Departmental Plan 2017-18


The original version was signed by

The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Table of Contents

ISSN 2292-4930

Registrar’s message

Plans at a glance

Raison d’être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do

Operating context: conditions affecting our work

Key risks: factors that could affect our ability to achieve our plans and results

Planned results: what we want to achieve this year and beyond

Spending and human resources

Supplementary information

Appendix : definitions

Registrar's Message

Picture of Roger Bilodeau, Registrar

I am pleased to present the 2017-18 Departmental Plan for the Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada (‘Office’).

Our 2017–18 Departmental Plan provides parliamentarians and Canadians with information on what we do and the results which we are aiming to achieve during the 2017-18 fiscal year. To improve reporting to Canadians, I am pleased to provide this new and simplified report which replaces the former Report on Plans and Priorities.

The title of the report has been changed to better reflect its purpose, i.e. to communicate our annual performance goals and the projected financial and human resources which are needed to deliver those results. The report has also been restructured to provide a straightforward and balanced account of the actual results that we are trying to achieve, while continuing to provide transparency on how taxpayers’ dollars will be spent. We describe our programs and services for Canadians, our priorities for 2017–18, and how our work will fulfill our organizational priorities.

The Office has a deep appreciation for the importance and role of the Supreme Court of Canada (‘Court’). As such, it focuses its efforts on a single strategic outcome, namely that ‘the administration of Canada’s final court of appeal is effective and independent’.

The core work of the Office continues to be the processing and management of all cases brought to the Court.  The environment and context in which the Court manages and decides cases is continuously evolving, which in turn produces new risks and challenges.

In 2017-18, the Office will place a high priority on pursuing its work towards the adaptation of its business processes in an electronic environment, with a view to continuously improving electronic access to the Court’s case files and information, both for internal use by the Court as well as by the public and litigants.

Other ongoing initiatives include further enhancements to the Court’s overall security services which aim to balance the safety of all participants in the judicial process, as well as the basic principles of fairness, access and openness which underpin the administration of justice.

I wish to conclude by thanking the entire staff of the Court for their continuing hard work and enthusiasm in serving the Court and Canadians with unfailing professionalism and a dedicated sense of purpose.


Roger Bilodeau, Q.C.

Plans at a glance

Business Transformation

An ongoing priority of the Office is its business transformation program which supports the Court in its work and ensures that the necessary business processes and technologies are in place – or being planned - to enable the electronic processing of cases, thereby allowing parties to access case file documents, data and information online (based on their entitlements), as well as providing the public with better access to Court information online, enabling litigants to file documents electronically through the development of a secure portal, as well as protecting and preserving archival and historical information in electronic format.

In support of this priority, the following key initiatives were undertaken by the Office to ensure that the administration of Canada’s final court of appeal is effective and independent, beginning in 2011-12 and expected to conclude by 2018-19. These include:

  • business process mapping and the analysis of potential efficiencies;
  • the development of new case management requirements to support current and future case management processes;
  • the transition to electronic-based operations to gain efficiencies in document collaboration and public dissemination of judgments, orders or information;
  • finalizing the renewal of application architecture of critical enterprise-systems to be in a better position to achieve transformational objectives and improving interoperability; and
  • finalizing the requirements and beginning the design phase for the electronic filing portal as well as to explore the preservation and archiving of digital records.

As such, business processes will be optimized and based on new technology, duplication of effort and process redundancies will have been eliminated, and operational efficiencies will benefit its staff and the Canadian public.

Enhancement of the security program to better meet the overall needs of the Court

Due to the sensitive nature of the Court’s business and its high level profile as the court of last resort in Canada’s judicial branch of government, it is essential to continue enhancing the Court’s security program which has many components, such as physical security, information technology security and business continuity planning.

Key supporting initiatives of those internal services which support the Court in its role to ensure that the administration of Canada’s final court of appeal is effective and independent, which began in fiscal year 2010-2011 and which are expected to reach their full operational level by 2021, include:

  • the continued update of the security policy framework and operations in line with emerging trends;
  • the renewal of governance arrangements with the RCMP; and
  • pursuing investments as identified in Budget 2015 for enhancements to the security program.

The final initiative is to continue to enhance the Court’s IT Security Posture, aligned with industry standards.

For more information on the Office’s plans, priorities and planned results, see the “Planned results” section of this report.

Raison d’être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do

Raison d’être

Created by an Act of Parliament in 1875, the Supreme Court of Canada is Canada’s final court of appeal.  It serves Canadians by deciding legal issues of public importance, thereby contributing to the development of all branches of law applicable within Canada. 

