The Ontario budget and budget day

March 25, 2024

two Ontario flags flying in front of the Legislative Building

Each spring, the government presents a budget in the House. The budget includes policies that outline how the government plans to address Ontario’s economic condition, both as it exists and looking to the future. The day when the budget is presented is often referred to as “budget day.”

On budget day, the Minister of Finance moves a motion that the House approve the budget in general. Debate on the budget then begins with a speech made by the minister. After the speech, the Speaker will call for further debate. Usually, an MPP from the official opposition is recognized and will move for adjournment of the debate. Debate will continue when the order is next called, which is often the next day the House meets.

During debate on the budget motion, one amendment and one sub-amendment may be moved. If an MPP moves an amendment, it means they are suggesting a change to the main budget motion. A sub-amendment is a suggested change to the amendment (an “amendment to the amendment”). These are usually moved by the official opposition first and then the second largest recognized opposition party.

According to the standing orders, the House spends eight hours debating the budget motion. After debate has completed, the House will take a vote. The Speaker asks MPPs to vote on the amendments first and then on the main motion.

Learn more

See the standing orders.

Read about Parliament and government.

Find debates on the most recent budget.


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