One of the important roles of the Legislative Assembly is to review Government's proposals for the use of public funds. To use public funds to administer programs, services and policies for the province, Government must provide the details of its plans to the Assembly and gain the Assembly's approval. This is known as the budgetary process, or "the granting of supply".
Provincial budgetary measures are mainly found in the annual Operating Budget, which covers the current fiscal year (April 1 of the current year to March 31 of the next calendar year). In the Assembly, the budgetary process begins in the spring with the tabling of the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure, which provide the details of Government's spending plans across its departments, agencies and Crown corporations for the fiscal year. On the same day, the Minister of Finance moves a motion "that this House approves, in general, the Budgetary Policy of the Government" and follows this by giving the Budget Address, a speech that outlines Government's spending plans in broad terms.
In the days that follow the Assembly reviews the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure, and each Minister must account for the spending proposals of his or her department and any associated agencies. The Assembly votes on the dollar amounts provided in the estimates, and may reduce or eliminate them via amendment. It also votes on whether to approve the estimates as a whole. During this process Government also introduces an appropriation bill, which lists the total current expenditure amount of Government as a whole. This bill must pass for Government to have the legislative authority to carry out its spending proposals.
Government must also seek the Assembly's approval for its Capital Budget, which covers its spending plans for infrastructure and capital projects such as roads and bridges, public buildings, and equipment. The Capital Budget is normally delivered in the fall, and entails a similar review process in the Assembly as the Operating Budget.
Supplementary estimates and supplementary appropriation bills must be brought before the Assembly in cases where Government, during a time the Assembly was not in session, authorized one or more special warrants for the use of public funds not already approved through an appropriation bill. Supplementary estimates can be found at the House Tabled Documents page and the supplementary appropriation bills can be found in Bills.
Government must request the Legislative Assembly's permission to use public money; this is done through a process called "the granting of supply".