The independence of the Court, the quality of its work and the esteem in which it is held both in Canada and abroad contribute significantly as foundations for a secure, strong and democratic country founded on the Rule of Law.  The Supreme Court of Canada is an important national institution, positioned at the pinnacle of the judicial branch of government in Canada, separate from and independent of the executive and legislative branches of government.

The Office provides all necessary services and support for the Court to process, hear and decide cases.  It also serves as the interface between litigants and the Court.

More detailed information on the Court’s responsibilities, the hearing process and judgments is available on the Supreme Court of Canada website.

Mandate and role

In accordance with the Supreme Court Act, the Court consists of nine judges, including the Chief Justice of Canada, all of whom are appointed by the Governor in Council.  The Court hears appeals from the decisions of the highest courts of final resort of the provinces and territories, as well as from the Federal Court of Appeal and the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada.  In addition, the Court provides advisory opinions on questions referred to it by the Governor in Council.  The importance of the Court’s decisions for Canadian society is well recognized.  The Court assures uniformity, consistency and correctness in the articulation, development and interpretation of legal principles throughout the Canadian judicial system.  Its jurisdiction is derived from the Supreme Court Act and other Acts of Parliament, such as the Criminal Code.

The Supreme Court Act provides that the Registrar shall, under the direction of the Chief Justice, superintend the officers, clerks and employees of the Court, report and publish the judgments of the Court, as well as manage and control the library of the Court.  The Registrar is appointed by the Governor in Council and heads the Office, being responsible for the management of its employees, resources and activities.  The organization of the Office is depicted in the following diagram and further explained in the paragraphs below.

Office of the Registrar's Organizational Chart

Description of image

The chart shows the organizational structure of the Court. Under the direction of the Chief Justice, who is supported by the Executive Legal Officer, the Registrar is the Deputy Head of the Court. He is responsible for the Court Operations Sector and the Corporate Services Sector. The Registrar is seconded by the Deputy Registrar, who is responsible for the Judicial Support and Protocol Services Sector and Communications Services.

Judicial Support and Protocol Services Sector: The Judicial Support and Protocol Services Sector is responsible for the delivery of all judicial support services to the Chief Justice of Canada and to the judges of the Court, including protocol matters and facilitating the Court’s international role, as well as the development and delivery of integrated judicial support programs and services, judicial support administration and the Law Clerk program.

Communications Services: The Communications Services Branch develops and implements communication strategies, plans and programs to increase public awareness and understanding of the Supreme Court of Canada, as well as to respond to requests for information and providing guided tours of the Court building. It also works to enhance internal communications within the Court.

Court Operations Sector: Composed of the Law Branch, Reports Branch, Registry Branch and the Library and Information Management Branch, this sector is responsible for the planning, direction and provision of legal advice and operational support for the judges of the Court in regard to all aspects of the case management process, from the initial filing to the final judgment on an appeal.  This includes processing and recording proceedings, scheduling of cases, legal and jurilinguistic services, legal research and library services, legal editing services and the publication of the Canada Supreme Court Reports.  The Registry is the point of contact between the Court and litigants and provides information and services to counsel and litigants, including unrepresented litigants.  Information management services, including case-related and corporate records information, are also provided by the Sector.

Corporate Services Sector: Administrative and operational support for all the Court’s judges and staff is provided by the Corporate Services Sector, which is responsible for: strategic, business and resource planning; corporate reporting; management accountability; integrated risk management; finance; procurement; accommodations (including telecommunications, mail and printing services); human resources; security; health and safety; emergency management and preparedness; IT services; as well as business continuity planning.

For more general information about the Office, see the “Supplementary information” section of this report.

Operating context: conditions affecting our work

The operating environment of the Office is continuously evolving.  The focus in recent years has been on business process improvement, information management and enhancing electronic access for litigants and the public.  To meet the pressures relating to the aging Court building and operational facilities, significant time and resources have been (and will continue to be) dedicated to long term planning for a proposed building rehabilitation initiative, as well as to short term activities aimed at replacing aging equipment and other building enhancement projects.

There is a continued focus on the electronic exchange of information between or from the judges, Court staff, the legal community and the public, since there is an expectation that electronic tools and processes can be used to obtain or provide Court information, as well as to file documents. Amendments to the Rules of the Supreme Court of Canada, in effect as of January 1, 2017 have expanded the number of documents that can be filed in electronic form, as well as reducing the requirement to file paper copies of other documents and decreasing the number of copies filed in paper format for others. This paves the way to introducing greater efficiencies in the processing of various documents and in overall Court operations. In addition, these recent changes serve to enhance the critical importance of the business transformation program to achieve its milestones, namely the ability:

  • to receive, manage and preserve Court records in electronic format;
  • to enable electronic filing by the legal community and parties to proceedings in a secure portal;
  • to communicate effectively with counsel and litigants through multiple and secure channels;
  • for Court staff to manage both paper and digital documents in a single management system simultaneously.
  • manage a robust information security permissions framework to limit access to documents with restrictions as appropriate.

