Whenever the government wishes to make a budget presentation, a Minister will rise in the House, usually during Question Period, to request that an Order of the Day be designated (that is, be put on the Order Paper) for this purpose. The Minister will also specify the date and time of the presentation. The announcement is deemed to be a request that the House sit later than usual on the designated day, if required.
At the specified time on the designated day, the Minister of Finance rises to move a ways and means motion, “That this House approve in general the budgetary policy of the Government” and to deliver the budget speech.
The budget speech is usually given in late afternoon, after the financial markets have closed.
So that Members of Parliament and the news media will be able to respond in a timely fashion to the contents of the budget speech, a closed-door information “lock-up” is usually provided for them several hours before the actual budget presentation in the House.
During the budget speech, the Minister may also table notices of ways and means motions setting out the various taxation and other financial measures that will be needed to implement the budget provisions.
Concurrence in any of these motions, or in any other ways and means motions tabled during the session, may not be proposed until the ways and means proceeding on the budget itself (i.e., the motion of the Minister of Finance) is completed.
Following the Minister’s speech, a Member of the Official Opposition, usually the finance critic, is recognized. After a brief speech, he or she moves the adjournment of the debate.