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Input for budget sought

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The Ontario government has started consultations across the province to plan for the 2009 fiscal year.

While the closest pre-budget consultation will be held in Thunder Bay, local residents can have their say on the upcoming budget through the Ministry of Finance’s website at www.fin.gov.on.ca

Questions being asked about during the consultations include:

•balancing the budget versus running a deficit;

•possible programs to eliminate, delay, or phase in at a slower rate;

•job creation and possibilities for economic growth; and

•how to work in a more effective manner with other levels of government.

The ministry’s website features online forms people can fill out with their answers and opinions on these issues, as well as polls.

E-mailed, faxed, and written submissions also are being accepted.

The first pre-budget consultation was held Oct. 30 in London, and there are plans for further consultations in Sault Ste. Marie, Windsor, Ottawa, Toronto, and Thunder Bay (exact dates have not been set yet).

Video-conferencing also is planned so these consultations can include surrounding areas.

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