Every year, as part of the provincial budget preparation process, Manitoba Finance and the Minister of Finance reach out to Manitobans seeking their input and their priorities for the coming spring budget. This has often taken place through in person town halls and meetings but over the past couple of years, has occurred by telephone and virtual means as well.
This has allowed Manitobans to provide input on the budget from the comfort of their own homes which can be particularly beneficial on cold January Manitoba nights. There are several different ways that Manitobans can participate in the Budget feedback process. For those rural Manitobans wishing to participate virtually, there will be opportunity on Monday, January 17th at 6:30pm. For those who live in Winnipeg or the north, there are dates set aside as well for virtual participation. To view these dates or to register in advance for the virtual sessions, please visit engagemb.ca.
Because many Manitobans may not wish to participate in a virtual forum or because they are unable to make the dates for which they are set, there are a number of different ways that you can make your views known. These include filling out an online survey which is also on the engagemb.ca website. The survey allows you to identify areas which are a financial priority for you and your family.
Every provincial budget is important, and each is reflective of the unique times in which they are crafted. At this time there is a great deal of attention being paid to ensuring that the healthcare needs, especially related to the pandemic and its effects, are being met and that economic recovery remains a priority. While Manitoba did significantly better than was originally forecast last year in terms of economic growth, there are clearly still challenges that remain and your input is valued.
You may wish to check back on the engagemb.ca website often as there are regularly new areas in which the government is seeking feedback from residents. In addition, many of the proceedings of the Manitoba Legislature itself have moved online over the past few years partially in response to the pandemic but also as a broader effort to make democracy more accessible. You can view live and past proceedings of committees and the Legislative Assembly by visiting gov.mb.ca. In addition, this website will provide notice of upcoming committee meetings of which there were several held just this week. It is a good tool to keep up to date on the happenings at the Manitoba Legislature.