Each year, the Minister of Finance proposes a budget to the Legislative Assembly. The budget and estimates outline the anticipated expenditures for each ministry and agency. The budget motion can be debated up to an additional five days. During the debate, the opposition typically moves an amendment to the motion. Only one amendment and sub-amendment may be made to the budget motion. Proposed amendments to the budget motion are opportunities for expression of non-confidence in the government.
Once the Assembly adopts the motion, the next step in the budget process is for the legislative committees to examine all the estimates in detail. Once the committee review is complete, the estimates will be reported back to the Assembly. If the Assembly adopts the estimates, the amounts are included in the Appropriation Bill, which authorizes the government to spend public money. Audit processes, the preparation of the public accounts, review by the Provincial Auditor and examination of the Provincial Auditor's recommendations complete the parliamentary financial cycle.
Progress of Estimates from previous sessions of the Legislature: