Policy 2.3.3: Capital Leases

Effective: April 1, 1999
Responsibility: Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer


The Corporation is bound by the Financial Administration Act to follow all C.I.C.A. policies/guidelines and to issue financial statements in accordance with the Canada Business Corporation Act.

Section 3065 of the CICA handbook requires certain leases to be treated as capital leases, i.e., set up as assets and amortized annually. It also requires that every leasing contract for all tangible property be assessed to determine whether it is a capital or an operating lease. Specifically, it states the following:

"A lease that transfers substantially all of the benefits and risks of ownership to the lessee is in substance an acquisition of an asset and an incurrence of an obligation by the lessee and a sale or financing by the lessor".

This policy does not apply to leases of intangible assets, licensing agreements for items such as programs, plays, manuscripts, patents and copyrights, nor to leases of non-capital assets i.e. to items below the capitalization limits.

The Senior Financial Officer of the Network/Region must evaluate and co-sign all lease agreements and maintain a complete record of his/her assessment for audit purposes and to substantiate the notes to the Corporation's financial statements.


  1. All leases which are classified as capital leases shall be accounted for as acquisitions of capital assets to be amortized or depreciated as long term liabilities.
  2. The capitalized portions of the payments for such leases must be financed by funds from the capital vote.
  3. Although the present value of the leased item is capitalized at the beginning of the lease, the charge against capital funds (capital budgets) only takes place as the payments are actually made.
  4. Normally, each payment is comprised of two elements, interest and executory costs from operating funds and principal from capital funds. Operating leases will be financed and charged against operating budgets.


  • This policy was updated November 2003.
  • This was originally Corporate Finance and Administration Policy 602.10 - Capital Leases.


Corporate Policy:

  • 2.3.2 - Assets
  • Engineering Standards and Practices Manual - 6.0.0 -1
  • Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) Handbook - Section 3065


All questions pertaining to the interpretation or application of this policy should be referred to the Director, Policy and Internal Control.


Corporate Secretariat

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