Thanks to the Government of Canada’s recent open data initiatives, a wealth of information is now publicly available from various departments at different levels of government.
One interesting data source I recently found was the government expenditure data of the various ministries and departments of the federal government. In the table below, I show how the budget was allocated across the ministries.
|Ministry||2013 budget ($ thousands)||% of total budget|
|Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development||7,918,240||3.4%|
|Agriculture and Afri-Food||2,905,614||1.2%|
|Canadian Heritage and Official Languages||3,502,873||1.5%|
|Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism||1,814,124||0.8%|
|Fisheries and Oceans||1,668,889||0.7%|
|Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development||5,835,049||2.5%|
|Human Resources and Skills Development||45,187,600||19.4%|
|Privy Council Office||397,994||0.2%|
|Public Works and Government Services||3,667,156||1.6%|
|Western Economic Diversification||477,110||0.2%|
|Total 2013 Government Budget||232,578,373|
The total federal government budget for 2013 was about 232 billion dollars. This included money used to pay wages and benefits for employees, but also various other expenditures related to the operation of programs and services provided by the government. It also included various transfer payments that were made by the federal government to more local governments, individuals, and community organizations.
Finance (37.8%) and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (19.4%) were the two largest ministries in terms of budget allocation, receiving over $132 billion (or over 50%) of the total federal budget.
For comparison purposes: the total GDP of Canada in 2013 was approximately 1.839 trillion dollars.
How the money was spent varied by department. For example, the House of Commons and the Senate spent most of their money on paying employees; however, about 3/4 of Veteran’s Affairs budget was spent on transfer payments.