Mahsi, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, on August 24th, a significant news release was issued announcing the Canada/Northwest Territories infrastructure program. This is a $10.8 million cost-shared program designed to meet the infrastructure needs and priorities of local communities.
I, for one, am very pleased at this announcement and wish to compliment the Ministers who were involved in negotiating this agreement. However, of course, we all wish that we could have received more money. Madam Speaker, I don't wish to reiterate the highlights of the program, which were detailed in the press release, but I do wish to flag some issues which may be of concern when implementing the program.
It always seems that when we establish new programs, especially federal/territorial ones, that we have to involve many layers of bureaucracy. In this case, the program will be administered by a joint federal/territorial management committee. Applications will flow through regional superintendents of Education, Culture and Employment. Applications will be assessed by officials in Municipal and Community Affairs and the other government departments which are involved. And, community consultation groups may be established.
Madam Speaker, I believe in getting things done simply, effectively and efficiently. I believe things should follow the KISS principle: keep it simple, stupid. In this case, especially with such a good initiative, the whole program could be bogged down being reviewed by committees. Madam Speaker, I believe it is incumbent upon all of us to ensure that this program doesn't get bogged down in bureaucracy. Let the communities and their residents decide what their priorities are, give them the resources and let them get on with the job. Mahsi.