YELLOWKNIFE (April 12, 2016) — The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) emphasized its commitment to strong community governments in a meeting with the Northwest Territories Association of Communities (NWTAC) last month.
Premier Bob McLeod met with NWTAC board members on March 21, on behalf of Municipal and Community Affairs Minister Robert C. McLeod, to advise them that protecting community government funding will be a priority for the GNWT in the development of its upcoming 2016-2017 budget. The Premier also commended the organization for its work on the review and updating of the community funding formula, although this updated funding formula has yet to be implemented.
The GNWT will continue to work with communities and the NWTAC as it develops its fiscal plans to ensure that community governments have the necessary support to deliver programs and services to their residents while recognizing the GNWT’s need to bring expenditures into line with revenues.
“We understand the uncertainty that the fiscal framework creates for NWT communities. If we don’t make expenditure reductions now, we will have to take more drastic action in the near future that may have serious implications for core programs including community funding. By reducing total spending to protect core services and programs and generate cash to make infrastructure investments, we will be able to lower the cost of living and support the NWT economy better. Without action on expenditures, we are facing a future that is not fiscally sustainable and will provide no flexibility to make strategic investments in capital or enhance programs and services. Taking control of our fiscal future begins with this Assembly and this upcoming budget.”
- Bob McLeod, Premier of the Northwest Territories
“The Northwest Territories Association of Communities continues to stress the importance of fair funding at the community level, and the multiplied value of dollars invested in communities. Community governments are chronically under-funded, and our work with the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs (MACA) has demonstrated this gap. We are encouraged by the commitment of the 18th Legislative Assembly to develop a strategy to close the gap in funding levels to meet core community needs, and will remain available to support this priority. We appreciate the difficult fiscal position of the Government of the Northwest Territories and will work closely with our partners at all levels of government to maximize resources for all 33 communities of the territory.”
- Charles Furlong, President of the Northwest Territories Association of Communities
- In the 2015-2016 fiscal year, the GNWT provided NWT communities with $84.1 million in formula funding, under the Community Government Funding Policy. The current funding policies, while containing methodology that provides funding certainty for community governments, have not kept pace with inflation and the community’s operational requirements.
- Community government funding levels for 2016-2017 will be identified in the upcoming budget, expected to be tabled in the Legislative Assembly during the May-June Session. Funding will not be confirmed until the Assembly has voted to approve the proposed budget.
- In 2014 the GNWT and NWTAC began reviewing and updating the community funding formula. Implementation of the review results will be subject to GNWT efforts to create necessary fiscal flexibility and address the current gap between revenues and expenditures.
- The 2014 Community Funding Review undertaken by MACA and the NWTAC demonstrated that communities in the Northwest Territories are chronically under-funded by 37%, which amounts to almost $40 million annually.
- Northwest Territories Association of Communities
- Department of Municipal and Community Affairs
- Community Government Funding Policy
Senior Cabinet Communications Advisor
Department of Executive
Government of the Northwest Territories
Box 1320 Yellowknife NT X1A 2L9
Tel: (867) 767-9140 ext. 11091
Cell: (867) 447-0443
Fax: (867) 873-0169
Communications and Policy Coordinator
Northwest Territories Association of Communities
Suite 200, 5105 50 Street
Yellowknife, NT X1A 1S1
Toll Free: 1-966-973-8359
Fax: (867) 873-3042