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Take part in budget process

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For its 2015 budget, the City of Winnipeg wants to hear from you, and there’s plenty of opportunity to have your say.

In March, the city, along with Ottawa consulting firm Dialogue Partners, launched Our Budget, Forward, a new budget consultation process to engage Winnipeggers in helping to determine the 2015-2017 operating budget and 2015-2020 capital budget.

The current phase of the project, Let’s Talk Priorities, runs until the end of June. Let’s Talk Priorities consists of seven key discussion questions regarding city services, programs and projects, which can be answered via the following ways:

• Download the Our Budget, Forward discussion guide at www.winnipeg.ca/2015budget. Answer the guide’s questions and submit it by emailing winnipegbudget@dialoguepartners.ca, dropping it off at any city library or mailing it to 2015 Budget Consultation, City of Winnipeg, 510 Main Street, Winnipeg, MB, R3B 1B9;
• Attend a budget talk. Budget talks, hosted by city councillors and organizations, will take place on June 5 at 300-245 McDermot Ave. between 2 and 5 p.m.; June 6 at Mary, Mother of the Church (85 Kirkbridge Dr.) between 9:30 a.m. and noon; June 7 at Millennium Library (251 Donald Street) between 10 a.m. and noon; and June 12 at the Lincoln Hotel (1030 McPhillips St.) between 6:30 and 8:30 p.m.;
• Participate in an online discussion forum at www.winnipeg.ca/2015budget;
• Host a group conversation. Friends, family, colleagues and community can download the "host your own budget talk kit" at www.winnipeg.ca/2015budget;
• Visit the Talk Truck. The Our Budget, Forward Talk Truck will be at the Downtown Farmers’ Market at Manitoba Hydro Place (360 Portage Ave.) on June 5 between 6 and 8:30 p.m. Visit www.winnipeg.ca/2015budget for further Talk Truck locations.

The next phase of the process, Let’s Talk Choices, starts in November after the
municipal election.

"If the first phase was understanding what city services are important to people and how they impact their lives, then the second phase is asking people to then weigh the pros and cons between different choices," said Kim Hyshka, senior consultant at Dialogue Partners’ field office in Edmonton.

Hyshka said Our Budget, Forward aims to involve not only a large number of Winnipeggers, but a variety of Winnipeggers.

"We feel this isn’t a simple conversation," Hyshka said. "There are diverse needs in Winnipeg, so the conversation is well served to invite lots of voices into it and bring in that diverse mix of needs and experiences."

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