The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) has received an AA- credit rating from Fitch Ratings Inc. after being assessed for creditworthiness, debts and financial obligations. The Fitch AA- rating is a signal that the GNWT continues to manage its financial affairs in a responsible manner and gives the GNWT stronger scores for revenue stability, prudent fiscal management and debt.
The Northwest Territories’ (NWT) AA- rating is the fourth-highest Fitch rating possible, two notches below Canada’s rating (AA+). It is the same as Ontario, Quebec and Alberta, but below Saskatchewan (AA) and British Columbia (AA+).
Fitch ‘AA’ ratings denote expectations of very low default risk. They indicate very strong capacity for payment of financial commitments. This capacity is not significantly vulnerable to foreseeable events.
The GNWT already received a rating from Moody’s Investors Service in July 2020 of Aa1 (negative), Moody’s second-highest available rating.
During the GNWT’s inaugural bond issuance in 2020, financial lenders recommended that the GNWT seek a second rating, so the GNWT acquired the services of Fitch Ratings Inc. through a Request for Proposal process.
“By obtaining third-party credit ratings, governments can get an independent assessment of their fiscal management and health. The Fitch Ratings Inc. and Moody’s Investor Service ratings demonstrate their confidence in the GNWT’s ability to successfully manage its finances so that the debt burden remains manageable. The GNWT will continue to work hard to ensure that our finances are sustainable so that we have a healthy, resilient and more diverse economic future for the Northwest Territories.”
- Caroline Wawzonek, Minister of Finance
- Fitch Ratings Inc. gives the GNWT strong scores for revenue stability, prudent fiscal management and debt.
- Fitch Ratings Inc. gives the GNWT lower scores for expenditure risks, which includes the ability to sustain spending on operations and invest in infrastructure. Expenditure risk also takes into account the high cost of providing services in a large territory with a small, widely dispersed population.
- Fitch Ratings – GNWT’s Rating
- Fitch Ratings – Rating Definitions
- Moody’s Investor Service
- Budget 2021
For media requests, please contact:
Senior Communications Officer
Department of Finance
Government of the Northwest Territories