GNWT’s Credit Rating of Aa1 Confirmed

July 24, 2013
News Releases

YELLOWKNIFE (July 24, 2013)  The Government of the Northwest Territories’ Aa1 credit rating has been confirmed by Moody’s Investors Service. This is the second-highest credit rating Moody’s issues, and follows its annual review of the GNWT’s fiscal plans, outlook, and borrowing activity. The GNWT has maintained this high credit rating since 2008-09, indicating its sound fiscal strategy. The investment-grade rating also reflects the NWT’s high employment rates and GDP per capita levels.

“This confirms that we are on the right track with our fiscal policies that support the economy,” said Michael Miltenberger, Minister of Finance. “We will not stand pat and take our hard-earned rating for granted.  We will maintain our spending on programs and services but we must also continue to control growth in operating expenditures. This will generate surpluses to invest in our infrastructure. There are inherent risks in an economy focused on resource development, and Moody’s specifically notes our reporting and accountability as key to our continued fiscal discipline.”

Moody’s credit rating recognizes the GNWT’s ongoing sound financial management based on a well-developed fiscal framework and Fiscal Responsibility Policy. The analysis also included recognition of the additional revenue and fiscal flexibility that will result from the devolution of authority over lands and waters to the NWT.

The GNWT’s rating is on par with Manitoba and Saskatchewan and a step above that of Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic provinces. The highest possible credit rating issued by Moody’s is Aaa, one level above the GNWT’s. The NWT’s debt burden is low when compared to that of most Canadian regional governments.

A high credit rating allows the GNWT to build a strong, sustainable future for the NWT by making strategic infrastructure investments that will increase northern capacity, strengthen and diversify the economy, and increase employment opportunities where they are most needed.

For more information, contact:

Brenda Norris
Media Liaison
Government of the Northwest Territories
Tel:         867-669-2302