I hosted a pre-budget consultation last week in Kamloops featuring the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance. There were 24 participants in attendance including representatives of local government, tourism, cattlemen, forestry, First Nations, rural communities and individuals.
I was extremely pleased with the quality of the presentations. I think the Finance Minister certainly heard clearly some unique perspectives.
For example, the group from 100 Mile House was seeking support to develop a local hemp industry.
“The recommendations made during the consultations will help shape the next phase of the Government’s Economic Action Plan and the return to fiscal balance,” said Minister Flaherty.
“It was worthwhile to hear the perspectives of different people. It was a very diverse group,” said Greg Smith, General Manager of Gilbert Smith Forest Products [Barriere]. “The Minister got a good cross-section of different viewpoints.”
These Economic Action Plan consultations compliment the broad economic consultations that the Prime Minister and individual Members of Parliament are conducting across the country to listen to Canadians.
The Finance Minister’s consultations will include a number of roundtables with accomplished Canadians and continued consultation with his Economic Advisory Council.
I want to remind everyone that it is not too late to share your thoughts regarding Budget 2011, as the Government is currently conducting online consultations. Those wishing to make submissions can do so by visiting www.fin.gc.ca.