Finance Canada
Glossary of Frequently-Used Terms


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Debt Servicing and Reduction Account (Compte de service et de réduction de la dette).

This account enables Canadians to make direct contributions to reduce the federal debt. Deposits to the Account are used to pay the interest and principal on the federal debt. In addition to contributions from individuals or businesses, the Account is credited with net revenues from the goods and services tax (GST) and net proceeds from the sale of Crown corporations. All donations are eligible for a charitable receipt at the same level as other registered charities.

Donations can be sent to:

The Receiver General for Canada
Public Works and Government Services Canada
12B1, Place du Portage, Phase III
Hull, Quebec
K1A 0S5

debt-to-GDP ratio (rapport de la dette au PIB).

Measurement of the federal debt as a percentage of Canada's gross domestic product. It is a measure of the debt in relation to the economy and of our capacity to carry and repay debt.

deferred profit-sharing plan (DPSP) (régime de participation différée aux bénéfices (RPDB)).

Plan registered under the Income Tax Act into which an employer may make tax-deductible contributions, determined by reference to profits, on behalf of their employees. Payments from the plan received by employees are taxable.

deficit (déficit).

The amount by which government budgetary spending exceeds revenues in any given year.

defined benefit pension plan (régime à prestations déterminées).

Plan that provides a pension that is generally calculated on the basis of final average or best average earnings and years of service. Pension benefit accruals are limited to 2 per cent of earnings, up to a maximum of $1,722 per year of service.

deflation (déflation).

The average rate of decrease in prices.
See also inflation.

demutualization (démutualisation).

The process of converting from a mutual company to a stock company. A mutual company is owned by its voting policyholders while a stock company is owned by its shareholders. For more information, visit the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions and Canada Customs and Revenue Agency Demutualization Web page.

Department of Finance (ministère des Finances).

The federal department primarily responsible for providing the government with analysis and advice on the broad economic and financial affairs of Canada. Its responsibilities include preparing the federal budget, preparing tax and tariff legislation, managing federal borrowing on financial markets and representing Canada within international financial institutions. To fulfill the department's role, Finance officials monitor and research the performance of the Canadian economy in all important aspects: output and growth, employment and income, price stability and monetary policy, and long-term structural change. The department is also vitally concerned with trade, monetary affairs and other aspects of the global economy that bear on Canada's domestic performance. For more information, visit the Department of Finance Web site.

deposit-taking institution (institution de dépôt).

A bank, trust company, credit union, caisse populaire or other financial institution that accepts deposits from the public and provides regular banking services such as chequing and savings accounts.

disability tax credit (crédit d'impôt pour personnes handicapées).

A credit that reduces federal and provincial income tax by up to $1,080 for taxpayers with a severe and prolonged physical or mental disability. It is one of the key existing tax mechanisms for recognizing the costs of disability.

discount note (bon à prime).

Short-term debt security where the yield is provided through a discounted selling price relative to the face value of the note.

dissaving (désépargne).

The amount by which consumer spending exceeds disposable income over a given period. It means that an individual, or all individuals, are either using accumulated wealth to make purchases or are taking out loans.

drawback (remboursement).

Refund, in whole or in part, of import duties and/or taxes paid on imported goods that are subsequently exported in essentially the same condition or used in the manufacture of exported goods.

dumping (dumping).

Dumping occurs when foreign exporters sell their goods in international markets at prices lower than the price in their home market (referred to as "normal value"), or at prices below the cost of production. Countries are allowed to impose anti-dumping duties equivalent to the margin of dumping if it is determined, through a process of investigation, that the dumped imports are causing, or threatening to cause, material injury to domestic producers of the same product.

duty remission (remise de droits).

Conditional or unconditional waiver, in whole or in part, of import duties or taxes on imported goods. It is generally introduced only in exceptional circumstances where a genuine need for tariff relief has been clearly demonstrated. Duty remissions are sometimes used to rectify short-term anomalies or inequities in the tariff structure.

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