Iqaluit council passes $66 million budget for 2019


Iqaluit city council passed a 2019 budget of more than $66 million, with $23 million set aside for operations and more than $43 million in capital spending.

photo courtesy Kyle Sheppard
Coun. Kyle Sheppard, chair of the City of Iqaluit’s finance committee, presented a final 2019 budget focused on deficit reduction and needed infrastructure Nov. 27. Council passed the $66 million budget that evening.

The budget goes into effect Jan. 1, 2019.

“City council is pleased to approve the 2019 budget, which is a balanced approach to help address the infrastructure deficit and offset the costs of services to meet the needs of our growing population,” stated Mayor Madeleine Redfern in a news release.

The plan includes continuing to work on water infrastructure and a supplementary water source, improve information technology infrastructure, and upgrade and improve access to public buildings.

To move forward, residents will see an increase in sanitation rates of $12 a month. That fund is in a deficit, in contravention of the Cities, Towns and Villages Act. The city also plans to invest in equipment and personnel to improve services.

The city is also ending the residential water subsidy, which was .013 cents a litre.

“The subsidy of $1.3 million provided by the Government of Nunavut will be re-invested in water infrastructure,” according to the city.

Property taxes will increase by 5 per cent.

The $43.4 million capital spending plan will see upgrades to the wastewater treatment plant, a new waste transfer station, upgrades to the city’s cemetery, drainage and road upgrades, and new public safety vehicles, including a new ambulance, as well as an all-terrain vehicle for beach patrols.

These efforts are to be funded by federal infrastructure funds, the gas tax, Government of Nunavut block funding and city reserves.

In addition, the city will create a community liaison position to communicate with Inuktitut-speaking residents, while city staff will see salary increases in keeping with their collective agreement.

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Michele LeTourneau first arrived at NNSL's headquarters in Yellowknife in1998, with a BA honours in Theatre. For four years she documented the arts across the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Following a very short stint as a communications officer with the Government of the Northwest Territories, Michele spent a decade at a community-based environmental monitoring board in the mining industry, where she worked with Inuit, Chipewyan, Tlicho, Yellowknives Dene and Metis elders to help develop traditional knowledge and Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit contributions for monitoring and management plans. She rejoined NNSL and moved to Iqaluit in May 2014 to write for Nunavut News. Michele has received a dozen awards for her work with NNSL.