Public consultation crucial

"The CBT want your input on how the trust can support residents and communities in the future."

This fall the citizens of Kootenay West have the ability to participate in a number of public consultations and services. I wanted to make sure that all of these opportunities were highlighted to have as much participation as possible from our region.

Each fall, the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services holds province-wide public consultations on the next provincial budget.

The Committee holds public hearings in 17 communities across the province. British Columbians are invited to attend hearings or to register to make a presentation to the committee on how they feel the Province should spend money and on what services.

They will be in Castlegar on Monday Sept. 29 from 6-9pm in the Kootenay Room of the Sandman Hotel. If you would like to make a presentation to the committee or are a part of a group or agency that would like to present please call 1-877-428-8337 to register. You can also email FinanceCommittee@leg.bc.ca and make sure to include the name of the presenter and the organization name and contact information. For more information please visit the website: http://www.leg.bc.ca/cmt/finance/public-hearings.asp

On Oct. 1, the Office of the Ombudsperson will be visiting the area. The Ombudsperson can assist any constituent who believes that a provincial government ministry or public agency has treated them unfairly.

The role of the Ombudsperson office is to investigate complaints to determine whether public agencies have acted fairly and reasonably and whether their actions and decisions were consistent with relevant legislation, policies and procedures. You need to call ahead of time to book an appointment to discuss your complaint. The staff will be in both Castlegar and Trail on Oct. 1. Please call 1-800-567-3247 to book and visit the website for more information. https://www.ombudsman.bc.ca/

On Oct. 8, the BC Electoral Boundaries Commission will be in the Kootenay West constituency asking for public input on the area and boundaries of provincial electoral districts. This is an opportunity to participate in this important process. The BC Electoral Commission is an independent and non-partisan group that makes decisions regarding electoral boundaries in the province. The commission will be in Trail on Oct. 8 at the Best Western Plus hotel at 10:30 a.m. There is no pre-registration required for an in person submission. You can also make a submission online or through email. All of this information can be found at the Commission website: http://www.bc-ebc.ca/join

Columbia Basin Trust is hosting drop in community workshops in communities around the basin from September to January.

The CBT want your input on how the trust can support residents and communities in the future. They are renewing their strategic priorities to celebrate their 20th anniversary. Please visit the “Our Trust, Our Future” website for more information and dates and locations of these workshops. http://ourtrustourfuture.cbt.org/

I hope many of you can take advantage of these opportunities and participate.

Katrine Conroy,

MLA Kootenay West

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