Parry Sound-Muskoka MPP Norm Miller and Parliamentary Assistant Doug Downey met with district business owners ahead of the provincial budget deadline.

25 businesses and municipal representatives from the District of Parry Sound and the District of Muskoka gathered at the Stockey Centre this morning to present financial concerns to the MPP.

The fiscal year end for the province is March 31st when the provincial government will have their budget in place. The purpose of the meeting was to listen to residents so that policymakers can assess the concerns provided and come up with a plan.

“A lot of people from the region were invited and we ended up with a good cross section of businesses with different suggestions on the budget and what they would like to see for their organizations,” said Miller.

“We spent the whole time listening, we didn’t engage in a debate, this was really a discussion and is the second one in the province. We’re just starting the conversation,” said Downey.

“We heard things about structural or regulatory issues that they (businesses) were running into, creating efficiencies and red tape. We heard about hospitals and hallway healthcare in terms of ALC and walk-in clinics, Georgian college was here talking about funding priorities, there was such a variety of issues,”  Downey added.

“Carling township talked about amalgamation,  likely in response to businesses who brought it up,” Miller said.

The province is accepting budget ideas from the public until February 8th. An email can be sent to submissions@ontario.ca.