Fort McPherson hamlet status to be reinstated, $2M debt wiped

The community of Fort McPherson, N.W.T., will have its hamlet status reinstated, nearly two years after the territorial government took away its governing power over a ballooning $2 million deficit.

GNWT placed hamlet under administrative management in 2014 over ballooning deficit

The hamlet office in Fort McPherson, N.W.T., is back in business, nearly two years after the territorial government took away the hamlet's governing power over a ballooning $2 million deficit. (David Thurton/CBC)

The community of Fort McPherson, N.W.T., will have its hamlet status reinstated, nearly two years after the territorial government took away its governing power over a ballooning $2 million deficit.

'It was hard on the people,' said elder Mary Teya. (David Thurton/CBC)
In July 2014 the Government of the Northwest Territories placed the Hamlet of Fort McPherson under administrative management, meaning its mayor and council no longer had power to oversee the day-to-day running of the community.

To pay down the debt, water rates nearly doubled and user fees were hiked in the community of fewer than 800. The deficit has now been wiped out and residents may see their municipal rates decrease.

"It was hard on the people," said elder Mary Teya. "People weren't happy they had to pay a big sum of money for water."

The deputy minister of Municipal and Community Affairs, Tom Williams, said some rates had not been raised in 10 years.

Tom Williams, deputy minister of Municipal and Community Affairs, said some municipal rates had not been raised in 10 years. (David Thurton/CBC)
"[There were] some tough decisions that were made," said Williams. "They had to be made in order to get out of deficit, to get into the financial position where we are today."

Williams said they will revisit the water rates when the new 2016/2017 budget is drafted in April.

He expects the hamlet will hold elections in December.

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