These most recent amendments to the Rules allow the Court to address the increasing complexity of proceedings being filed and aims to promote more electronic communications between the parties and the Court. With reduced timelines for filing, the scheduling of appeals will be also more efficient. The impact of these new Rules will be monitored and evaluated on a continuing basis.

In addition to the above, self-represented litigants filed 31% of the applications for leave to appeal in 2016, which represents a significant percentage of its filings. This underlies the continuous need for the Registry Branch to enhance its resources for self-represented litigants, who require more assistance from staff.

The Office continues to face a climate of fiscal uncertainty and rising costs. Ongoing efforts are dedicated to ensuring that all resources are used in the most efficient and effective manner possible. A review of succession planning activities, staff functions and roles, as well as the identification of essential positions, are part of the ongoing strategies used to pursue operational efficiencies.

Key risks: factors that could affect our ability to achieve our plans and results

On an annual basis, the Office’s operating environment is assessed in terms of its capacity to deal with key high-level risks linked to the achievement of organizational objectives and results. The key risks are identified during the Strategic Planning exercise and are updated on an annual basis. Mitigation measures are also monitored continually to ensure that they are adequate and fully implemented.

The following table outlines the key risks and risk response strategies faced by the organization:

Key risks
Risks Risk response strategy Link to the department’s Programs Link to mandate letter commitments or to government-wide and departmental priorities)
IT Security (cyber threats)
Unintentional or unauthorized access, use, manipulation, interruption or destruction (via electronic means) of electronic information held by the Court and the electronic and physical infrastructure used to process, communicate and/or store that information.  Risk to the security and confidentiality of judicial information and data.
  • IT security action plans
  • IT security awareness plans/staff awareness
  • Periodic vulnerabilities assessment and penetration testing
  • Regular IT Threat and Risk Assessments
  • Key investments in security software and systems
  • Sensitive information is clearly identified, classified and stored
The administration of Canada's final court of appeal is effective and independent

Internal Services
Organizational priority: Enhancement of the Security Program
Security (persons, building, information, infrastructure)
Threats to the safety of judges, staff or visitors, and to the security of the building, information and infrastructure.  Balancing security measures required for the protection of judges, staff and visitors with the principle of an open court (the Supreme Court of Canada building is a high volume tourism destination).
  • Security governance structure
  • Security Action Plan
  • Security Risk Register
  • Policies and procedures updated regularly
  • Security audits/threat and risk assessments
  • Business Continuity Plan
  • Staff awareness
  • Effective relationship with the RCMP
  • Enhanced physical security measures
The administration of Canada's final court of appeal is effective and independent

Internal Services
Organizational priority: Enhancement of the Security Program
Aging legacy IT systems and applications
Failure of aging legacy systems and applications, such as the Case Management System (CMS), as evidenced by system downtime or failure, flexibility of systems to handle new requirements or integrate with newer products, lack of ability of Court staff to address technical issues and to interface systems and data, and systems becoming obsolete and unmanageable if the Court waits too long to redesign and port to a new platform.
  • Threat and Risk Assessments
  • Back-up operations and tools kept-up-to-date
  • In-house expertise available to support CMS and operational systems
  • Identification of key significant upgrades in the Investment Plan (capital replacement), and provision of sufficient funding to meet requirements
  • Business Continuity Planning and Disaster Recovery plans
  • Ongoing maintenance of systems and equipment/ systematic checks
The administration of Canada's final court of appeal is effective and independent

Internal Services
Organizational priority: Business Transformation
Research capacity is compromised
Lack of enterprise search between information repositories limits knowledge sharing and transfer. Escalating costs of maintaining access to published legal information. Library Management Software requires renewal to allow for interoperability and more transparent search between print and electronic resources.
  • Knowledge management applications being developed to support consistency and comprehensiveness of internal information
  • Ongoing review of library collection and usage
  • Library Management Software renewal is ongoing
The administration of Canada's final court of appeal is effective and independent

Court Operations
Organizational priority: Business Transformation

Despite being stable over time, the Office does have ongoing risks which require constant vigilance, as identified in the table above. In response to these risks, the Office received funding in Budget 2016 to enhance security at the Court – both physical and IT security. These investments will enable the Office to increase its security posture and address security vulnerabilities. These enhanced measures will ultimately ensure that the cases can proceed without any disruptions, that legal information is safeguarded and that the well-being of all parties involved is protected. These investments span 5 years, followed by ongoing funding. As 2017-18 represents the second year of funding for these enhanced security measures, progress towards mitigating these risks remains on target.

