Government of the Northwest Territories Releases 2017-2018 Budget

News Releases

YELLOWKNIFE (February 1, 2017) – Finance Minister Robert C. McLeod released the Government of the Northwest Territories’ (GNWT) 2017-18 Budget today, highlighting $55 million in new investments for initiatives related to the priorities of the 18th Legislative Assembly and to strengthen delivery of existing programs.

The balanced approach to managing expenditures has improved the Budget’s medium-term projections. The 2017-2018 Budget proposes operating expenditures of $1.66 billion and revenues of $1.86 billion. The Budget projects an operating surplus of $167 million and after accounting for infrastructure investments, an overall cash surplus of $15 million for 2017-18.

Budget 2017-18 supports the five priorities of the 18th Legislative Assembly including the following highlights:

  • Education, training and youth development
    • $1.5 million for Junior Kindergarten with a commitment of another $2.7 million before the end of the 18th Assembly to fully implement the program
    • $3.0 million in additional support for employment in small NWT communities
  • Cost of living
    • $4.2 million in additional support for income assistance
    • $750,000 to extend the NWT Child Benefit for more than 2,000 families with children who earn less than $80,000 annually
    • $500,000 for a new home repair program for Seniors
  • Community wellness and safety
    • $750,000 for actions to address homelessness in Yellowknife
    • $616,000 to implement a territorial wide 9-1-1 service
    • $6.4 million to address cost pressures in the medical travel budget
  • Economy, environment and climate change
    • $2.1 million for transboundary water agreements
    • $14.0 million for the operating costs of the Mackenzie Valley Fibre Link project
  • Governance
    • $1.1 million increase for community government funding
    • $3.9 million to upgrade and ensure on-going maintenance for GNWT computerized administrative systems


“We intend to ensure fiscal sustainability over the life of this Assembly so that we can protect delivery of our core programs and services for our residents and still make investments in the priorities of this Assembly. We are cautiously optimistic that we have turned the corner on our way to restoring fiscal sustainability. We are no longer spending beyond our means and, as a result, for the first time in many years we expect to reduce our short term borrowing.”
- Robert C. McLeod, Minister of Finance

Quick Facts

  • The 2017-18 Budget proposes new spending of $55 million to strengthen existing programs and invest in priorities of the 18th Legislative Assembly.
  • Careful expenditure management is expected to produce an operating surplus of $167 million in 2017-18 from revenues of $1.86 billion and expenditures of $1.66 billion.
  • Including the $266 million approved in the 2017-18 Capital Estimates (October 2016), total spending will be $1.92 billion.
  • Short term borrowing will decline but total debt will increase to $990 million at the end 2017-18 when $53 million is added for the new Stanton Territorial Hospital.

Relevant Links

Media Contact:

Charlotte Digness
Media and Communications Coordinator
Government of the Northwest Territories
Tel: (867) 767-9140 ext. 11092