Ministry of Finance, Economy Sector, Families Sector, Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Region, Kootenay Rockies Region, Northern B.C. Region, Provincewide, Thompson / Okanagan Region, Vancouver Coast & Mountains Region, Vancouver Island / Coast Region

Provincewide tele-town halls on the HST begin April 26

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BC Talks Taxes poster
Economy, Families Thursday, April 21, 2011 2:44 PM


VICTORIA - Minister of Finance Kevin Falcon and Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Blair Lekstrom are inviting the public to participate in a series of regionally based telephone town halls around the province.

The town halls are designed to ensure that all British Columbians have an opportunity to offer suggestions on how the HST can be improved.

Town halls start April 26* and will be hosted by Falcon and Lekstrom. This is a unique opportunity to talk directly with the government ministers leading the HST engagement process.

How do you participate?

If you have a publicly listed telephone number, you will receive a call at home in the early evening of the day when your regional telephone town hall is being held. A recorded message will ask if you are interested in attending the tele-town hall. If you would like to participate, stay on the line and follow the instructions given in the message.

If you do not want to participate, just hang up.

If you stay on the call, there may be a short wait until the call formally begins or you will be placed into the town hall if it is already underway. A moderator will introduce the call, provide the instructions for participation and describe how you can ask a question, then prompt the next caller when it is their turn to ask a question.

We hope you'll take part in this important public listening exercise. The attached backgrounder provides dates and times for the currently scheduled town halls and more information on how to participate.

More information can be found at: www.HSTinBC.ca

* Dates may change to accommodate conflicting events including the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Contact:
Matt Gordon
Director of Communications
Ministry of Finance
250 896-4923

BACKGROUNDER

How to participate in an HST tele-town hall

Depending on where you live in B.C. (see schedule below), from April 26 to May 12 we will be calling to ask if you would like to participate in a telephone town hall.

Here's what to expect:

We are planning to dial out to every publicly listed telephone number in your region on the evening of your local town hall.

A recorded message will ask if you are interested in attending the tele-town hall.

If you would like to participate, stay on the line and follow the instructions given in the message.

If you do not want to participate, just hang up.

A moderator will come on the line to introduce the call, provide some instructions for participation and describe how you can ask a question.

If you have a question for the host, you will be asked to press a key pad number on your phone after which you will connect to an operator.

The operator will then ask for your first name and what question you would like to ask. (This is done to reduce duplication of questions and to allow the greatest number of callers to participate in the town hall).

Once you have stated your question, the operator will return you to the call so you can continue to listen to the town hall until it is your turn to ask the minister your question.

Listen carefully and when the minister is ready, your line will be opened, the moderator will prompt you and you can ask your question.

After you've asked your question, your line will be muted and you can listen to the minister's response and the remainder of the town hall.

Telephone town hall call schedule:

Tuesday, April 26 - Mid Island/North Island and Southern Coast
Time: 7 p.m.

Wednesday, April 27 - Peace River
Time: 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, April 27 - Surrey
Time: 7:15

Thursday, April 28 - Kootenay
Time 6:30 p.m./7:30 p.m. MT

Thursday, April 28 - Richmond/South Delta and the North Shore
Time: 7:15 p.m.

Tuesday, May 3 - Southern Interior
Time: 6:45 p.m.

Tuesday, May 3 - Victoria
Time: 7:15 p.m.

Wednesday, May 4 - Northern Interior and North Coast
Time: 6:45 p.m.

Wednesday, May 4 - Burnaby, Port Coquitlam, New Westminster, Coquitlam
Time: 7:15 p.m.

Monday, May 9 - Okanagan
Time: 6:45 p.m.

Monday, May 9 - Fraser Valley
Time: 7:15 p.m.

Thursday, May 12 - Vancouver
Time: 6:45 p.m.

Notes:

  • Calls for May 3, 4, 9 and 12 may be moved based on Canucks games.
  • Additional day of May 10 currently being held in case calls need to be adjusted.

Contact:
Matt Gordon
Director of Communications
Ministry of Finance
250 896-4923


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