The failure of aging legacy IT systems remains a key risk for the Office. The Office dedicates resources (both human and financial) to maintain its asset base and ensures that the core assets that support the Court Operations program are replenished. However, rising costs and fiscal uncertainty are making the replenishment of these assets increasingly difficult. Investment planning is key in planning for these infrastructure investments. Progress is achieved by ensuring that resources are allocated to maintaining these systems (back-up operations, updated tools and ongoing monitoring systems). As well, regular threat and risk assessments are conducted and business continuity plans are being developed.

The Office has identified a new risk in this Departmental Plan: the risk of compromised legal research capability. This research capacity of the Court is essential to its mandate and preserving it requires the interoperability of information repositories along with knowledge sharing and transfer. As well, the Library collection, being the Court’s repository for published legal information, is faced with escalating costs. These pressures are mitigated by investing in information management applications to support the consistency and comprehensiveness of internal information, as well as ensuring that staff are sufficiently aware of their information management responsibilities by holding regular awareness activities. To properly support the library collection, there is an ongoing review of the library collection development policy, including all subscriptions and usage monitoring.

Planned results: what we want to achieve this year and beyond


Program title: 1.1 Court Operations


In order to render its decisions, the Court requires the support of the Office in the management of its caseload, from the receipt of an application for leave to appeal up to and including the release of a judgment on appeal.

This support includes providing services to the litigants; reviewing applications for leave to appeal and preparing advice as to whether leave to appeal should be granted; preparing summaries of the leave applications; providing procedural advice; reviewing and summarizing factums where leave to appeal is granted; receiving, controlling and preserving all incoming case documentation; tracking various time periods to ensure compliance by the parties with the Rules of the Supreme Court of Canada; recording proceedings on appeals; answering queries with regard to cases; editing, and summarizing decisions of the Court; publishing decisions in the Supreme Court Reports, in accordance with the Supreme Court Act; and providing law library services from its extensive collection in both print and electronic formats to support legal research undertaken by users within the Court and members of the legal community.

Planning highlights

The Court has a consistent record of meeting its objectives in processing cases without delay, providing effective access to Court services and programs, including reference information, and providing reliable courtroom services.  At the same time, the Office strives continuously to maintain stakeholder satisfaction and high standards of service quality. 

To meet the challenges of continuing to provide excellent services to the Court and litigants in an environment of escalating costs and added pressures such as physical and IT security, the focus on business transformation will continue.  In the upcoming year, the Business Transformation Program will continue to direct resources to the implementation of digital recordkeeping, workflow enhancements and the development of policies and new software applications in support of recent amendments to the Rules of the Supreme Court of Canada, along with operational guidelines to support efficient Court processes and to further clarify internal business processes.

Workload projections for 2017
Category Projected workload
Leave applications filed 535
Leave applications submitted to the Court 530
Appeals as of right filed 15
Appeals heard 70
Judgments 70


Planned results
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2013–14
 Actual results
Actual results
Actual results
Cases processed without delay Number of weeks between filing of application for leave and decision on application for leave 14 weeks Ongoing

Frequency: Annually
14 14 18
Number of weeks between hearing and judgment 24 weeks Ongoing

Frequency: Annually
26 16 25
Access to Court services and information % of lawyers and unrepresented litigants in appeals with the Supreme Court of Canada that were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with Registry services 95% Ongoing

Frequency: Annually
n/a 100% 92%
Access to reference information % of factual / bibliographic requests for reference assistance responded to within service standard of 1 working day 95% Ongoing

Frequency: Annually
97% 96% 99%
% of complex / substantive requests for reference assistance responded to by date required by client 95% Ongoing

Frequency: Annually
96% 100% 100%
% of users that were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with library services 95% Ongoing

Frequency: Annually
100% 100% 96%

From year to year, there may be minor variances in meeting the objectives in processing cases. In 2015, this was the case with respect to applications for leave to appeal, as the Court’s priority was on the processing of appeals and the release of judgments in the wake of the retirement of two judges; this left less capacity to process applications for leave. As such, the target of 14 weeks set as the number of weeks between the filing of the application for leave and the decision on the application for leave was exceeded by 4 weeks. Nonetheless, the Office of the Registrar maintained stakeholder satisfaction and high standards of service quality.

