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NTI says new gov’t budget reflects inadequate federal transfer

NR 03-06 BUD ENG GN Budget.doc

(MARCH 11, 2003 — Iqaluit, Nunavut) Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated (NTI), the land claims organization, criticized the 2003-04 Government of Nunavut budget released today for failing to address key priorities for Inuit.

The federal transfer formula for the territory is simply inadequate, said NTI President Cathy Towtongie. The fact that the GN’s budget fails to provide adequate funding to meet even the basic needs of Inuit with respect to housing, education and training, health care, and economic development clearly shows that there isn’t enough federal funding to begin with.

NTI does question some of the choices made in this budget, given the lack of resources. Wildlife is key to the well-being and culture of Inuit, yet the GN cut the Department of Sustainable Development’s budget for wildlife by more than 20 percent, Towtongie said.