Interactive polling technology to be used at sessions
The provincial government announced today province-wide pre-budget consultation sessions will start next week.
Sessions will begin Jan. 27 and be held in 11 locations across the province.
A news release notes Finance Minister Tom Marshall will attend a number of sessions. Others will be attended by Dan Crummell, Minister of Service NL; Clyde Jackman, Minister of Education; Steve Kent, Minister of Municipal and Intergovernmental Affairs; Darin King, Minister of Justice;Nick McGrath, Minister of Transportation and Works; Kevin O‚ÄôBrien, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills, and Susan Sullivan, Minister of Health and Community Services.
"As we outlined in last year‚Äôs budget and again in the fall financial update, our province is facing a significant deficit for Budget 2014," Marshall said.
"This means that difficult decisions will need to be made in order to effectively manage our spending while maintaining the programs and services that are most important to people. We are asking the public to provide their input again this year to assist us in assessing priority areas, and we welcome ideas on how we can create efficiencies.‚ÄĚ
This year, interactive polling technology will be used at the public sessions to solicit feedback from attendees on a number of key questions.
It will be in addition to the traditional format where individuals are invited to present to the minister.
Residents of the province are encouraged to visit the Department of Finance website (www.gov.nl.ca/fin)‚ÄĒ beginning Jan. 27 ‚ÄĒ to use a new online budget simulator through which individuals can learn more about the budget process.
The online educational tool will allow individuals to change budget amounts (revenues and expenditures) to determine how they would set the budget and how their changes would impact the budget balance (surplus or deficit).
The site will include an online form which will enable users to submit their feedback on budget priorities to the Department of Finance.
Those who would like to participate in a pre-budget meeting are requested to register at least 48 hours in advance of the scheduled meeting time by phoning 709-729-2944 or by emailing email@example.com.
Written submissions can continue to be made via mail to: Minister of Finance, c/o Pre-Budget 2014, Department of Finance, P.O. Box 8700, St. John‚Äôs, NL, A1B 4J6. Submissions may also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or faxed to 709-729-2070.