This was also the case with respect to the target set for the number of weeks between the hearing and the judgment being rendered as the target of 24 weeks was slightly exceeded in both 2013 and 2015. In contrast, the Office far surpassed its target in 2014 with a total of 16 weeks.

With respect to access to Court services and information, the target of 95% as the level of lawyers and unrepresented litigants in appeals with the Supreme Court of Canada that were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the overall services provided by the Registry Branch was exceeded in 2014. There are no results for 2013 as this criteria was measured by comment cards post hearing, and none were received. In 2015, a post-hearing survey for participants (lawyers and self-represented litigants) in appeals heard by the Court was conducted. A total of 75 counsel completed the client satisfaction survey between April 2015 and April 2016, and 92% said they were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the overall services provided by the Registry Branch (no surveys were completed by self-represented litigants).

In regard to access to reference information, the targets of 95% set for responding to: (a) requests for factual/bibliographic requests for assistance within the service standard of one working day; (b) complex/substantive requests for reference assistance by the date required by the client; and (c) the percentage of users that were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with library services, have consistently been met over the past three years.

Significant changes to the Rules of the Supreme Court of Canada, which came into effect on January 1, 2017, are expected to streamline the process for appeals.

The Office strives to continuously meet its targets and utilizes the information it gathers from past results to constantly strengthen its future work and results.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
Main Estimates
Planned spending
Planned spending
Planned spending
15,546,765 15,546,765 15,577,271 15,609,147


Human resources (full-time equivalents)
Planned full-time equivalents
Planned full-time equivalents
Planned full-time equivalents
148 148 148

Program title: 1.2 Payments to Judges of the Supreme Court of Canada Pursuant to the Judges Act


The Judges Act is an Act respecting all federally appointed judges and thereby applies to the judges of the Court. The Judges Act specifies the salaries of the judges of the Court and prescribes other payments to be made to them, namely allowances for relocation, representation, incidentals, conferences, as well as annuities. The Office processes these payments, as required by the Judges Act.

Planning highlights

The timeliness of various allowances paid to the judges of the Court is assessed internally through the maintenance of receipt and processing dates for individual claims.  In an effort to constantly improve its services, the Office has implemented processes to ensure accuracy and an adequate level of satisfaction. The Office has set targets of 95% for the timely processing of payments pursuant to the Judges Act, within service standards of five days and a 2% error rate in the accuracy of the payment of these claims. The accuracy of these payments is monitored on a regular basis.


Planned results
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2013–14 Actual results 2014–15 Actual results 2015–16 Actual results
Timely and accurate payments to Judges of the Supreme Court of Canada pursuant to the Judges Act % of payments processed within service standards of 5 days for the reimbursement of allowances pursuant to the Judges Act 95% Ongoing

Frequency: Annually
100% 100% 100%
% of errors on payments 2%          Ongoing

Frequency: Annually
1% 4% 3%
Average time to process payments 5 business days Ongoing

Frequency: Annually
1 business day 1 business day 1 business day

The Office has exceeded its target of 95% for the timely processing of payments pursuant to the Judges Act within its service standard of five days for the past three fiscal years. In fact, the Office has consistently maintained a level of 100% over this time for the timely processing of its payments to judges, which success is in great part attributed to procedures that have been implemented to carefully monitor the payment process such as generating frequent payment batches to ensure that targeted timeframes are respected. Efforts will continue to maintain the established target.

The Office has set a target of 2% error rate in the accuracy of the payment of judges’ claims. This target was surpassed in 2013-14, with an error rate of 1%. In contrast, the error rate target of 2% was exceeded for fiscal years 2014-15 and 2015-16, with error rates of 4% and 3% respectively.

Adjusting entries were needed to correct various errors and the adjustments consisted mostly of errors in financial coding, thus not directly impacting the payment of any amounts due to the recipients. Processes such as reconciliation and frequent reporting have allowed for early detection of errors, in particular, financial coding errors, and corrective action was taken immediately.

The Office will continue to dedicate time and effort in the coming year to strive towards reducing its error rate and meeting its target of 2% as the accuracy level for the payments to judges. The planned results for 2017-18 seek to continuously maintain a high level of accuracy and timelines in the issuance of these payments.


Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
Main Estimates
Planned spending
Planned spending
Planned spending
7,708,915 7,708,915 7,967,054 8,131,700


Human resources (full-time equivalents)
Planned full-time equivalent
Planned full-time equivalents
Planned full-time equivalents
0 0 0

Internal Services


Internal Services are those groups of related activities and resources that the federal government considers to be services in support of programs and/or required to meet corporate obligations of an organization.

