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Budget Debate

At the conclusion of the budget presentation by the Finance Minister, the Speaker recognizes a representative of the Official Opposition, usually the finance critic, who, after a brief speech, moves the adjournment of the debate. This motion is deemed adopted. In adjourning the debate, the Member reserves the right to speak first when debate on the motion resumes. The House is then adjourned until the next sitting day.

The general nature of the budget motion allows for a wide-ranging debate, during which the rules of relevance are generally relaxed.

Following the day of the budget speech, the Standing Orders provide for a maximum of four additional days of debate on the budget motion and any proposed amendments. The four days of debate do not have to be consecutive and, if few Members wish to speak, the debate can last less than four days. The unused days may be added to the number of opposition days in the same supply period.

Debate on the budget motion has precedence over all other government orders. No other government business may be considered during a sitting in which the House debates the budget motion, unless the proceedings on it are completed.

Amendments to the Budget Motion

Amendments to the budget motion are opportunities for expression of non-confidence in the government. Only one amendment and one subamendment may be proposed to the budget motion.

On the first day of resumed debate on the budget motion, the opposition Member who had previously moved the adjournment of the budget debate continues with his or her speech and traditionally moves an amendment at the end of the speech. The next speaker, a Member of the next largest opposition party, typically moves a subamendment at the end of his or her speech.

On the second day of debate, the Speaker interrupts the proceedings 15 minutes before the expiry of time provided for government business to put the question to dispose of any subamendment.

On the third day of debate, the Speaker interrupts the proceedings, as on the second day, and puts the question on any amendment under consideration.

On the fourth day of debate, unless debate has already concluded, the Speaker likewise interrupts the proceedings to put the question on the main motion.

Budget Presentation Budget Debate—Maximum of 4 days
Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4
Minister of Finance makes presentation, normally inlate afternoon Amendment and subamendment normally moved Subamendment question put 15 minutes before the end of Government Business Amendment question put 15 minutes before the end of Government Business Main motion question put 15 minutes before the end of Government Business
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