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Nunatsiavut Government hands down 2012-13 budget

by NationTalk on March 9, 2012294 Views

March 8, 2012

The Nunatsiavut Government’s 2012-13 budget focuses on building for the future, with a goal of strengthening the cultural, social and economic wellbeing of Labrador Inuit communities and Beneficiaries of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement, says Finance, Human Resources and Information Technology Minister Danny Pottle.

“In keeping with our commitment to implement our Strategic Plan, this year’s budget strikes a balance between fiscal realities and building for the future,” says the Minister. “I am confident that this budget will help position the Nunatsiavut Government to better meet the needs of our people while, at the same time, planting the seeds for future social and economic growth a prosperity for all of Nunatsiavut.”Of the $59,872,205 budgeted for the 2011-12 fiscal year, which begins April 1, a total of $19,962,101 will be used for government administration. This expenditure will be offset from own-source revenues of the same amount, which includes a surplus of more than $5.6 million from the previous fiscal year.

A total of $39,910,104 is aside to deliver programs and services under the Fiscal Financing Agreement, which is negotiated between the Nunatsiavut Government and the governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador every five years, or at other intervals agreed to by the parties. The FFA ensures funding is provided to the Nunatsiavut Government for the provision of programs and services to Inuit and other persons living in Inuit communities, at levels reasonably comparable to those generally prevailing in communities of similar size and circumstances in Labrador.

The budget was presented during a sitting of the Nunatsiavut Assembly in Nain this week. It sets aside funding for a number of initiatives within each government department.

The Nunatsiavut Secretariat will receive funding to:
• conduct a workshop to clarify the roles, responsibilities and mandates between the Nunatsiavut Government, the five Inuit Community Governments and the two Inuit Community Corporations in Upper Lake Melville;
• maintain an electronic registry of Inuit laws; and
• establish a photo library.

The Department of Nunatsiavut Affairs will:
• hire additional legal counsel;
• increase funding to the Membership Committee; and
• hire a membership co-ordinator.

The Department of Lands and Natural Resources will:
• establish a permanent fisheries specialist position;
• purchase fishing opportunities (licences, quotas, etc.);
• fund research for a salmon counting fence for the Lake Melville/Rigolet area;
• construct two storage facilities for equipment used by conservation officers;
• establish a position to assist with implementation of the Nunatsiavut Government’s Environmental Protection Act and Regulations;
• increase research budget to study impacts of the proposed Lower Churchill development; and
• hire a permanent lands manager.

The Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism will:
• provide funding to the Torngat Recreation Commission;
• hire a permanent archaeological assistant and two part-time language liaison positions;
• conduct an interpreter/translator conference;
• provide funding for the Inuaggualuit Nest, family Inuttitut classes and an Inuttitut training program;
• assist with the restoration efforts at Hebron;
• co-ordinate a ceremony at Nutak to mark the relocation of former residents;
• maintain the product development’s position with the Tourism Division and to develop new marketing programs; and
• enhance the Nunatsiavut Government’s Hebron Ambassador’s Program.

The Department of Education and Economic Development will:
• provide funding for the kangidluasuk Student Program, Students on Ice; and
• build on its Community Economic Development Fund.

This year’s budget also sets aside funding for two major infrastructure projects, namely a new office complex, daycare and dental clinic for Makkovik, and $1.6 million (over two years) towards the proposed Torngâsok Cultural Centre for Nain.

Media Contact:
Bert Pomeroy
Director of Communications
(709) 896-8582

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