Internal Services refers to the activities and resources of the 10 distinct service categories that support Program delivery in the organization, regardless of the Internal Services delivery model in a department. The 10 service categories are: Management and Oversight Services; Communications Services; Legal Services; Human Resources Management Services; Financial Management Services; Information Management Services; Information Technology Services; Real Property Services; Materiel Services; and Acquisition Services.

Planning highlights

Internal services support the Court by providing timely and responsive services that are effective and efficient as per established service standards.  Some key initiatives planned for 2017-18 are:

  • Continued improvements to the security and IT security programs, including policies, operating procedures and practices, equipment upgrades, as well as training and awareness.
  • In accordance with the Treasury Board Secretariat Policy on Internal Controls, a Core Control Audit (CCA) by the Office of the Comptroller General (OCG) was initiated in 2015-16 and will overlap into 2017-18. The objective of the audit is to ensure that core controls in regard to administration in financial management, contracting, travel, hospitality and human resources within Small Departments are effective and result in compliance with corresponding legislation, policies and directives.
  • Increased focus of Human Resources (HR) efforts on knowledge transfer/succession planning, more specifically to better identify essential positions and opportunities to streamline services.
  • An increased presence of the Court on select social media applications, as well as updating the Court’s website and maintaining its outreach activities.
  • The Information Technology Branch is an integral part of the Court’s business as a partner and enabler in supporting the Business Transformation efforts.  Priorities for 2017-18 include:
    • Continuing current efforts aimed at upgrading key legacy business applications and IT infrastructure components.
    • Striving for greater interoperability between new and older systems and focus on getting the most out of the investments made in technologies over the last few years.
    • Continuing to enhance the Court’s IT Security posture.
  • The Library and Information Management Branch supports the information management needs of the organization.  Priorities for 2017-18 include:
    • Continuing the implementation of GCDOCS across the organization to better manage documents and records of business value, including closed case-related records.  Enhancing the capacity of information management analysts to support Court Operations and internal service business units, as well as to leverage the document and records management system.
    • Ensuring that the Office is able to meet its obligations under the Treasury Board Secretariat’s Directive on Recordkeeping.


Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
Main Estimates
Planned spending
Planned spending
Planned spending
11,627,242 11,627,242 10,625,063 10,631,935


Human resources (full-time equivalents)
Planned full-time equivalents
 Planned full-time equivalents
Planned full-time equivalents
69 69 69

Spending and human resources

Planned spending

Departmental Spending Trend

Departmental spending trend graph

Description of image

Spending Trend: This graph illustrates the spending trend for actual spending from 2014-15 and 2015-16, forecast spending for 2016-17, and planned spending from 2017-18 to 2019-20. Financial figures are presented in dollars and broken down by statutory and voted items.

Actual Spending indicates the amounts the Department spent: In 2014-15, $9,292,963 for statutory items and $22,699,824 for voted items, totalling $31,992,787; and in 2015-16, $10,524,153 for statutory items and $21,815,595 for voted items, totalling $32,339,748.

Forecast Spending indicates the amount the Department is forecasting to spend in 2016-17: $9,890,737 for statutory items and $24,457,784 for voted items, totalling of $34,348,521.

Planned Spending indicates the amounts the Department is planning to spend: In 2017-18, $9,966,489 for statutory items and $24,916,433 for voted items, totalling $34,882,922; in 2018-19, $10,225,305 for statutory items and $23,944,083 for voted items, totalling of $34,169,388; and in 2019-20, $10,390,674 for statutory items and $23,982,108 for voted items, totalling $34,372,782.

Budgetary planning summary for Programs and Internal Services (dollars)
Programs and Internal Services 2014–15
Forecast spending
Main Estimates
Planned spending
2018–19 Planned spending 2019–20 Planned spending
Court Operations 16,489,596 15,491,294 16,140,926 15,546,765 15,546,765 15,577,271 15,609,147
Payments to Judges of the Supreme Court of Canada pursuant to the Judges Act 6,565,949 7,933,812 7,425,442 7,708,915 7,708,915 7,967,054 8,131,700
Subtotal 23,055,545 23,425,106 23,566,368 23,255,680 23,255,680 23,544,325 23,740,847
Internal Services 8,937,242 8,914,642 10,782,153 11,627,242 11,627,242 10,625,063 10,631,935
Total 31,992,787 32,339,748 34,348,521 34,882,922 34,882,922 34,169,388 34,372,782

The Office’s spending trend remains fairly stable. The increases between 2015-16 expenditures and planned spending in 2017-18 are mainly attributable to new funding received for enhancements to the security program. The increase in statutory items from 2017-18 to 2019-20 is due to annual increases in judges’ salaries, allowances and annuities.

