Canadian federal budget

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

In Canada, federal budgets are presented annually by the Government of Canada to identify planned government spending, expected government revenue, and forecast economic conditions for the upcoming year.

Federal budgets are usually released in February or March, before the start of the fiscal year. All of the provinces also present budgets. Since provincial finances are dependent on money from the federal government, these budgets are usually released after the federal one.

Budget process[edit]

The budget is announced in the House of Commons by the Minister of Finance, who traditionally wears new shoes while doing so.[1] The Budget is then voted on by the House of Commons. Budgets are a confidence measure, and if the House votes against it the government can fall, as happened to Prime Minister Joe Clark's government in 1980. The governing party strictly enforces party discipline, usually expelling from the party caucus any government Member of Parliament (MP) who votes against the budget. Opposition parties almost always vote against the budget. In cases of minority government, the government has normally had to include major concessions to one of the smaller parties to ensure passage of the budget.

Historically the official opposition used to prepare a complete alternative budget and present this alternative to the Canadian people along with the main budget. In recent years, opposition parties are more likely to pick only certain aspects to criticize. The Reform Party revived this practice for a time, however. A complete alternative budget is today produced each year by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, a non-partisan think-tank.

Traditionally, the budget process was immensely secretive with little consultation. Under Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent, the Finance Minister famously would type the entire budget himself so that no secretary could read it. This secrecy was felt to be needed for inside information could enable individuals to profit from upcoming government decisions. The secrecy also had a large political component, as it would help undermine the response by the opposition.

Under Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and his Finance Minister Paul Martin, this changed considerably. Most of the budget would be released well before its announcement, especially any major changes so as to get feedback from the populace and the market.

The process of creating the budget is a complex one which begins within the working ranks for the Federal Government. Each year, the various departments that make up the Government (for example, Health, Transportation, Foreign Affairs, Dept of Defence, Industry, CRA, etc.) submit what are called 'The Main Estimates' to The Treasury Board Secretariat. These documents identify the planned expenditure of each department, linking these proposed expenses to programs, to objectives and ultimately to the priorities of the current ruling Government. The Treasury Board Secretariat combines these budget estimates and compiles an initial proposed budget. From there, the Cabinet and Prime Minister's Office adjust the budget based on a series of economic, social and political factors. In reality, decisions are usually made with the primary intent of re-election and so often include advantages for key regions and lobby groups.

Following the budget, Parliament (the Canadian Parliament) will pass an Appropriation Act (called the 'Interim Supply') which will allow individual departments to spend 3/12th of their annual budget. (The Government of Canada Fiscal Year runs from April 1 to March 31.) This partial authority enables Parliament to spend more time in examining the Estimates documents. In June, Parliament appropriates the full supply.

Summary of budgets[edit]

