Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Nunavut October 23, 2012 - 4:05 pm

Peterson: Nunavut’s 2013-14 capital plan will tackle “pent up demands”

GN now projects 2012-13 deficit of only $5.6 million, down from $50 million

The Nunavut legislature kicked off its fall sitting with the discussion of its capital budget for the 2013-2014 fiscal year. (FILE PHOTO)
The Nunavut legislature kicked off its fall sitting with the discussion of its capital budget for the 2013-2014 fiscal year. (FILE PHOTO)

(updated Oct. 24, 10:35 a.m.)

When Nunavut’s finance minister Keith Peterson gave a fiscal update and introduced the territory’s 2013-14 capital estimates and the five-year capital plan Oct. 23 in the Nunavut legislature, the news wasn’t all bad.

Peterson said the Government of Nunavut’s deficit is now projected at about $5.6 million, “significantly less than the $50 million deficit originally budgeted.”

His statement in the house did not specify which fiscal year his deficit projections applied to, but in an emailed communication, a Peterson staffer said that the finance minister meant to refer to the 2011-12 fiscal year, not the current fiscal year

In his February 2011 budget speech, Peterson forecast a deficit of $50 million for 2011-12. In his budget speech this past February, the forecast for that year fell to about $34 million, a figure that has now fallen to $5.6 million.

Peterson said “prudent expenditure plans in our departments resulted in savings of about $40 million.”

“We are on track to return to balance this fiscal year,” he said.

As for the 2012-13 fiscal year, Peterson said the GN now projects a surplus of $50 million, about $12 million higher than originally projected.

But Peterson was not able to table a full interim financial report, saying it wasn’t delivered to him until Sept. 24. He said he will deliver the report later in the session.

Nunavut’s total capital plan for 2013-14 will come in at $152.9 million, Peterson said.

The territorial government’s current capital budget, which guides spending on the construction of schools, health centres, municipal offices and other pieces of infrastructure, as well as the purchase of vehicles and equipment, runs until March 31, 2013.

That new capital budget, which will be discussed this week, will kick in April 1, 2013.

Its $152.9 million will be divided between ongoing infrastructure projects, which will receive $112.4 million, small capital projects, which will receive $23.4 million, and new capital projects, which will receive $17.1 million.

We have focused on addressing the pent up demand for capital funds in our plans for 2013-14 as opposed to introducing new capital initiatives,” he said.

In the future, Nunavut will try to to deliver about $110 million per year for capital projects, Peterson said.

That amount does not include the GN’s contribution to the P3 Iqaluit airport project, he said.

The operation and maintenance section of Nunavut’s 2013-14 budget will likely be tabled at a sitting in February or March.


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