The Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services yesterday announced its plans for conducting province-wide budget consultations. Public hearings will begin on September 15, 2011 once the Budget 2012 Consultation Paper has been received by the all-party Committee.
“We encourage interested individuals and organizations to take part in this important process,” said Committee Chair Rob Howard. “The budget consultations provide an excellent opportunity for the public to express their views regarding next year’s provincial budget.”
This year’s consultation process will include public hearings in 13 communities, and two video-conference sessions covering an additional eight locations. The public is invited to attend the hearings or participate by sending a written submission, responding to the online survey, or submitting an audio or video file.
“We look forward to hearing the opinions and priorities of British Columbians for next year’s provincial budget,” said Deputy Chair Doug Donaldson. Hearings will be in the following locations:It’s that time of year again. The Finance Committee has announced province-wide budget consultations beginning September 15.
In response to the announcement, Official Opposition arts and culture critic Spencer Chandra Herbert said: “This is a good opportunity to have your voice heard on how the B.C. Government allocates public money in the upcoming provincial budget. I understand many of you may approach this process with a certain amount of cynicism, given the fact that the BC Liberal government has consistently ignored the committee’s recommendations to increase the budget for culture, and in fact went the opposite direction with the deepest cuts to culture in BC’s history.
“I want you to know that I understand this sentiment, but strongly feel that it’s better to have a voice, and far better to show our support for arts, culture, and heritage than allow government intransigence to grind us down.”
Registration for the public hearings and video-conference sessions opened on Thursday, September 8.
For more information on the budget consultation process, please visit the Committee’s website at www.leg.bc.ca/budgetconsultations.
The deadline for public input is Friday, October 14, and the Committee will release its report by Tuesday, November 15.
Vancouver / September 15
Fort Nelson / September 19
Smithers / September 20
Prince George / September 20
Williams Lake / September 21
Kamloops / September 21
Courtenay / September 22
Terrace, Grand Forks, Nelson, Osoyoos / Video-conference sessions September 22.
Dawson Creek, Fort St. John, Prince Rupert, Golden / Video-conferences October 5
Victoria / October 7
Surrey / October 11
Chilliwack / October 12
Cranbrook / October 12
Kelowna / October 13
Richmond / October 14