Make the 2013 Budget better: Speak up

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Bill Mauro Kenora Queen's Park - NAN Sarah Campbell

Sarah Campbell MPPKENORA – Politics – Make the 2013 Budget better: Speak up – This week MPPs from across Ontario return to Queen’s Park for a new session. With a new Premier, Kathleen Wynne, in place there is much speculation about the weeks and months to come particularly when it comes to the 2013 budget.

2013 Budget Priorities

In addition to a new Premier, Ontario has a new Finance Minister, Charles Sousa, in place and this has led to a great deal of speculation about both the priorities Wynne and Sousa will bring to the table and how willing they will be to listen to opposition parties in order to pass the 2013 budget and avoid an election.  

At the same time, lobby groups and other organizations with resources at their disposal will attempt to find their way in the media spotlight in an attempt to woo the media into making their particular issue a public priority. 

For individuals or smaller organizations who lack the resources that these other organizations have, it can sometimes seem daunting to get an issue of local or regional concern on the radar for lawmakers, but it doesn’t have to be. 

My party and I will also be setting our own priorities based on the input we receive. To make sure your voice is heard, I’ve outlined some of the things you can do. 

The first step is to contact me. Write a letter or email expressing your concerns and opinions, or make an appointment to speak with me directly. Writing a letter or email carries a great deal of weight, because it shows that you are concerned enough to take the time to express your concerns. Two or three unique letters from concerned individuals carry much more weight than a few hundred form letters where someone only took the time to type their name and email address. 

Another important step is taking the time to find people who share your concerns. Social media like Facebook, Twitter and online message boards are a great place to meet other individuals who have the same priorities and coordinate your efforts including letter writing campaigns – although I would once again encourage supporters to put their concerns in their own words, circulating petitions across the province, or even coordinating protests across the province. 

Also effective is circulating a petition and gathering signatures from fellow concerned citizens. Petitions are an effective way of showing support for a particular cause or action. The rules for submitting a petition are available online at www.ontla.on.ca or can be obtained by contacting one of my community offices, who would be happy to assist you in drafting your petition. While they may seem like an easy way to garner signatures, online petitions are not currently accepted at the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. 

As always, I encourage you to speak up and let your voice be heard. Your opinion is very important to me, and the only way to affect change is to speak up.

Sarah Campbell MPP

Kenora-Rainy River