Finance Minister Robert C. McLeod releases 2016-2017 territorial budget

News Releases

YELLOWKNIFE (June 1, 2016) – Finance Minister Robert C. McLeod released the Government of the Northwest Territories’ (GNWT) 2016-2017 Budget today, highlighting $35 million in new spending on initiatives related to the priorities of the 18th Legislative Assembly.

The $1.6 billion budget reflects the GNWT’s commitment to protecting spending on core social programs, with $1 billion of the overall budget allocated to the programs and services NWT residents rely on each day.

The 2016-2017 budget charts a course to align expenditure growth with revenue growth in order to generate the operating cash surpluses necessary to protect and extend the life of existing infrastructure and to begin addressing the $3.4 billion infrastructure deficit, including infrastructure priorities identified in Assembly’s Mandate.

The operating cash surplus is necessary for the GNWT to make required infrastructure investment in such things as health facilities, schools, parks, highways, and runways that deliver essential government programs and support the economy.


“We intend to ensure fiscal sustainability over the life of this Assembly. The NWT economy is facing considerable challenges that have serious implications for our revenues. We have made this Budget about balancing the needs of our residents for essential programs with strategic investments in infrastructure to help deliver these programs and to support the economy without compromising our financial sustainability. Our course is clear: we must align our expenditures to revenues and reinforce that commitment through the life of this Assembly. That is what sustainability means.”

- Robert C. McLeod, Minister of Finance

Quick Facts

  • In the spirit of collaboration and cooperation that defines consensus government, the GNWT worked with various standing committees to protect $4.3 million in programing in this budget.
  • Total revenue is estimated to decrease almost one per cent from last year to $1.8 billion in 2016-2017.
  • The 2016-2017 budget contains an operating surplus of $119 million, however, this
    is still not enough to continue to invest in infrastructure and start relying less on short term borrowing.
  • Budget 2016-17 proposes $11 million in new funding to directly address the cost of living.
  • The Budget proposes $5.4 million in funding for actions in support of improving governance, for better accountability, transparency and collaboration.
  • $53 million in expenditure reductions has been identified, or 3 per cent of the total operating budget. $15 million in new revenues over four years is projected to be raised, and this combination of expenditure management and increased revenue totals almost $68 million, or 45 per cent of the target.

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Media Inquiries for the Minister

Andrew Livingstone
Senior Cabinet Communications Advisor
Department of the Executive                                                                                         
Government of the Northwest Territories
Box 1320 Yellowknife NT X1A 2L9                                                                                             
Tel: (867) 767-9140 ext. 11091
Cell: (867) 447-0443
Fax: (867) 873-0169