The provincial government is continuing its pre-budget consultation process in the Interlake, with Finance Minister Cameron Friesen scheduled to visit St. Laurent Oct. 17.
“As we prepare for budget 2018, we are listening and want to hear from Manitobans where they stand on important issues and policy directions facing this province,” Friesen said, in a prepared statement.
“The decisions we make today will impact Manitobans well into the future. We want Manitobans’ input as we focus on restoring fiscal discipline while ensuring the sustainability of services now and into the future.”
Friesen will be joined by Interlake MLA Derek Johnson, who hosted a separate pre-budget consultation in Arborg Oct. 2.
“It was well received in the community. I’m happy that there is consideration being taking in the community, and they are voicing their opinions online,” Johnson said.
The province set up a website, manitobansmakingchoices.ca, where Manitobans can voice their opinions on three key budget areas.
Johnson said, from what he has heard from his constituents, marijuana has stemmed up as a major concern.
“I directed them to fill out their concerns online, but probably their largest concern now is marijuana,” he said.
“Right now it hasn’t been decided what age it will be legal in Manitoba or where it’s going to be sold, so people are concerned, they definitely don’t want it two doors down from a school yard.”
Johnson noted it was important to hear what constituents felt about the upcoming budget and added their concerns will be taken under advisement at budget time.
“We have had exceptional turnout for our online results, and we are just over half way through. We have had well over 12,000 people have participated. We are really, really engaging with Manitobans,” he said.
“It’s something that we are definitely going to take into consideration when making our decisions.”
The pre-budget consultation in St. Laurent starts at 8 p.m. at the St. Laurent Recreation Centre. Anyone who requires an accessibility accommodation is asked to, in advance, call 204-945-5343 or email Budget2018@gov.mb.ca.
Results of the survey, which can be completed at manitobansmakingchoices.ca, will be summarized anonymously and published after the consultation process.