Ontarians asked to vote on budget ideas

There are 13 to choose from; up to eight will be in the upcoming 2017-18 budget.

TORONTO — Ontario has narrowed down a list of crowd-sourced ideas to add in its next budget, including banning retailers from throwing out unsold food, creating indoor farms in Indigenous communities, and better digital access to health information.

The Liberal government is asking people to visit its Budget Talks website to vote on the 13 ideas that were whittled down out of a total of 400 submitted.

Up to eight of the top ideas will be in the upcoming 2017-18 budget, with a total cost of up to $3 million.

Ideas include a tree planting program in primary schools, helping Indigenous youth get degrees to teach on reserves, funding speech-language pathologists in child-care centres, and creating an Ontario government game-like app.

The crowd-sourced ideas come after the Liberal government’s budget consultation process was criticized as a “sham” last year because the initial translation of the budget drafts began before the public input period ended.

Voting is open until midnight on Feb. 23.

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc. 2016

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