Provincial finance department gets out into the community - looking for input; nothing outstanding heard at yesterdays event.

News 100 redBy Ray Rivers

January 10th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

36 invited ‘stakeholders’ showed up, along with local media, to the first meeting of the provincial Tories pre-budget consultations at Waterdown’s Legion Wednesday morning. Apparently some 90 organizations had been invited though there had been no general public advertisement, presumably to avoid walk-in traffic.

Doug Downey, the parliamentary secretary to Finance Minister Vic Fedeli was heading up this cross-Ontario pre-budgetary tour. He wasn’t sure how many places they’d be visiting during the tour though. And in any case a more formal legislative finance committee will also be undertaking pre-budget consultations. So it wasn’t really clear why they were even doing this tour given that the Tories make up the vast majority of seats in the legislative assembly. Perhaps hearing the same message twice makes it harder to forget?

Budget - audience

Invited to give input on the forthcoming provincial budget stakeholders from Flamborough-Glanbrook didn’t have much to offer in the way of ideas.

Downey now represents the electoral spot which former party leader Patrick Brown had sought before his nomination papers were declined by the Party.   When asked about the redundancy of having two sets of consultations, Downey emphasized that the costs for his tour were going to be low.

He wasn’t actually able to tell how much had been budgeted.

Each of the hand-picked stakeholders were allowed three minutes to make their submissions. And the submissions seemed to be a mixed bag and diverse, leaving the impression that this was indeed a genuine attempt at soliciting a wide variety of opinion.

One organization lobbied for new funding for a sizeable affordable-housing project to help relieve homelessness and hallway healthcare. Another one presented a proposal to reward landowners for opening up their land to hikers in the interests of improved fitness and health for the senior population.

And another demanded just cutting government expenses to the bare bones and shaving the provincial debt.

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Flamborough-Glanbrook MPP Donna Skelly

Downey emphasized that he was only there to listen and all of the information presented would be considered by Finance Ministry officials prior to the development of the budget. Flamborough-Glanbrook MPP Donna Skelly was not present at the meeting which was held in her Hamilton riding.

Budget file dateAnyone wishing to add their voice to this pre-budgetary consultation should fire off an email by February 8, to submissions@ontario.ca. Alternatively one can pen their thoughts and forward them by mail to: The Honourable Victor Fideli, Minister of Finance, ℅ Budget Secretariat, Frost Building North, 3rd Floor, 95 Grosvenor Street, Toronto, ON M7A 1Z1

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1 comment to Provincial finance department gets out into the community – looking for input; nothing outstanding heard at yesterdays event.

  • Fred Pritchard

    As we have seen before, if the views shared by the majority of Ontarians differ from the former hash dealer and now Premier, he will claim special interest groups rigged the response. This is just for optics to pretend he is listening. They have no plan, no agenda. I would not be surprised to see a line item in the budget for a ferris wheel for Ontario place because this government is a circus.

    Also, I have it on good authority that the Government of Ontario is not paying it’s bills. Even contractual obligations are frozen out. A huge number of contractors are not being paid and this will soon become public knowledge. So why they need a budget is beyond me.

    Edited.

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