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A8 NEWS/NORTH NWT, Monday, April 13, 2015
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Walter Strong/NNSL photo
Communities such as Gameti, shown here, are recipients of block community funding from the GNWT. A recent Department
of Municipal and Community Affairs report found a $40 million shortfall in the way the department allocates this money.
Please sir, can I
have some more?
$40 million municipal funding shortfall makes legislative
assembly sessions sound like pages from Oliver Twist
tinue to grovel, like Sahtu MLA
Norman Yakeleya when he showed
Watching the legislative assemMUNICIPAL FUNDING
Health Minister Glen Abernethy picbly unfold every day can oftentimes
tures of the Tulita nurses' residences
seem like watching a table reading
WE SAY:
furnished with mousetraps and
of Oliver Twist.
NO EXCUSE TO WORK WITH A
Regular MLAs on one side of
FORMULA YOU KNOW IS FLAWED water-damaged furniture last fall,
or the Yellowknife MLAs when they
the room take turns begging cabbegged for a safe pedestrian walkinet members for infrastructure
way along Highway 3 between the
(MACA) revealed last week its fundimprovements in their regions, prolegislative assembly building and
ing formula leaves an annual $40
jects rationed out as if they are the
downtown.
GNWT's "three meals of thin gruel a million shortfall.
Ministers will no doubt say they
According to Hay River Mayor
day, with an onion twice a week, and
have a policy and they're sticking to
Andrew Cassidy, the department
a half a roll on Sundays." Hay River
it.
North MLA Robert Bouchard routine- was aware its funding formula was
At least one community, Colville
ly implores the Department of Trans- flawed at least as far back as SepLake, is taking matters into its own
tember 2013. Three months later
portation to start dredging the Hay
hands in its quest for a school big
MACA announced it would review
River since the federal government
stopped doing it in 1994. Mackenzie the way it calculates these numbers enough to accommodate its burgeoning student population – comfor the first time since 2007 and
Delta MLA Frederick Blake Jr. has a
replacement for Moose Kerr School, despite the fact MLAs requested the munity members are planning to
construct a building themselves and
department fast track the review
which was built in 1969, on his
invite the GNWT to lease it.
wish list. Nahendeh MLA Kevin Men- so it would be ready for consideraThe one silver lining in all of this
tion before the 2015 budget, the
icoche has recounted standing with
is that it's an election year. This is
new formula will not be presented
Industry, Tourism and Investment
the perfect time for municipalities
Minister David Ramsay in a Highway to the legislative assembly until
across the territory to urge their
after the election. When MACA
7 pothole so big that "it reminded
finally presents these new numbers residents to vote for politicians who
(him) of a roller-coaster."
make community infrastructure a
Banging their empty copper bowls to political leaders, it will be a full
two years after the department first priority -- politicians who possess the
with spoons, each MLA has taken a
announced it was embarking on the creativity and political will to find
turn to ask, "Please sir, may I have
ways to work around a bureaucracy
review. This is really unfortunate,
some more?"
that moves slower than molasses so
because imagine how far $40 milAnd it's no wonder the terriresidents across the territory don't
lion could go in improving the territory's infrastructure is starving for
tory's remote infrastructure this year. have to beg for access to
upgrades after the Department of
the things they need.
In the meantime MLAs will conMunicipal and Community Affairs
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