The Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services, a parliamentary committee of the Legislative Assembly, is preparing to hold virtual public hearings next month to receive input from British Columbians on their priorities for the 2021 provincial budget.
Starting June 1, British Columbians can participate in the committee’s budget consultations by speaking at a virtual public hearing, sending written comments or filling out an online survey. All public hearings and meetings of the committee will be conducted via video/teleconference.
“While the COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to change the way we live, work and connect with one another, the importance of legislators connecting directly with British Columbians has not changed,” committee chair Bob D’Eith said in a news release. “We encourage all British Columbians to share their views on the challenges they are facing and how the province can respond in the months and years to come.”
This year, public hearings will be organized by theme, with presenters appearing in panel groups. Those interested in presenting can now register online at https://bcleg.ca/FGSbudget or by calling 250-356-2933 or 1-877-428-8337 (toll-free in B.C.). Registration will close May 21.
“Committee members recognize that the pandemic and its impact is at the forefront for many families, businesses and communities, and that other issues persist and are exacerbated by current realities,” said committee deputy chair Doug Clovechok. “We welcome any and all input on ideas and solutions to address these issues.”
The deadline for all input is Friday, June 26 at 5 p.m. PST.
The members of the committee are chair Bob D’Eith, MLA Maple Ridge-Mission; deputy chair Doug Clovechok, MLA Columbia River-Revelstoke; Donna Barnett, MLA Cariboo-Chilcotin; Rich Coleman, MLA Langley East; Mitzi Dean, MLA Esquimalt-Metchosin; Ronna-Rae Leonard, MLA Courtenay-Comox; and Nicholas Simons, MLA Powell River-Sunshine Coast.
The committee considers the priorities expressed by British Columbians and develops recommendations for the next provincial budget. B.C. residents’ input and the committee’s recommendations are included in a report to the Legislative Assembly that is publicly released on or before Nov. 15. This year, the committee intends to release its report in August 2020, according to the news release.