The all-party Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services has announced its public hearing schedule for the Budget 2017 consultation process.
People living in and around Williams Lake, however, will have to appear by video and teleconferencing as the lakecity is not one of the 15 communities the committee is slated to visit.
Instead Williams Lake will join Fort St. John, Fort Nelson, Smithers, Castlegar, Vernon, Terrace, and Penticton by video teleconferencing which will be offered from Victoria on both Monday, Sept. 26 and Tuesday, Oct. 11.
The location for people to participate in Williams Lake by video teleconferencing has yet to be determined, the select standing committee office confirmed Friday.
The consultation period opens in conjunction with the release of the Budget 2017 Consultation Paper prepared by the Ministry of Finance. British Columbians are invited to participate by presenting at a public hearing, making a written, audio or video submission, or completing an online survey.
“Public hearings are a vital component of the committee’s work,” said committee chair Wm. Scott Hamilton, MLA in a press release. “We need to hear from British Columbians on how they would prioritize fiscal sustainability with spending on health, education, and social programs, and investments in critical infrastructure, among other priorities.”
Public hearings are planned in the following locations: Vancouver (Monday, Sept. 19), Cranbrook (Tuesday, Sept. 20), Kamloops (Tuesday, Sept. 20, Kelowna (Wednesday, Sept. 21), Richmond (Wednesday, Sept. 21), Surrey (Thursday, Sept. 22), Victoria (Monday, Sept. 26), Prince Rupert (Monday, Oct. 3), Dawson Creek (Tuesday, Oct. 4), Prince George (Tuesday, Oct. 4), Quesnel (Wednesday, Oct. 5), Port Hardy (Wednesday, Oct. 5), Courtenay (Thursday, Oct. 6), Delta (Thursday, Oct. 6) and Victoria* (Tuesday, Oct. 11).
“The committee wants to ensure that Budget 2017 represents a collaborative process and reflects input from a broad cross-section of British Columbians,” said MLA Carole James. “We look forward to hearing from many individuals and groups about their fiscal priorities.”
Public hearing registration will open on Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016.
Further information regarding the budget consultation process and how to participate is available at: www.leg.bc.ca/cmt/finance
Budget consultations are held annually in accordance with the Budget Transparency and Accountability Act. The deadline for public input is Friday, Oct. 14, 2016 and the committee will release a report on the results of its consultations by Nov. 15, 2016.