Report Archive

Economic and Fiscal Outlook - April 2018 - Report revised May 14, 2018

Consistent with the Parliamentary Budget Officer’s legislated mandate, this report provides PBO’s economic and fiscal outlook.

The Borrowing Authority Act and Measures of Federal Debt

Recent changes to the Financial Administration Act require the Government of Canada to seek parliamentary approval to borrow in debt markets. The Government has done so with the Borrowing Authority Act, which came into force on 23 November 2017.

This report was prepared to address two areas of confusion that have arisen in committees and debates following Budget 2018:

  1. How was this new debt aggregate calculated?
  2. How should it be used to scrutinize government borrowing?

Costing Budget 2018 Measures

On September 21, 2017, the Parliament of Canada Act was revised to expand the PBO’s mandate to include estimating the financial cost of election campaign proposals.  In preparation of the upcoming 2019 federal general election, PBO has independently estimated the fiscal impact of 10 revenue and spending measures announced in Budget 2018.
This report reflects the PBO’s active response to this mandate expansion, containing independent cost estimates that were prepared and published in less than 60 days.

Costing a National Guaranteed Basic Income Using the Ontario Basic Income Model

This report responds to a request of Mr. Pierre Poilievre (Carleton–CPC) to estimate the cost of establishing a guaranteed basic income program at the national level. PBO takes the policy parameters of Ontario’s basic income pilot project and applies them across the country to estimate the cost of a guaranteed basic income (GBI), and then compares the estimated cost to the current federal support for low income. The annual gross cost of expanding the Ontario Basic Income Pilot across the country would amount to an estimated $76.0 billion in 2018-2019. By 2022-2023, it would reach nearly $79.5 billion.

Status Report on Phase 1 of the New Infrastructure Plan

This report provides status report on Phase 1 of the Government’s New Infrastructure Plan, which was announced in Budget 2016 and intended to stimulate economic growth over the short-term.  


Update on Costs of Incarceration

This report updates the Parliamentary Budget Officer’s estimates of the financial costs associated with offenders in federal custody. For this analysis the costs associated with correctional interventions and internal services are not included.

Federal Financial Support to Provinces and Territories: A Long-term Scenario Analysis

This report provides a long-term scenario analysis of the three largest federal transfers:  Equalization, the Canada Health Transfer and the Canada Social Transfer.

Federal Personnel Spending - Past and future trends

This report examines federal personnel spending, including: (i) recent trends in spending on federal personnel , (ii) PBO’s medium-term forecast for personnel spending  and (iii) analysis of important cost drivers underlying PBO’s personnel forecast.

Budget 2018: Issues for Parliamentarians

To assist parliamentarians in their budget deliberations, this report highlights key issues arising from Budget 2018.

Income Sprinkling Using Private Corporations

This report analyzes potential changes to the taxation of dividends paid to family members of the
owners of a Canadian-controlled private corporation (CCPC), one of the policy proposals put forth
as part of the consultations and confirmed in Budget 2018.

Supplementary Estimates (C) 2017-18

This note presents detailed analysis of the third supplement to the Government’s Main Estimates for the 2017-18 fiscal year.

PBO Work Plan 2018-19

Cost Estimate for Bill C-364: An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and to make a consequential amendment to another Act (political financing)

Bill C-364 is a private member’s bill that seeks to amend the Canada Elections Act by reducing annual individual political contribution limits while reintroducing public funding for registered political parties through quarterly allowances.  There is also a consequential amendment to the Income Tax Act, impacting the amount individuals can claim as tax credits for political contributions. This report estimates the cost of Bill C-364.  

Economic and Fiscal Monitor - January 2018

This report provides an in-year estimate of Canadian gross domestic product in 2017 and the Government of Canada’s budgetary balance in 2017 18, based on data released since our October 2017 Economic and Fiscal Outlook, up to and including 12 January 2018.

PBO and Finance Canada Long-term Projection Comparison

This report provides a comparison of long-term economic and fiscal projections prepared by Finance Canada and PBO in 2017.

Bill C-342 - Cost of Carbon tax deduction from GST

The PBO examines provincial carbon pricing regimes to estimate the cost of excluding tax, duty or fee imposed by a province in respect of carbon from the calculation of the GST. 

Budget Sufficiency for First Nations Water and Wastewater Infrastructure

This report responds to a request of Mr. Charlie Angus, the member for Timmins-James Bay, to estimate the costs of upgrading water and wastewater infrastructure on First Nations reserves, in order to eliminate long-term boil water advisories, and to compare these estimates with the actual and planned spending included the announced funding in Budget 2016. PBO estimates the minimum capital investment required to meet actual and future W&WW needs until 2020 at $3.2 billion. PBO’s estimate of the annual operating and maintenance (O&M) needs is $361 million. PBO analysis indicates that the estimated capital and O&M costs are considerably more than the total actual and planned funding.


Bill S-3: Addressing Sex-Based Inequities in Registration

Bill S-3 amends the Indian Act to address residual discrimination on the basis of sex with respect to eligibility for registration on the Indian Register. This report estimates the cost of Bill S-3.

Analysis of Changes to the Taxation of Corporate Passive Investment Income

On July 18, 2017, the Minister of Finance announced consultations on tax planning strategies involving the use of private corporations.  This report analyzes potential changes to the taxation of corporate passive investment income, one of the policy proposals put forth as part of the consultations. 

Federal Support for Low Income Individuals and Families

Approximately 3.2 million to 5.0 million Canadians have low income.

In 2016, the Government committed to developing a poverty reduction strategy.  To support parliamentarians in their deliberations regarding this strategy, the Parliamentary Budget Officer initiated a census of all existing federal support and services to low income Canadians and vulnerable groups.

Overall, we identified 75 federal initiatives that provide roughly $57 billion of financial support or services to people with low income and other vulnerable groups in 2017-18—55 programs with expenditures of $39.3 billion and 20 tax expenditures that provided $17.5 billion.