2016 Ontario Budget
Engaging Ontarians

How You Helped Build this Budget

For decades, legislators have invited people from across the province to participate in shaping public finances. In fact, the time-honoured tradition of a legislative finance committee travelling across the province to meet with Ontarians face to face is almost as old as the Budget itself.

Over the years, these consultations have evolved to better meet the changing world around us. New technologies have paved the way for people to connect in new, more innovative ways. Telephone town halls delivered the dialogue directly into our homes. Email gave us the power to make submissions at our fingertips. And now, in this digital age, we can connect to discussions — anywhere, anytime and on any device.

With more and more people preferring to interact online, the Province launched Ontario’s first digital town hall in 2015. Budget Talks — an interactive, real-time platform — brought new voices to the conversation, with 931 ideas and comments shared.

This year, the government unveiled an improved platform for participation — with more ways to exchange and discuss ideas on topics that matter to you. In just eight weeks, you shared 1,732 ideas, cast 53,402 votes and wrote 4,340 comments.

As part of these consultations, Ontarians will not always agree with each other or with government. However, it is our hope that through these discussions, people can participate in the Budget process in ever more meaningful ways. 

As you will see throughout this Budget, we have listened to what Ontarians had to say and used your feedback to inform government decisions. You have told us you want transportation to be faster and easier, to keep electricity rates affordable, to continue the fight against climate change and to provide top-quality education and health care services.

Your government will continue to adopt innovative ways to engage Ontarians to work together as we build Ontario up.

A Modern Digital Government

Budget Talks — Giving People a Voice in Government

Budget Talks is part of Ontario’s commitment to be an open, responsive and people-driven government. Through this interactive Budget Talks platform, all Ontarians were empowered to submit, vote and comment on ideas in real time, making it easier for people to provide their feedback on priorities during this year’s pre-Budget consultations.

From early December to the end of January, Ontarians sprang into action — seizing the opportunity to engage and collaborate on the issues that matter most to them. Through social media, more voices were heard in this one-of-a-kind digital town hall.

The following data represent a summary of what we heard and learned from the people who participated this year. Their voices are reflected throughout our fiscal plan.

What You Told Us

People from across the province shared personal stories, thoughtful ideas and proposals. There were strong views, passionate voices and very real perspectives gained through lived experience with government programs and services. We heard it all.

LED Light Pilot Project

Through Budget Talks, Ontarians told us that the Province should start replacing traditional lighting with energy-saving LED lights on provincial highway corridors. While the Province currently uses LED lights on all new conventional lighting, the government is launching a high mast lighting LED pilot project, starting at Renforth Drive and running west along Highway 401 for 1.1 kilometres. The pilot project will ensure that all safety conditions are met before full implementation.

Budget Talks also demonstrated how an online community can come together to collaborate on ideas — through their comments and votes.

Ideas in Action

Not every idea can be realized in a single Budget, but ideas can spark new dialogue on topics that deserve further exploration.

Read the full post-Budget Talks report at Ontario.ca/BudgetTalks.

Chart Descriptions

2016 Budget Talks

This graphic depicts the various methods (such as unique visits, new accounts, comments, votes and Twitter mentions) in which Ontarians were able to participate in the 2016 Budget Talks.

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Who Participated

This graphic depicts the percentage of people who participated by gender and by age.

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User Demographics

This graphic depicts user demographics by employment status and by level of education achieved.

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Themes by Number of Ideas

This bar chart depicts the themes (such as Education, Transportation, Health Care, etc.) by number of ideas.

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Budget Talks Ideas

This graphic depicts the number of Budget Talks ideas submitted by people.

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