The Standing Committee on Finance is specifically empowered to hold “pre-budget” consultations, pursuant to the Standing Orders. The consultation process usually includes hearings both in Ottawa and across the country.
Under the Standing Orders, the Committee may report the outcome of its budgetary consultations to the House, up to and including the third sitting day prior to the last scheduled sitting day in December.
Although there is no requirement for the House to do so, when a report is presented, either the report itself or the subject matter of the consultations can become the subject of a debate in the Chamber. The practice has been that a special “take-note” debate is held under Government Orders some time before the budget is actually presented.