Planned human resources

Human resources planning summary for Programs and Internal Services (full-time equivalents)
Programs and Internal Services 2014–15
Full-time equivalents
Full-time equivalents
Forecast full-time equivalents
 Planned full-time equivalents
Planned full-time equivalents
Planned full-time equivalents
Court Operations 137 136 146 148 148 148
Payments to Judges of the Supreme Court of Canada pursuant to the Judges Act 0 0 0 0 0 0
Subtotal 137 136 146 148 148 148
Internal Services 67 65 68 69 69 69
Total 204 201 214 217 217 217

The net increase in FTEs is mainly related to an internal reallocation between Internal Services and Court Operations to pursue the Business Transformation strategic priority.

Estimates by vote

For information on the Court’s organizational appropriations, please consult the 2017–18 Main Estimates.

Future-Oriented Condensed Statement of Operations

The Future-Oriented Condensed Statement of Operations provides a general overview of the Office’s operations. The financial information forecast on expenses and revenues is prepared on an accrual accounting basis to strengthen accountability and to improve transparency and financial management.

Since the Future-Oriented Condensed Statement of Operations is prepared on an accrual accounting basis and because the forecast and planned spending amounts presented in other sections of the Departmental Plan are prepared on an expenditure basis, amounts may 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 Court’s website.


Future-Oriented Condensed Statement of Operations for the year ended March 31, 2018 (dollars)
Financial information 2016–17
Forecast results
Planned results
(2017–18 Planned results minus 2016–17 Forecast results)
Total expenses 42,658,330 43,044,597 386,267
Total revenues 548 0 (548)
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 42,657,782 43,044,597 386,815


The expenditures are fairly stable from year to year. The increase in forecasted expenditures from 2016-17 to 2017-18 is mainly due to increased funding to be received for the security program in 2017-18. 

Note that no assumption has been made with regard to the implementation of new collective agreements in preparing this future-oriented statement of operations (FOSO). Since those agreements were not yet signed at the time this report was prepared, no assumptions were included in the forecast. The authorities available for use in 2016-17 were limited to the Estimates, which leaves the operating budget carry-forward available for future adjustments, whether they occur in this fiscal year or next.

Supplementary information

Corporate information

Organizational profile

Appropriate minister(s): The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, P.C., Q.C. M.P.

Institutional head: Roger Bilodeau, Q.C.
Ministerial portfolio:

Enabling instrument(s):

Supreme Court Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. S-26)
Judges Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. J-1)

Year of incorporation / commencement: 1875

Reporting framework

The Office’s Strategic Outcome and Program Alignment Architecture (PAA) of record for 2017–18 are shown below:

1. Strategic Outcome: The administration of Canada’s final court of appeal is effective and independent

1.1 Program: Court Operations

1.2 Program: Payments to Judges of the Supreme Court of Canada pursuant to the Judges Act

Internal Services

Supplementary information tables

The following supplementary information table is available on the Supreme Court of Canada’s website.

Federal tax expenditures

The tax system can be used to achieve public policy objectives through the application of special measures such as low tax rates, exemptions, deductions, deferrals and credits. The Department of Finance Canada publishes cost estimates and projections for these measures each year in the Report on Federal Tax Expenditures. This report also provides detailed background information on tax expenditures, including descriptions, objectives, historical information and references to related federal spending programs. The tax measures presented in this report are the responsibility of the Minister of Finance.

Organizational contact information

Supreme Court of Canada Building
301 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0J1

General Enquiries
Telephone: (613) 995-4330
Fax: (613) 996-3063

Roger Bilodeau, Q.C. - Registrar
Telephone: (613) 996-9277

David Power - Deputy Registrar
Telephone: (613) 996-7521

Barbara Kincaid - General Counsel and Director General, Court Operations Sector
Telephone: (613) 996-7721

Catherine Laforce - Director General, Corporate Services Sector
Telephone: (613) 947-0682

Michel Gallant - Executive Director, Judicial Support and Protocol Services Sector
Telephone: (613) 996-4841

Appendix : definitions

appropriation (crédit)
Any authority of Parliament to pay money out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

budgetary expenditures (dépenses budgétaires)
Operating and capital expenditures; transfer payments to other levels of government, organizations or individuals; and payments to Crown corporations.

Core Responsibility (responsabilité essentielle)
An enduring function or role performed by a department. The intentions of the department with respect to a Core Responsibility are reflected in one or more related Departmental Results that the department seeks to contribute to or influence.

Departmental Plan (Plan ministériel)
Provides information on the plans and expected performance of appropriated departments over a three-year period. Departmental Plans are tabled in Parliament each spring.

