Finance Minister Michael de Jong is touring communities in B.C. to speak with people about their priorities for Balanced Budget 2014.
Starting Oct. 15, de Jong will travel to several communities including Merritt, Kamloops, Salmon Arm, Vernon, Prince George, Terrace and Burnaby to meet with business groups and chambers of commerce. In addition, de Jong will also host regional telephone town halls to get feedback from B.C. taxpayers in areas he is not able to visit in person.
Minister de Jong wants to hear ideas about the type of choices government needs to make in keeping the budget balanced: striking a balance between keeping costs affordable for families, providing new services, and reducing tax-payer supported debt.
De Jong's budget conversation is asking for views on such questions as:
- How do we strike the balance between keeping costs affordable for families, investing in services, and reducing taxpayer-supported debt?
- What priority programs should government continue; what should government do differently; what should government not do?
- What measures can government take to increase government revenues to support your priorities as a citizen?
The information gathered will help the minister as he develops Balanced Budget 2014. The Minister will also be receiving the report from the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services - an all party committee of The Legislative Assembly - which concludes its last public meeting on Oct. 16, 2013. Information on telephone town hall dates, times and locations will be sent out at a later date. For details on tour locations, dates and times visit: www.fin.gov.bc.ca/budgetconversation
Michael de Jong, Minister of Finance:
"Our government has an ambitious but achievable long-term vision for a stable economy and a secure future. We have tabled a balanced budget that offers modest surpluses over the coming years. Keeping the budget balanced demands we continue our spending discipline and make careful choices in our budgets."
John Winter, BC Chamber of Commerce:
"The BC Chamber and the 36,000 businesses our network represents have continuously advocated for balanced budgets and fiscal discipline from government. As the Minister prepares for Balanced Budget 2014, the BC Chamber commends him for getting out on the road to canvass input from our members and business owners on the key priorities that will further grow our economy."
Budget Conversation Schedule - meeting dates and times:
Tues. Oct. 15
Merritt & District Chamber of Commerce
Kamloops Chamber of Commerce
Wed. Oct. 16
Salmon Arm Chamber of Commerce
Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce
Thurs. Oct. 17
North Central Local Government Association (Prince George)
Fri. Oct. 18
Terrace Chamber of Commerce
Mon. Oct. 21
Burnaby Chamber of Commerce
Additional meetings and telephone town hall information will be posted to www.fin.gov.bc.ca/budgetconversation
Director of Communications
Ministry of Finance
BC Chamber of Commerce