Nunavut wants $18.9 million more to make ends meet by April 1, 2013
MLAs ponder big supplementary appropriation
Nunavut’s finance minister Keith Peterson said Nov. 2 that the Government of Nunavut needs a $18.9 million supplementary appropriation to cover its operations and maintenance budget for 2012-13.
Supplementary appropriations are additional spending requests made after the territorial government’s regular budget has been approved, often for funds the government has already spent.
Peterson described the details of his extra spending request during his presentation of Bill 42, which outlined the additional money that the government will need until April 1, 2013.
The Department of Justice needs $4.6 million more to pay for increases to the new territorial police services agreement, which was recently signed between the provinces and territories and Public Safety Canada, he said.
Some of this $4.6 million will go towards salary increases and guard costs.
About $360,000 is slated for more firearms. The patrol carbine purchases will “ensure effective maintenance of public safety while, at the same time, ensuring their self-protection,” Peterson said.
Peterson also said the GN needs $810,000 to cover the first of a four-year museum services deal between the Department of Culture and Heritage and the Northwest Territories.
MLAs complained about this expense Nov. 1 in a discussion about the stalled plans to build a Nunavut Heritage Centre in Iqaluit, which would house Nunavut’s archeological and historical artifacts.
Bill 42 also included the following items:
• $9,938,000 for increases to cover ratification of the Nunavut Employees Union collective agreement approved this past September, which gives GN employees a 7.5 per cent salary increase until 2014;
• $2,422,000 to the Qulliq Energy Corp. for a Fuel Stabilization Fund shortfall;
• $200,000 to the Department of Health and Social Services for the temporary relocation of Public Health to the Qikiqtani General Hospital while the Iqaluit Public Health and the Family Practice clinic in Building 155 continues to undergo extensive renovations after an environmental assessment by Ottawa clean air investigators earlier this year;
• $632,000 to the Department of Community and Government Services to increase the base funding of the Project Management Office ($600,000) and the additional lease cost for the relocation of Public Health ($32,000); and,
• $350,000 to the Nunavut Housing Corporation for the development of a comprehensive housing and homelessness strategy.