Minister of Finance, Caroline Wawzonek, today released a ‘What We Heard Report’ that summarizes the feedback received from participants in the July 2020 Budget Dialogues.
Major themes outlined during the discussions with NWT residents included the need for government to do a better job of finding efficiencies in programs and services, reducing duplication of services, and being more thoughtful about how we can reduce future costs by making present day investments in the social supports we have in place for residents. Residents also clearly identified the need to demonstrate greater accountability in how the government spends its money to ensure it is not spending more than it has.
The Budget Dialogues consisted of a series of facilitated, online engagement sessions that form a part of the Government of the Northwest Territories’ (GNWT) commitment to developing a more inclusive approach to financial policy setting. This government remains committed to a more collaborative and open relationship with the public, and will work to incorporate the feedback we received through this process into future budgets wherever possible.
The Minister will be hosting a final public engagement session on Thursday, November 5, 2020 at 7pm where she will outline the main themes and concerns identified by participants during the public sessions held in July. More information on how to participate in this event is located on the Department of Finance’s website.
The What We Heard Report was tabled today in the Legislative Assembly and is available for review on the Department of Finance’s website.
“Renewing our approach to budgeting and financial decision making so our spending is better aligned with the needs and priorities of residents and the Legislative Assembly is a priority for our government. Hearing from residents through our Budget Dialogues is one of the steps we are taking to ensure we are achieving that alignment and creating better value for the people of the NWT.. ”
-Caroline Wawzonek, Minister of Finance
· As many as 249 individuals logged onto the four public webinars held in July 2020.
· 189 written inquiries and comments were sent to the Minister of Finance by participants during the four public sessions.
· In addition, four separate stakeholder sessions with business representatives, non-government organizations, Indigenous governments, and municipal leaders were also held with the Finance Minister.
· Northwest Territories residents were also invited to answer an online survey or provide submissions; a total of 426 responses were received.