The Provincial Treasurer normally delivers the Budget Address on an evening set aside just
for that purpose. That sitting opens with the Treasurer announcing: "I have received certain
messages from His Honour the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor," and, "The Lieutenant
Governor transmits estimates of certain sums required for the service of the province...and
recommends the same to the Assembly."
These announcements recall the earliest days of the British Parliament, when monarchs
were the actual as well as ceremonial heads of government. Government was expensive
even then, but monarchs were wealthy and governed the land using their own money. But
during the reign of King John in the 13th century, expenses continually outpaced income from
the royal reserves, and to make up the difference, the king began taxing the nobles.
And the more money they needed, usually for war, the more
people they had to get it from. Consequently, the "Commons," local leaders of the shires and
boroughs - the word comes from "communities" or "communes" - as well as the nobles were
asked to attend a Parliament and agree to collect taxes from the communities under their
control and turn them over to the monarch. They, like the nobles, refused to hand over any
money unless they had a say in how it would be spent. Thus, the House of Commons was
born. The monarch would ask the House for a certain amount of money, and the House
would debate the request and tell the monarch its decision.
Again, our evening Budget Address takes us back to those times. The Treasurer announces
to the Assembly that the monarch, through the Lieutenant Governor, has sent a message
asking for X dollars to run the province for the year and would like the Assembly to approve
the request. The Treasurer, who, like the rest of the cabinet, governs in the monarch's name,
then "transmits" that message to the rest of the Assembly. This process is but a formality, of
course, because today it is the cabinet that decides how much money each department should request of the Assembly.