Departmental Result (résultat ministériel)
A Departmental Result represents the change or changes that the department seeks to influence. A Departmental Result is often outside departments’ immediate control, but it should be influenced by program-level outcomes.

Departmental Result Indicator (indicateur de résultat ministériel)
A factor or variable that provides a valid and reliable means to measure or describe progress on a Departmental Result.

Departmental Results Framework (cadre ministériel des résultats)
Consists of the department’s Core Responsibilities, Departmental Results and Departmental Result Indicators.

Departmental Results Report (Rapport sur les résultats ministériels)
Provides information on the actual accomplishments against the plans, priorities and expected results set out in the corresponding Departmental Plan.

full-time equivalent (équivalent temps plein)
A measure of the extent to which an employee represents a full person-year charge against a departmental budget. Full-time equivalents are calculated as a ratio of assigned hours of work to scheduled hours of work. Scheduled hours of work are set out in collective agreements.

government-wide priorities (priorités pangouvernementales)
For the purpose of the 2017–18 Departmental Plan, government-wide priorities refers to those high-level themes outlining the government’s agenda in the 2015 Speech from the Throne, namely: Growth for the Middle Class; Open and Transparent Government;  A Clean Environment and a Strong Economy; Diversity is Canada’s Strength; and Security and Opportunity.

horizontal initiatives (initiative horizontale)
A horizontal initiative is one in which two or more federal organizations, through an approved funding agreement, work toward achieving clearly defined shared outcomes, and which has been designated (e.g. by Cabinet, a central agency, etc.) as a horizontal initiative for managing and reporting purposes.

Management, Resources and Results Structure (Structure de la gestion, des ressources et des résultats)
A comprehensive framework that consists of an organization’s inventory of programs, resources, results, performance indicators and governance information. Programs and results are depicted in their hierarchical relationship to each other and to the Strategic Outcome(s) to which they contribute. The Management, Resources and Results Structure is developed from the Program Alignment Architecture.

non-budgetary expenditures (dépenses non budgétaires)
Net outlays and receipts related to loans, investments and advances, which change the composition of the financial assets of the Government of Canada.

performance (rendement)
What an organization did with its resources to achieve its results, how well those results compare to what the organization intended to achieve, and how well lessons learned have been identified.

Performance indicator (indicateur de rendement)
A qualitative or quantitative means of measuring an output or outcome, with the intention of gauging the performance of an organization, program, policy or initiative respecting expected results.

Performance reporting (production de rapports sur le rendement)
The process of communicating evidence-based performance information. Performance reporting supports decision making, accountability and transparency.

planned spending (dépenses prévues)
For Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports, planned spending refers to those amounts that receive Treasury Board approval by February 1. Therefore, planned spending may include amounts incremental to planned expenditures presented in the Main Estimates.

A department is expected to be aware of the authorities that it has sought and received. The determination of planned spending is a departmental responsibility, and departments must be able to defend the expenditure and accrual numbers presented in their Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports.

plans (plan)
The articulation of strategic choices, which provides information on how an organization intends to achieve its priorities and associated results. Generally a plan will explain the logic behind the strategies chosen and tend to focus on actions that lead up to the expected result.

Priorities (priorité)
Plans or projects that an organization has chosen to focus and report on during the planning period. Priorities represent the things that are most important or what must be done first to support the achievement of the desired Strategic Outcome(s).

program (programme)
A group of related resource inputs and activities that are managed to meet specific needs and to achieve intended results and that are treated as a budgetary unit.

Program Alignment Architecture (architecture d’alignement des programmes)
A structured inventory of an organization’s programs depicting the hierarchical relationship between programs and the Strategic Outcome(s) to which they contribute.

results (résultat)
An external consequence attributed, in part, to an organization, policy, program or initiative. Results are not within the control of a single organization, policy, program or initiative; instead they are within the area of the organization’s influence.

statutory expenditures (dépenses législatives)
Expenditures that Parliament has approved through legislation other than appropriation acts. The legislation sets out the purpose of the expenditures and the terms and conditions under which they may be made.

Strategic Outcome (résultat stratégique)
A long-term and enduring benefit to Canadians that is linked to the organization’s mandate, vision and core functions.

sunset program (programme temporisé)
A time-limited program that does not have an ongoing funding and policy authority. When the program is set to expire, a decision must be made whether to continue the program. In the case of a renewal, the decision specifies the scope, funding level and duration.

target (cible)
A measurable performance or success level that an organization, program or initiative plans to achieve within a specified time period. Targets can be either quantitative or qualitative.

voted expenditures (dépenses votées)
Expenditures that Parliament approves annually through an Appropriation Act. The Vote wording becomes the governing conditions under which these expenditures may be made.