Fiscal year Tabled on (Unofficial) Subtitle Minister of Finance Initial Budget Implementation Act Ministry
Name Party Bill Fate Votes for[note 1] Vote against[note 1] Paired votes[note 1]
1995 Canadian federal budget 1995–96 27 February 1995 None Paul Martin Liberal C-76 Green tickY Royal Assent (22 June 1995)[2]
141 / 226 (62%)
85 / 226 (38%)
28 26 (Chrétien)
1996 Canadian federal budget 1996–97 6 March 1996 None Paul Martin Liberal C-31 Green tickY Royal Assent (22 June 1995)[3]
115 / 169 (68%)
54 / 169 (32%)
60
2003 Canadian federal budget 2003–04 18 February 2003 Building the Canada We Want John Manley Liberal C-28 Green tickY Royal Assent (19 June 2003)
147 / 244 (60%)
97 / 244 (40%)
18 26 (Chrétien)
2004 Canadian federal budget 2004–05 23 March 2004 New Agenda for Achievement Ralph Goodale Liberal C-30 Green tickY Royal Assent (14 June 2004)
124 / 208 (60%)
84 / 208 (40%)
8 27 (Martin)
2005 Canadian federal budget 2005–06 23 February 2005 Delivering on Commitments Ralph Goodale Liberal C-43 Green tickY Royal Assent (29 June 2005)
242 / 296 (82%)
54 / 296 (18%)
2006 Canadian federal budget 2006–07 2 May 2006 Focusing on Priorities Jim Flaherty Conservative C-4 Green tickY Royal Assent (22 June 2006) Bill adopted without dissent 28 (Harper)
2007 Canadian federal budget 2007–08 19 March 2007 Aspire Jim Flaherty Conservative C-52 Green tickY Royal Assent (22 June 2007)
156 / 257 (61%)
101 / 257 (39%)
10
2008 Canadian federal budget 2008–09 26 February 2008 Responsible Leadership Jim Flaherty Conservative C-50 Green tickY Royal Assent (18 June 2008)
120 / 210 (57%)
90 / 210 (43%)
12
2009 Canadian federal budget 2009–10 7 January 2009 Canada's Economic Action Plan Jim Flaherty Conservative C-10 Green tickY Royal Assent (12 March 2009)
204 / 282 (72%)
78 / 282 (28%)
12
2010 Canadian federal budget 2010–11 4 March 2010 Leading the Way on Jobs and Growth Jim Flaherty Conservative C-12 Green tickY Royal Assent (12 July 2010)
138 / 264 (52%)
126 / 264 (48%)
6
2011 Canadian federal budget 2011–12 22 March 2011 A Low-Tax Plan for Jobs and Growth Jim Flaherty Conservative N/A Red XN Never adopted 40th Parliament dissolved before vote
6 June 2011 Jim Flaherty Conservative C-3 Green tickY Royal Assent (26 June 2011)
158 / 291 (54%)
133 / 291 (46%)
2012 Canadian federal budget 2012–13 29 March 2012 Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Jim Flaherty Conservative C-19 Green tickY Royal Assent (29 June 2012)
158 / 293 (54%)
135 / 293 (46%)
2013 Canadian federal budget 2013–14 21 March 2013 Jim Flaherty Conservative C-33 Green tickY Royal Assent (26 June 2013)
153 / 272 (56%)
119 / 272 (44%)
2014 Canadian federal budget 2014–15 11 February 2014 The Road to Balance Jim Flaherty Conservative C-31 Green tickY Royal Assent (19 June 2014)
148 / 242 (61%)
94 / 242 (39%)
2015 Canadian federal budget 2015–16 21 April 2015 Strong Leadership Joe Oliver Conservative C-15 Green tickY Royal Assent (23 June 2015)
150 / 266 (56%)
116 / 266 (44%)
2016 Canadian federal budget 2016–17 22 March 2016 Growing the Middle Class Bill Morneau Liberal C-15 Green tickY Royal Assent (22 June 2016)
171 / 300 (57%)
129 / 300 (43%)
29 (J. Trudeau)
2017 Canadian federal budget 2017–18 22 March 2017 Building a Strong Middle Class Bill Morneau Liberal C-44 Green tickY Royal Assent (22 June 2017)
162 / 289 (56%)
127 / 289 (44%)
2018 Canadian federal budget 2018–19 27 February 2018 Equality + Growth Bill Morneau Liberal C-74 Green tickY Royal Assent (21 June 2018)
159 / 280 (57%)
121 / 280 (43%)
2019 Canadian federal budget 2019–20 19 March 2019 Investing in the Middle Class Bill Morneau Liberal C-97 Green tickY Royal Assent (21 June 2019)
157 / 252 (62%)
97 / 252 (38%)
2
2020 Canadian federal budget 2020-21 N/A N/A Bill Morneau / Chrystia Freeland Liberal

See also[edit]

International:

Notes and references[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Votes presented are those of the latest reading in the House of Commons

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Finance Ministers Wearing New Shoes on Budget Day". Parlinfo. Library of Parliament. Retrieved 2019-12-03.
  2. ^ Debates of the House of Commons – June 6, 1995
  3. ^ Debates of the House of Commons – May 27, 1996