|As the Vice-Chair of Ontario’s Finance Committee, I am fortunate to have the opportunity each year to travel around the province as part of the Committee’s annual budget consultations.|
This past weekend, we flew to the northern gateway community of Sioux Lookout – approximately a 20 hour drive from Ottawa. Since then, we have visited Thunder Bay and Belleville, and will be concluding the week in Kitchener and Niagara.
These consultations give us the opportunity to hear directly from stakeholder groups, individuals, and Indigenous partners. Thus far, we have heard many great ideas and some truly powerful stories.
On a personal note, these trips also provide a unique opportunity to spend time with other MPPs across party lines. I have learned a great deal from my NDP colleague from Sioux Lookout about some of the unique challenges facing fly-in First Nations communities in the North.
As we hear deputations from different groups, we are looking for their submissions to fit with our three priorities:
Putting more money back in people’s pockets.
Investing in critical public services.
Balancing the budget in a responsible manner.
It is rare that a submission will meet all three of these priorities. But we often look for proposals that meet two of the three priorities.
And so, my question for this week is this: which two priorities are most important for you and why? Do you have any specific proposals that will help us meet these priorities?