Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs is reviewing the way it funds community governments to run basic municipal programs and services. This review has been undertaken in partnership with the NWT Association of Municipalities and has involved elected community councillors and senior staff of a number of communities.
I have shared with Members some of the discussion papers that have been developed as part of the municipal finance review. These documents contain a number of proposals for changes to the way the department funds communities and we are anxious to receive comments on these proposals.
Plans are now being made for visits to communities to discuss these proposals. During August and September consultations will be held with community governments in every community in the Northwest Territories. As I have indicated, schedules for these visits are being arranged at this time.
In keeping with the partnership for reviewing the financing of community governments, MACA has established a number of regional consultation teams. Each regional consultation team will include a member of the NWT Association of Municipalities Board of Directors from that region and a senior administrative officer of one of the communities in the region, as well as senior MACA staff. MACA's regional superintendents are leading these consultation groups and they are contacting communities now to set up meetings with councils and their staff.
Mr. Speaker, consultations are a key part of the process in bringing change to the way we fund community governments. The steering committee for the municipal finance review will make its final recommendations to me as the Minister responsible, based on the input received from the consultation meetings held with communities.
I am informing Members of these plans for consultations, so they may participate in the meetings, which are scheduled in their communities. I look forward to sharing with you the times for these meetings when they are set.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.