Podcasting to Reset the Region – Let’s Talk About the Budget

Are you ready for the fourth episode of Podcasting to Reset the Region? Sure you are.

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The transcript for my hearing impaired friends and followers is as follows:

Welcome to what is sure to be another exciting episode of Podcasting to Reset the Region. I’m Laura Ip, and I’m running to represent the people of St. Catharines at Niagara Regional Council.

Now, I know you’re asking yourself what makes this episode so exciting. It is, of course, the budget…and why I should be part of the team that develops and oversees the budget for Niagara Region.

Niagara Region has a budget in the neighbourhood of a billion dollars. That’s “billion” with a B.

The budget encompasses numerous things for Niagara Region, including some pretty boring, but extremely necessary things like road construction and maintenance, waste collection and recycling, water and wastewater, but also long-term care and community programs for seniors, childcare and assistance, and the environment.

These are all things we need to live. If we don’t provide these services, we all fail, and we cost the Region more money, ultimately.

What makes me qualified to help develop this budget and ensure that we stay on track?

I’ve worked in municipal government, including working with the team to develop the budget for the City of Welland. As the founding Treasurer for Quest Community Health Centre, which is a health centre that provides primary health care and health promotion to the citizens of St. Catharines, I developed their initial budget. And, as the president of Underdogs Boxing Club, I understand the importance of staying on track with a budget and maintaining it, because we’re a small, volunteer-run non-profit organization. Every penny counts.

In addition to having the knowledge and experience of working with teams to develop a budget, I also possess a meticulous attention to detail. I’m the person who people come to when they need something proofread, when they need their math checked; you could say that my superpower is catching mistakes. Sometimes, that’s a problem for people, but in the case of the Niagara Regional budget, it is a benefit to the citizens of Niagara.

Now, you’ve listened this far and you might be wondering, “where are all of her promises with respect to my taxes?” I’m not going to make you any. And the reason I’m not going to make you any is because it’s extremely difficult, if not impossible, to make promises about what you’re going to do about the budget for a budget that doesn’t yet exist.

We need a budget that covers all of the services that I mentioned at the top of this episode. We need a budget that is flexible and responsive to issues that come up, like the snow storms we can’t predict, the road work we can’t anticipate, like changes that may come down from this provincial government. We need to be flexible.

If you’re looking for more information, please visit my website: lauraip.ca; e-mail me at laura@lauraip.ca; or find me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram by searching Laura Ip for Regional Council.

On Monday, October 22, 2018, vote to Reset the Region. Please vote for me – Laura Ip – for Regional Council.

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