Tell the government how to spend your money

Residents of the Comox Valley will have a chance to provide input on the 2012/13 provincial budget when the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services holds its public consultation this Thursday in Courtenay.

Residents of the Comox Valley will have a chance to provide input on the 2012/13 provincial budget when the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services holds its public consultation this Thursday in Courtenay.

The finance committee encourages the public to bring ideas about spending priorities, tax relief, deficit management and other fiscal issues to them for discussion. The questions, ideas and concerns of the public are discussed by the committee as it prepares its recommendations to the Ministry of Finance.

“This committee’s mandate is to listen to residents and then make tax and policy recommendations to the finance minister to assist him with the provincial budget,” says Richmond Centre MLA Rob Howard, chair of the Select Standing Committee. “We’re especially looking for ways to protect vital services such as health care and education, while working to defend and create jobs.

“I am looking forward to hearing the insights British Columbians have. In these economic times, governments around the world which are not fiscally responsible are being held to account, so this consultation is extremely important.”

“This is an opportunity for people to have direct input on the government’s spending priorities,” says Comox Valley MLA Don McRae. “Premier Christy Clark is committed to an open government that listens to the wisdom and experience of people here in the Comox Valley.”

The Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services will hold its public hearing in Courtenay on Sept. 22 from 9 a.m. to noon in the Beaufort Room at the Best Western Westerly Hotel.

The all-party committee will hold 15 hearings in different regions of the province to learn more about the public’s fiscal and spending priorities.

The committee system allows members of the public to have direct input into the parliamentary process by making written, video conference and electronic submissions and attending public hearings.

The public is encouraged to attend the consultation meetings in their region or submit written response by letter or e-mail. Written responses can be sent to: Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services, Room 224, Parliament Buildings, Victoria, British Columbia, V8V 1X4 and e-mail response can be sent to financecommittee@leg.bc.ca.

— Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services

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