Ontario Launches Online Survey –
“Planning for Prosperity:
A Consultation for the People”
Wednesday, the Ontario Government announced the details of the public consultation component of its comprehensive review of government spending.
What is the purpose of this consultation?
As part of its review, the Government is looking for feedback from the public on their experience with government services and programs, what they expect from their government, and how these can be improved or streamlined.
This feedback is expected to help the government deliver on several key priorities that lie at the heart of its review of government spending, namely:
  • Reducing the burden on taxpayers
  • Restoring accountability and trust in Ontario’s public finances
  • Creating jobs and ensuring economic prosperity
  • Maintaining and improving hospitals, schools and other vital public services
What kind of insight is the government looking for?
Through its online survey, the government is seeking public feedback on eight areas of major government investment and programming:
1.      Children’s and Social Services
2.      Education
3.      Environment and Resources
4.      Economic Development
5.      General Government and Other Services
6.      Health
7.      Justice
8.      Postsecondary and Training
Much of the survey is multiple choice with ranked options. However, respondents are invited to provide limited written feedback on specific ideas or recommendations.
While respondents are free to offer whatever such feedback they choose, the government has identified a number of priority goals that will undoubtedly shape how suggestions and input from the public is evaluated. These are well-aligned to the government’s mandate of reining in spending as it works towards eliminating the deficit and returning to a balanced budget:
  • Improving existing programs and services
  • Closing out programs and services that are not meeting their intended purpose
  • Combining programs and services that do or achieve the same thing
  • Exploring the best way to deliver programs and services, including the most appropriate delivery channel
  • Increasing public and stakeholder input in decision-making
  • Making government spending more transparent
  •  Paying down the provincial debt
Are there any limitations or restrictions to be aware of?
  • Respondents are limited to three ideas / suggestions, maximum of 2000 characters per submission, and are expected to comply with the following parameters: requests Do not request funding for a specific individual, group, organization, company and/or business
  • Be within scope of the Ontario government to deliver (not the responsibility of a municipal government or the federal government)
  • Follow the terms of use (available through a live link on the survey)
  • Be feasible, practical and affordable for the Ontario government to implement in the short term
  • Be sustainable and provide long-term benefits
How long is will the consultation be open? What are the deadlines?
This consultation will be completed in tandem with the review of government spending being done by EY Canada.
Similar to EY Canada’s review, the public consultation will conclude on September 21, 2018. The online portal is open, and will be active until that time.
The results of the survey are expected to be revealed in Fall 2018. Along with the other components of the comprehensive government spending review, they will feed into the government’s line-by-line audit as its lays out its fiscal plan in next year’s Budget.
As always, the Counsel team is happy to discuss this process with you and the opportunities for your business or organization.