Ontario, the first Canadian province to seek public input in 2018 budget
Ottawa, Jan 23 (IBNS): Ontario's Pre-Budget consultations kicked off on Monday in Toronto with Ontario being the first Canadian province to commit to funding ideas submitted by the public as part of its budget process.
Ideas may be sent either by telephone by mail, email or fax (416-325-0969) by February 9, 2018, media reports said.
“The budget affects everyone in Ontario. We want to hear your priorities, discuss your concerns, and understand what investments are most important to your community. Your opinions and ideas will help us develop a budget that reflects all of Ontario, and that supports greater fairness and opportunity for people across the province,” Charles Sousa, Ontario Minister of Finance said.
Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance, and Yvan Baker, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Finance, were joined by MPPs Cristina Martins and Han Dong in Toronto for the pre-budget consultations, media reported.
Consultations will take place over the coming weeks in Windsor, London, Thornhill, Etobicoke, Niagara region, Hamilton, Ottawa, Kingston, Oshawa, Brampton, Thunder Bay and Kitchener.
Through Budget Talks, an innovative online consultation platform, people are to be invited to vote by January 26, 2018 for up to three ideas suggested by members of the public.
“We’re making it easier for people to have their say and shape the policies and programs that will be part of Ontario’s future. These consultations are an important part of how we will ensure the 2018 Budget reflects priorities such as health care, education, fairness and opportunity,” Baker said.
The selected ideas will be announced as part of the 2018 Budget and will be eligible for up to $5 million in funding.
Last year, 71,000 people participated in consultations that informed the 2017 Ontario Budget’s policies and programs.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
Images: From social media