It’s budget consultation time in British Columbia.
The government of British Columbia routinely engages in budget consultations prior to setting its provincial budget; this year, the deadline to make submissions is October 18.
Each year, the government of British Columbia engages in budget consultations, where the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services travels around the province, hosting forums and public meetings where residents of the province can make submission to the committee that can be considered and included in a report back to the Legislature prior to the submission of the provincial budget.
Budget consultations are excellent opportunities for nonprofits, advocacy groups, membership associations, grassroots groups, and cooperatives to provide input directly to the provincial government on government operations. The consultations are particularly useful opportunities if your group is one that has, as a part of its mandate or operations, a concern or advocacy positions on provincial government programs, because they give you a regular and formal opportunity to put your concerns on paper, and submit them either in person to a meeting of the committee or via submission of a written report.
We encourage all groups that feel that they have issues that they could comment on to offer a submission as part of the budget consultations. Your submissions do not need to be in-depth, with hundreds of footnotes and written by a political scientist (though they could – check out our services, particularly Strategy and Advice) – but they should be reflective of your organization, your mandate, your goals, and be connected to provincial government programs, or reasonably linked.
- Don’t write your submission with one particular political party in mind. Think broadly, and remember that a change of government is likely only a few months away.
- If you are basing a submission on facts that you and your organization know to be true, work on finding some citations from other organizations that support your recommendation, particularly if your recommendations rely on ‘facts’ or ‘figures.’
- Tell a story with your submission. Explain the background of your organization, why you think the work you do benefits the province, and explain how your experiences bring forward the suggestions you’re making.
- Keep your suggestions connected to provincial government policy, but don’t be afraid to be pie-in-the-sky. Big ideas can be picked up at any time.
- Don’t be late. Deadline for submissions is October 15.