Making Pre-Budget Consultations Accessible To More Ontarians
McGuinty Government Delivering Better Value for Taxpayers
An estimated 210,000 Ontarians across the province will be able to contribute to the 2011 pre-budget consultations through a series of telephone town hall sessions, which combine the use of audio conferencing and web technology, saving an estimated $1 million compared to previous years' in-person consultations.
Ontarians will be able to speak live with Finance Minister Dwight Duncan and share their views regarding what more the government can do to help families, improve services, and boost job creation while eliminating the deficit. The feedback received will be considered in the development of the 2011 Budget.
In previous years, consultations took place in person in various communities to engage Ontarians in advance of the provincial budget. The use of technology makes this year's pre-budget consultations available and accessible to more Ontarians while supporting green initiatives in the Open Ontario Plan and reducing costs.
- Between 2004 and 2010, the average cost per consultation participant was $80, while the projected cost for the 2011 sessions is $0.30 per participant.
- During the past seven years when pre-budget consultations relied heavily on travel, the average attendance was 564 compared with a potential of 210,000 participants in 2011.
- Seven pre-consultation town hall telephone sessions will be held throughout February and March.
- Individuals can also send their submissions by mail, e-mail or fax.
“This is just another example of our ongoing commitment to finding efficiencies and delivering better value for taxpayers. I am looking forward to engaging as many Ontarians as possible through this new consultation process and hear new ideas about how we can work together to reduce the deficit while protecting the gains we've made in our schools and healthcare.”