The effort to create an operations and maintenance budget for the GNWT is a year-long undertaking.
This year it ended more amicably than any other year since I’ve been in the Legislative Assembly, with everyone voting in favour of it. This is a change from other years where there has been opposition right to the end, and the previous government had to “make three friends” among the regular MLAs to pass the budget.
The difference this year is that the Minister of Finance made friends of all regular members. They suggested where cuts could be made (departmental discretionary travel budgets) and where they would like that $4 million to be spent.
The result is not only a pleasant and productive end to the budget negotiation process but also some good additions to the budget, most of which will be realized later this year.
There’s additional money for midwifery, addictions and recovery after-care, the anti-poverty fund and more (see the whole list at this link
As spending begins of the $2.124 billion budget, planning resumes for 2022-23.