On budget day, the Minister of Finance rises in the Legislative Assembly and
tables a copy of the main Estimates - thus making it available to the public - and refers the Estimates to the Committee of Supply for consideration and approval. The Estimates are a detailed outline of the government’s financial requirements and expenditure plans for the coming fiscal year. The government fiscal year runs from April 1 to March 31.
After tabling the main Estimates , the Minister of Finance delivers the budget speech, which is an outline of government financial policy and an analysis of its financial situation and anticipated revenues. As of 2002, the date of the budget speech was fixed by a statutory provision in the
Budget Transparency and Accountability Act, 2000, to take place on the third Tuesday in February of each year. This Act was updated in 2020 and the current date of the budget speech has since been moved to the fourth Tuesday in February, although this date changes if there has been a recent provincial election.
Following the introduction of the budget, the contents of the budget speech are
debated in the Assembly and the Estimates are
debated in the Committee of Supply.
DID YOU KNOW?
Every fiscal year, the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services travels the province as part of a B.C. wide public consultation to seek input for the development of the government budget. British Columbians are invited to share their thoughts, ideas, and priorities with the Committee through a variety of ways, including surveys, written submissions, and oral presentations. The Committee then reviews all of the input received and makes recommendations in a report to the Legislative Assembly for the upcoming budget.
For more information on the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services, visit the
Legislative Assembly website.