Finances of government business enterprises

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After-tax profits of federal government business enterprises (GBEs), including monetary authorities, reached nearly $7.3 billion in 2010, up 67.6% from 2009. This followed declines in 2009.

GBEs are government controlled, public financial and non-financial corporations engaged in commercial operations involving the sale of goods and services to the public in the marketplace.

The total revenues of federal GBEs declined 4.0% in 2010, while total expenses dropped 15.7%, resulting in higher after-tax profits. The largest contributors to this recovery were federal GBEs primarily in the finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing and management of companies and enterprises.

Operating subsidies of federal GBEs rose 4.9% in 2010 following a 46.4% increase in 2009; there was no change in share capital.

Total net worth of federal GBEs reached $27.6 billion in 2010, up 22.2% from a year earlier. Total assets, including fixed assets, declined 2.2%, while total liabilities fell 4.1%.

At the provincial and territorial level, after-tax profits of GBEs reached just over $18.7 billion in 2010, up 2.7% from 2009. The main contributors to this increase were continued growth in wholesale and retail trade, and recovery in the finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing, and personal, business and other services industries.

After-tax profits of provincial and territorial GBEs increased in 10 provinces and territories, with New Brunswick (+133.6%), Saskatchewan (+29.1%) and Alberta (+20.1%) posting the largest percentage gains, while Quebec (-9.6%) and Prince Edward Island (-4.1%) posted the largest declines.

Provincial and territorial GBEs recorded a 1.5% increase in total revenues and a 1.3% increase in expenses in 2010. Total assets rose 2.9%, while liabilities increased 3.5%. As a result, the total net worth of provincial and territorial GBEs fell 0.2% to $45.4 billion.

Local GBEs consist of municipally-owned electricity distributors, urban transit companies, gas distributors and telephone companies. Data in this release refer to the fiscal year ending closest to December 31, 2009 for local GBEs as opposed to December 31, 2010 for federal and provincial and territorial GBEs.

In 2009, local GBEs earned after-tax profits of $776.8 million, down 8.9% from 2008. The main contributors to the after-tax profits continued to be municipally-owned electricity distributors. After-tax profits decreased in all local industries except telephone companies, which reported steady profits of $31.5 million.

Total revenue for local GBEs reached $21.4 billion in 2009, down 0.3% from 2008, while total expenses remained virtually unchanged at $20.5 billion. More than half the revenues for urban transit companies came from subsidies.

Available on CANSIM: tables 385-0015, 385-0030 and 385-0031.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number 1730.

Data tables are also available from the National economic accounts module of our website.

For more information, or to order data, contact Client Services (613-951-0767; To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Luqman Rana (613-951-3524;, Hiren Parikh (613-951-6695; or Sean Dolan (613-951-1815;, Public Sector Statistics Division.