Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Finance Committee releases report on Budget 2017 Consultations

Courtesy of the BC Legislature's Finance/Gov't Services Select Standing Committee:

The Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services released its report today (November 15th, 2016) containing the results of its annual budget consultations. The Budget 2017 consultations began on Sept. 15, 2016, with the release of the budget consultation paper by the Minister of Finance.

“The Committee’s recommendations are a direct reflection of the priorities outlined by British Columbians for Budget 2017,” stated Committee Chair, Wm. Scott Hamilton. “We heard many thoughtful suggestions and innovative ideas and we would like to thank everyone who participated in this important process.”

“The Committee received substantive input on the topics of housing and Indigenous peoples and as such, we have highlighted these important themes in our report,” added Deputy Chair Carole James. “The Committee greatly appreciates this opportunity to engage directly with a diverse representation of individuals and organizations from communities throughout B.C.”

The Committee held 14 public hearings throughout the province and heard 236 presentations from various organizations and individuals, either in person or through the use of teleconference or videoconference technologies. Additionally, the Committee received 137 written or video submissions and 332 responses to the online survey prior to the close of the consultation on Oct. 14, 2016.

Recommendations reflect priorities put forth by British Columbians, including: improvements for health care, additional funding for K-12 and advanced education, a continued focus on fiscal prudence and debt reduction, increased investment in the natural resource sector, ongoing preservation of the environment, with a focus on green initiatives and climate change, increased investment to support attainable housing, suggested improvements to transit and transportation infrastructure – including active transportation – further investments to support arts and culture, and ensuring that appropriate levels of supports and services are in place for vulnerable British Columbians.

The Committee’s report is available here

The members of the Committee are:

Wm. Scott Hamilton, MLA Delta North (Chair);
Carole James, MLA Victoria-Beacon Hill (Deputy Chair);
Dan Ashton, MLA Penticton;
Robin Austin, MLA Skeena;
Eric Foster, MLA Vernon-Monashee;
Simon Gibson, MLA Abbotsford-Mission;
George Heyman, MLA Vancouver-Fairview;
Jennifer Rice, MLA North Coast;
Jackie Tegart, MLA Fraser-Nicola; and
John Yap, MLA Richmond-Steveston.

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