The Government of Ontario heard from individuals, organizations and businesses in Hamilton last week that it will use to help “shape policies and programs that will be part of Ontario’s 2017 Budget.”
A media release from the Ministry of Finance says Yvan Baker, parliamentary assistant to the minister of finance held the pre-budget consultation, in part to look at options for up to $3 million available for up to eight voter-selected proposals.
Baker was quoted as saying: “Pre-budget consultations are a great way for Ontarians to have their say and ensure that the budget represents their values and priorities. Pre-budget consultations are an essential part of budget development, and it is important that the 2017 Budget reflects what we hear from people and helps them in their everyday lives.”
People across the province will also be able to chime in through Budget Talks, an online portal introduced three years ago. Ideas submitted before midnight on December 11 will be part of the phase 2 project review, followed by public voting on selected options and then, finally, implementation.
The release says last year Ontarians shared 1,732 ideas, cast 53,402 votes and wrote 4,540 comments during the process.
Finance minister Charles Sousa was quoted as saying: “The Ontario Budget affects everybody. That’s why it’s important for the government to hear from the people across the province during pre-budget consultations to discuss their priorities and understand what investments they want to see in their communities. The innovative and online consultation tool, Budget Talks, provides an opportunity for more people to share their ideas on how we can help make everyday life easier. Together we will keep building a province where everyone can reach their full potential.”
Pre-budget consultation sessions were also planned for Ottawa, Thunder Bay, Mississauga and Windsor.