Have your say on the budget

Cariboo-North MLA Coralee Oakes encourages public to have its say on the provincial budget consultations.

When it comes to planning a provincial budget, it’s important to take the time to listen to what is important to British Columbians. In the same way that families talk about their priorities when it comes to their family budget, we as a province need to discuss what programs and services are most important to us at the provincial level. That’s where provincial budget consultation comes in.

A few weeks ago, the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services announced plans to conduct consultations on Budget 2014 around the province.

This all-party committee will be touring the province to hear from the public, and that means you can have your say on our government’s spending priorities for the coming year.

The committee is coming to Williams Lake on October 8, and will be holding a meeting in Room 119 at the Pioneer Complex, 351 Hodgson Road, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. You can register to attend this public hearing by contacting the Parliamentary Committees Office by phone at 1-877-428-8337 or e-mail at FinanceCommittee@leg.bc.ca.

This is a great chance to play a role in discussing what our priorities are as a province, so don’t miss out!

The committee began consultations in Vancouver on Sept. 20 and will be conducting more throughout the Fraser Valley, Kamloops, the Kootenays, and Victoria this week. Over the following two weeks there will be stops on Vancouver Island, in the Interior and in the North, including the stop in Williams Lake on Oct. 8 and a video-conference in Quesnel on Oct. 16.

If you aren’t able to attend one of the public consultation sessions, you can still participate in the process by answering an online survey, making a written submission, or sending the committee an audio or video file by Oct. 16. To find out more, visit www.leg.bc.ca/cmt/finance.

The committee will present its finished report by mid-November — take advantage and have your say!

Coralee Oakes is the MLA for Cariboo North and is the Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development.