Yellowknife (March 31, 2021) – Members of the Legislative Assembly approved the Main Estimates for the 2021-2022 fiscal year.
Initially presented on February 4, the 2021-2022 Budget is proposing to spend $2 billion on programs and services in 2021-22. Over the past several weeks, every Minister and senior officials appeared before Standing Committees and also in the Committee of the Whole within the Legislative Assembly to review individual Department budgets. In addition, Minister of Finance Caroline Wawzonek and representatives of the Standing Committee on Accountability and Oversight engaged in discussions on several areas where additional resources would further benefit the residents of the Northwest Territories.
Minister Wawzonek has committed to including additional funding to address these areas, as well as ways to reduce overall spending to help offset these costs.
“In working with Members of the Standing Committee on Accountability and Oversight, we have identified additional areas where we needed to do more for the good of the people of the NWT. In the true spirit of consensus government, the Executive Council and Regular MLAs have worked together to develop a plan for Budget 2021-2022 that addresses these issues in a fiscally responsible way. The work we’ve done over the past several weeks is a credit to every Member of the 19th Legislative Assembly and demonstrates our shared commitment to working together for the benefit of all NWT residents.” - Caroline Wawzonek, Minister of Finance
"I would like to extend the thanks of the Standing Committee on Accountability and Oversight to the Minister of Finance and all of Cabinet for working with Regular Members on the consideration of the 2021-22 Main Estimates. The work undertaken in recent weeks, including the unprecedented commitments on policy, is a shining example of consensus government at work. Members are pleased with the positive outcomes for residents of the Northwest Territories."
- Steve Norn, Chair, Standing Committee on Accountability and Oversight
- Minister Wawzonek has committed to $4.278 million in spending for 2021-2022 that will be included in the 2021-2022 Supplementary Appropriation No. 1 (to be considered during the June 2021 sitting of the Legislative Assembly):
- $600,000 in increased funding to move the NWT’s Midwifery Program into Phase 2 of implementation;
- $1.4 million in increased Addictions and After-care Funding to establish a community-based addictions and after-care fund ($750,000) and other community development resources ($650,000);
- $935,000 in increased funding to support Anti-poverty Efforts, including the Anti-Poverty Fund ($750,000), the Round-table Advisory Council ($110,000) and the Hay River Shelter ($75,000);
- $743,000 in new funding for Indigenous Patient Care to create four new positions to pilot a new approach to supporting Indigenous patients;
- a $500,000 increase in the Childcare Infrastructure Fund; o a $100,000 increase to the Child and Family Services Contribution;
- $480,000 in tourism funding from the existing Industry, Tourism and Investment budget, including support to address the tourism priorities of the Town of Fort Smith ($130,000 over two years) and support seven Community Tourism Coordinator positions ($350,000 over two years). An additional $50,000 per year will be made available if the community of Fort Providence opts to establish a Community Tourism Coordinator position for 2021-2022 and 2022-2023; and
- a commitment from the Department of Finance to work with all departments to reduce travel budgets by $4.03 million so that these commitments can be funded without significantly growing expenses.
- Additional commitments will include:
- re-establishing the cashflow required to complete caribou survey work that was not completed in 2020-2021;
- continuing to fund the Economic Development Officer position for the Hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk;
- maintaining the court clerk position in Hay River
- providing resources to the Hay River homeless shelter to support its operating costs o developing an options paper for standing committee review that discusses the review processes for the Affirmative Action policy (by March 2022) and the Indigenous Recruitment and Retention Framework (prior to the start of 2022-2023 business planning); and
- examining and measuring the effectiveness of specific program delivery by the NWT Housing Corporation through the Government Renewal process.
Media Requests, please contact:
Government of the Northwest Territories
Steve Norn, Chair
Standing Committee on Accountability and Oversight
Northwest Territories Legislative Assembly
867-767-9143 ext 12185