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Third Reading, Appropriation Bill No. 2, 2019

Honourable senators, we refer to Bill C-102 as the supply bill because it supplies money to the government so it can operate. This is the second supply bill for this fiscal year.

The first supply bill was passed by the Senate on March 22 and provided money for the first three months of the fiscal year. I always refer to this first supply bill as the interim supply. On June 30, just a few days away, the first supply bill will expire, and many programs will no longer have the money they need to operate. This supply bill, Bill C-102, must receive Royal Assent by June 30 or the government will be unable to operate.

To complicate matters, some money has already been provided by other acts. In fact, $176 billion of the $302 billion, which the government needs to operate this year, has already been approved by other acts, but the remaining $126 billion has to be approved by both houses and receive Royal Assent by the end of this month.

The Canada Child Benefit, for example, is not included in this bill because these payments have already been approved by the Income Tax Act. We refer to these payments as statutory payments. Another example is Old Age Security payments. That’s paid under the Old Age Security Act. It seems like there’s a lot of attention paid to the estimates, but there’s a link between the estimates and the supply bill because the estimates support the supply bill. You can actually look at the estimates document and trace the dollar amounts in the estimates document to the dollar amounts in the supply bill. We do that in the Finance Committee.

In the Finance Committee, we study the estimates in detail and then we trace the dollar amounts in the estimates to the supply bill. We had five meetings with 17 federal organizations for the estimates on this supply bill.

This tracing of the numbers from the estimates document to the supply bill — I’m looking over at Senator Day — is very important because one year, Senator Day, who is the former Chair of the Finance Committee, identified a problem with the supply bill. Good for Senator Day.

This bill has to be passed before we adjourn. It receives so little attention but it is so important. Thank you.

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