Quarterly Financial Report for the quarter ended December 31, 2022

Publication information

© His Majesty the King in Right of Canada, as represented by the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, 2023. 

Cat. No. MQ2-5E-PDF (Electronic ​PDF, English)  

ISSN: 2564-355X 

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This quarterly financial report has been prepared by management as required by section 65.1 of the Financial Administration Act and in the form and manner prescribed by the Treasury Board. This report is consistent with the 2022–23 Main Estimates, 2022–23 Departmental Plan and 2021–22 Departmental Results Report. The report has not been subject to an external audit or review.

The Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) is an independent, accountable administrative tribunal established by Parliament on January 1, 1989, to resolve immigration and refugee cases fairly, efficiently and in accordance with the law. The IRB ensures continued benefits to Canadians: by only accepting refugee claimants needing protection in accordance with international obligations and Canadian law; by contributing to the integrity of the immigration system, the safety and security of Canadians and upholding Canada's reputation of justice and fairness for individuals; and promoting family reunification. The IRB also contributes to the quality of life of Canada's communities by strengthening our country's social fabric and by reflecting and reinforcing core values that are important to Canadians. These include respect for human rights, peace, security, and the rule of law.

A summary description of the IRB's programs can be found in the 2022–23 Departmental Plan.

Basis of presentation

This quarterly report has been prepared by management using an expenditure basis of accounting. The accompanying Statement of Authorities includes the IRB's spending authorities granted by Parliament and those used by the IRB in a manner consistent with the 2022–23 Main Estimates. This quarterly report has been prepared using a special purpose financial reporting framework designed to meet financial information needs with respect to the use of spending authorities.

The authority of Parliament is required before money can be spent by the Government. Approvals are given in the form of annually approved limits through appropriation acts or through legislation in the form of statutory spending authority for specific purposes.

When Parliament is dissolved for the purposes of a general election, section 30 of the Financial Administration Act authorizes the Governor General, under certain conditions, to issue a special warrant authorizing the Government to withdraw funds from the Consolidated Revenue Fund. A special warrant is deemed to be an appropriation for the fiscal year in which it is issued.

The IRB uses the full accrual method of accounting to prepare and present its annual departmental financial statements that are part of the departmental performance reporting process. However, the spending authorities voted by Parliament remain on an expenditure basis.

Highlights of fiscal quarter and fiscal year-to-date (YTD) results

This section highlights the significant items that have contributed to the net increase or decrease in use of financial resources available and actual expenditures for the year and for the quarter ended December 31, 2022, in comparison to the prior year.

Year to date, the total budgetary authorities available for use of $298.6 million reflect mainly the 2022–2023 Main Estimates and the release of additional operating budget, which is $3.5 million above the same period in the previous fiscal year, resulting from the release of the compensation allocation for the executive economic increase.

In the quarter ended December 31, 2022, the IRB spent $68 million, which is $4 million or 6% higher than the $64 million spent in the same quarter the previous year. This increase is mainly due to higher personnel costs incurred due to additional staff to increase capacity to process refugee claims.

Year to date expenditures increased by $10 million over the same period in the previous fiscal year, from $184 million in 2021-22 to $194 million in 2022-23.

The following table provides explanations of significant changes in expenditures compared to the previous fiscal year by standard object:

Standard objectHighlights of program expendituresVariance between 2022–23 Q3 YTD and 2021–22 Q3 YTD expenditures
(in thousands of dollars)
PersonnelThe increase is due in part to an increase of salary cost but primarily to additional personnel hired to increase capacity to process refugee claims.8,502
Professional and special servicesThe increase in spending is due to additional requirements for interpreters and translation services to support the finalization of refugee claims, to IMIT consultants’ fees and to other professional services resulting from the ongoing changes in operational processes.

Repair and maintenanceRepairs and maintenance projects were higher in 2021-22 given the growth of the IRB, and in support of health and safety measures during the pandemic, as well as hearing room maintenance. The resulting decrease is aligned to estimated annual operating forecasts.(2,050)

Risks and uncertainties

The Board carries out its work within a global environment of increasing migration flow and shifting mobility patterns. Since August 2021, when the Canadian border restrictions began to ease, the pending eligibility inventory at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency has grown significantly. The IRB projected volumes for the coming years are well beyond the Board's annual processing capacity for finalizations. This projected increase in refugee and immigration cases will once again lead to growing inventories and wait times, thus diminishing the previous gains. In addition, a constrained supply of human capital (e.g., corporate services, adjudicative support employees, and decision-makers) at the IRB and capacity challenges with external partners and service providers could pose significant risks to the IRB's operations.

