The budget for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Privy Council Office is set to rise by 20 per cent this year, making it one of the largest budgets for the office in a decade.
According to spending estimates tabled in the House of Commons Thursday, the budget for the Privy Council Office will jump to $144.9 million for the coming fiscal year from $120.7 million.
However, that pales in comparison to the $163.9 million the PCO actually ended up getting in spending authorities in the past year.
Each of the government’s three supplementary spending estimates over the course of the year added to the PCO’s budget. The projects ranged from information technology modernization and electoral reform to security upgrades, and included $10.8 million more “to enhance the Privy Council Office’s capacity to support the prime minister and cabinet ministers in delivering the government’s agenda.”
The Privy Council’s budget is the highest since the 2006-07 fiscal year when former prime minister Stephen Harper first came to office and budgeted $146.7 million for the PCO. However, his government slashed the PCO’s budget the following year to $127.3 million.
The Privy Council Office co-ordinates the actions of the government across departments and serves as the bureaucracy for the Prime Minister’s Office.
The main estimates tabled by Treasury Board President Scott Brison detail how the government plans to spend $257.9 billion next year. However, the final amount a department receives in a year can be increased when Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s annual budget is tabled or through supplementary spending estimates.
The main spending estimates tabled Tuesday call for $26.5 million in spending increases for the Privy Council. The new money will help create a youth secretariat “to increase youth engagement and to…