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Capital budget review looms as N.W.T. legislature back in session

N.W.T. MLAs return to their seats in the legislature today after the summer break and on the agenda is the proposed budget for buildings, roads and other infrastructure and a report on government transparency.

Report on government transparency also expected

A view of the N.W.T. legislative assembly chamber. N.W.T. MLAs return to their seats in the legislature today after the summer break. (Chantal Dubuc/CBC)

N.W.T. MLAs return to their seats in the legislature today after the summer break. On the agenda is the proposed budget for buildings, roads and other infrastructure. A report on government transparency is also expected.

If this capital budget is similar to the last, MLAs will be deciding how to spend about $320 million. According to the government, $162 million is already needed for projects underway, such as the new Stanton Territorial Hospital and the Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk highway.

As well, a committee of MLAs, including the Minister Responsible for Transparency, is expected to table a report with recommendations on opening up more meetings of the legislature's standing committees. The meetings are, by default, closed to the public.

Cabinet is also looking for support to add an improvement fee at the Yellowknife airport. The government estimates the fee could add about $29 to the cost of an airline ticket for flights heading south out of Yellowknife. The government is hoping to implement the fee in February.

The sitting runs until Nov. 3.

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