To minimize the impact on the Board's operations, the IRB has added staffing capacity to increase the number of refugee protection claims and appeals it can finalize and continues to assess potential pressures and build capacity as required. The Board will also stabilize its capacity through permanent funding announced in Budget 2022 and will seek additional funding to respond to pressures in other areas. Furthermore, the Board will update its recruitment strategies, add units within divisions and branches to support staffing processes, and will continue to collaborate internally to maintain capacity. The IRB will continue to maintain strong collaboration with its external partners and services providers to align priorities and address capacity challenges.

The Board is continuing its focus on protecting the health and safety of its employees and those who appear before it, while maintaining access to justice. Recently, the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) issued direction regarding the hybrid workplace model in the public service. The direction is intended to bring increased consistency to how the hybrid workplace model is to be applied and could affect the current operating model for hearings.

Significant changes related to operations, personnel and program

In Budget 2022, the Government announced permanent funding of $150 million annually, starting in 2023–24, which had been previously provided to the Board on a temporary basis. This permanent funding will allow the Board to stabilize its work force, address long-standing issues related to the temporary nature of many of our employees, while ensuring the stability and integrity of Canada's asylum system. In addition, the Budget 2022, provides access to temporary investments over a two year period totaling $87 million, to meet the forecasted rise in asylum claims. The IRB will continue to work with Government Central Agencies and partner departments to advance system-wide efficiencies and flexible funding strategies.

To help identify the impact of IRB virtual hearings on access to justice, BVC Cyberjustice Group was mandated to assess stakeholders' sense of access to justice during these virtual hearings, as well as to make recommendations aimed at improving them in the future. Based on the data gathered from the survey, Cyberjustice concluded that most respondents who took part in virtual hearings using MS Teams had a strong sense of access to justice. Cyberjustice also made a series of recommendations to further increase access to justice for participants. The IRB has committed to various actions to fulfill these recommendations, as outlined in the Management Response and Action Plan.

The Board's approach to virtual hearings was confirmed to be highly effective by third-party reviews, stakeholder feedback, and post hearing surveys. While hearings will continue to be scheduled as virtual by default, on September 20, 2022, the IRB published its Practice Notice: Scheduling of virtual, hybrid, and in-person hearings at the IRB. This came into effect for hearings held on October 18, 2022, or later. The notice details a model for Board hearings that seeks to offer increased access to IRB facilities for hybrid or in-person hearings while still protecting the health and safety of all those who appear before the Board.


The original version was signed by

Richard Wex

Roger Ermuth
Chief Financial Officer

Ottawa, Canada

February 24, 2023

Statement of authorities (unaudited)
 Fiscal year 2022–2023Fiscal year 2021–2022
(in thousands of dollars)
Total available for use for the year ending March 31, 2023Used during the quarter ended
December 31, 2022
Year to date used at quarter endTotal available for use for year ending March 31, 2022Used during the quarter ended
December 31, 2021
Year to date used at quarter end
Vote 1 - Net operating expenditures 270,88461,227173,243268,33957,685 163,707
Budgetary statutory authorities 27,720 6,898 20,695 26,770 6,692 20,077
Total budgetary authorities 298,60468,125193,938295,10964,377 183,784
Total Authorities 298,604 68,125 193,938 295,109 64,377 183,784
Departmental budgetary expenditures by standard object (unaudited)
 Fiscal year 2022–2023Fiscal year 2021–2022
(in thousands of dollars)
Planned expenditures for the year ending
March 31, 2023
Expended during the quarter ended December 31, 2022Year to date used at quarter endPlanned expenditures for the year ending
March 31, 2022
Expended during the quarter ended December 31, 2021Year to date used at quarter end
Personnel226,310 56,219 161,746 212,216 52,807 153,244
Transportation and communications4,579 423 855 8,592 236 665
Information658 38 253 870 81 194
Professional and special services36,277 8,96722,81942,5116,96119,382
Rentals5,739 688 3,150 10,092 771 2,790
Repair and maintenance15,525 1,438 3,589 10,148 2,879 5,639
Utilities, materials and supplies951 72 210 1,359 34 222
Acquisition of land, buildings and works-
Acquisition of machinery and equipment8,515 249 959 9,286 797 1,126
Other subsidies and payments50 31 357 35 (189) 522
Total gross budgetary expenditures 298,604 68,125 193,938 295,109 64,377 183,784
Total net budgetary expenditures298,604 68,125 193,938 295,109 64,377 183,784