THE City of Vancouver announced on Monday that it has introduced new ways for the public to provide their input online as part of its annual engagement on the budget.
The engagement period for the 2021 budget runs from August 17 to September 20 and everyone who lives in or owns a business in Vancouver can get involved to help guide the priorities and related spending for the budget.
The public’s feedback will be considered by both City staff and City Council in developing the draft budget, which will be presented to Council in late fall. The final budget is scheduled to be debated and voted on in early December.
How to get involved
The main hub for providing input on the City’s budget is the new Shape Your City online engagement platform, providing information and input opportunities in English, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Punjabi, Vietnamese and Tagalog including:
– Talk Vancouver online survey in the above-noted languages
– A new “Balance the Budget” simulation tool – allows the public to identify areas where they think the City should invest more or less
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and physical distancing requirements, there are constraints on face-to-face interaction, which has been part of previous years’ budget outreach. This year the City is working with community organizations such as neighbourhood houses to circulate hard copy 2021 budget information sheets and surveys, also in several languages, in part to help expand the reach of the engagement.
Budget 2021 priorities
In July, City Council approved the Budget Outlook, which includes Council’s updated priorities for alignment of spending for the 2021 budget.
The primary priority is to maintain and improve the core services that meet the needs of residents. Four additional priorities will also guide City staff’s development of departmental service plans and budgets:
* Address affordability and the housing crisis
* Protect and build a resilient local economy
* Increase focus on equity and critical social issues
* Accelerate action on climate change
Council and staff have also committed to being flexible and to quickly adjust within each of the priorities to best support recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
To learn more about this year’s budget process, visit vancouver.ca/vanbudget2021.