GNWT wants Ottawa to pay for plebiscite

By JIM BELL

Even though it’s the Yellowknife government’s idea, the GNWT still wants Ottawa to pay for an upcoming plebiscite on the Nunavut Implementation Commission’s two-member constituency proposal.

A phalanx of GNWT cabinet ministers and Nunavut caucus members pushed the plebiscite idea through at a Nunavut leaders’ meeting in Cambridge Bay two week’s ago.

But there’s no money in the GNWT’s 1997-98 budget to pay for that plebiscite.

That’s because Yellowknife hopes Ottawa will foot the bill.

David Hamilton, the clerk of the legislative assembly, told MLAs meeting in committee this Tuesday that officials with Nunavut Tunngavik, the NIC and the GNWT are still working out the details for how the plebiscite will run.

After that, they’ll present their plans to Indian Affairs Minister Ron Irwin and ask Canadian taxpayers to pay for it.

“It is my understanding that once the guidelines have been approved, they will be taken forward to the minister of Indian and northern affairs, within the next week, to seek his approval if the federal government will fund the public vote on gender parity,” Hamilton told MLAs.

New enumeration in Iqaluit

Hamilton also told MLAs that current municipal voter’s lists will be used in all communities except Iqaluit.

In Iqaluit, where a municipal election hasn’t been held since 1994, a new enumeration and new voters’ lists will be produced.

Last week, an NTI official told Nunatsiaq News that planners are looking at May 26 as the date for the legislative assembly plebiscite.

It’s estimated that the plebiscite will cost $350,000 to run.

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