalents||2019–20 forecast full-time equivalents||2020–21 planned full-time equivalents||2021–22 planned full-time equivalents||2022–23 planned full-time equivalents|
|Electoral Administration and Oversight1||n/a||502||784||502||515||503|
|Electoral Compliance and Enforcement2||n/a||n/a||n/a||48||48||48|
|Regulation of Electoral Activities3||79||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a|
1 Due to changes in Elections Canada's reporting framework starting in fiscal year 2018-19, annual full-time equivalents by core responsibility are not available prior to that year.
2 Core responsibility added to reflect the reintegration of the Office of the Commissioner of Canada Elections to the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer effective April 1, 2019. Annual full-time equivalents are not available prior to 2019-20.
3 Due to changes in Elections Canada's reporting framework starting in fiscal year 2018-19, annual full-time equivalents by Program Alignment Architecture are not available beyond 2017-18.
The fluctuation in full-time equivalents is a result of the election cycle, largely explained by the same reasons stated in the Budgetary planning summary. Starting in 2020–21, full-time equivalents increased as a result of the Budget 2018 measure on Rebalancing Elections Canada's Expenditures and the coming into force of the Elections Modernization ActFootnote xxi and An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act (political financingFootnote xxii and will reach the ongoing total increase of 129 full-time equivalents in 2021–22. The table also reflects the administrative return of the Office of the Commissioner of Canada Elections in 2019–20.
Estimates by vote
Condensed future-oriented statement of operations
The condensed future-oriented statement of operations provides an overview of Elections Canada's operations for 2019–20 to 2020–21.
The amounts for forecast and planned results in this statement of operations were prepared on an accrual basis. The amounts for forecast and planned spending presented in other sections of the Departmental Plan were prepared on an expenditure basis. Amounts may therefore differ.
A more detailed future-oriented statement of operations and associated notes, including a reconciliation of the net cost of operations to the requested authorities, are available on the Elections Canada's website.
|Financial Information||2019–20 Forecast Results||2020–21 Planned Results||Difference (2020–21 planned results minus 2019–20 forecast results)|
|Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers||591,872,106||144,306,392||(447,565,714)|
Elections Canada estimates $144.3 million in expenses for 2020–21. This represents a decrease of $447.6 million from the 2019–20 forecast results. This difference is mainly due to the conduct of the 43rd general election which took place on October 21, 2019. The majority of the expenses of the general election were incurred in 2019–20.