The Chamber

How the Budget Works

The Budget is the Government’s plan for its revenues and spending for a fiscal year by providing an estimate of the amount of revenue that the Government expects and describes how these revenues will be distributed to the various programs and services.

What is included in the GNWT's budget?

The Budget consists of the Budget Address, presented by the Minister of Finance at the same time as the detailed Budget, or Main Estimates is tabled in the Legislative Assembly. The Main Estimates seek appropriation authority for the Government’s plan of action for the upcoming fiscal year beginning April 1.

A separate budget is created to describe the breakdown for capital spending.

The Government has developed a Fiscal Responsibility Policy to which it must adhere with respect to its financial management and borrowing. This affects both the Government’s operations and capital budgets.

Click here to learn more about the Budget Cycle and the Budget Development Process.

Where can I find the different documents that are a part of the GNWT's budget?

There are a number of different documents that are completed as part of the GNWT budget cycle.

  • Annual Business Plans are developed in support of the priorities of each Legislative Assembly. The Plans include departmental highlights, initiatives, performance measures and  the human and financial resources required to achieve the stated objectives of the Legislative Assembly as well as Departmental Mandates.
  • The Main Estimates are the culmination of the business planning process and approval of the Main Estimates establishes the individual Departmental budgets, or appropriations, for the upcoming fiscal year, which is from April 1st to the following March 31st.
  • The Minister of Finance delivers an annual Budget Address when the main estimates are tabled in the Legislative Assembly. This address is accompanied by the Budget Papers, which provide an economic and fiscal review.
  • Supplementary Appropriations adjust Departmental budgets on a one-time basis for the fiscal year in which they are approved. Generally, the Legislative Assembly considers the Supplementary Appropriations up to four times per year.