The N.W.T.’s budget session won’t be until May, to give the new government more time to review the territory’s $1.4 billion in annual spending.
"Because we were late starting, because of the election, we wouldn't be able to do that and have the final budget by the end of March," said Finance Minister Michael Miltenberger.
MLAs will be back at the legislature next week, but only for seven days. They will vote to approve three months' worth of spending to keep money flowing to departments until the next budget.
"That'll allow the government to keep functioning," said Miltenberger.
What could change between now and May is the territory’s borrowing limit. It's now almost maxed out at $575 million. Miltenberger has been lobbying the federal government for years for an increase.
"I have enough comfort in our work to say this should be resolved, in fact, by the end of March."
Miltenberger says any extra money the territory can borrow will be put towards big projects such as the Tuktoyaktuk to Inuvik all-weather road and the Stanton Territorial Hospital renovation.
He said next week's mini-budget won't include any drastic changes. Any new programs and services – or any cuts – will wait until the spring.