Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I rise to speak to this appropriation bill. I acknowledge that there is a bit of levity in the air today, but the business of the House still must get done, and in this case, it is passing a very large capital budget.
I do not stand in support of this budget on principle, because one of the most important issues to my constituency and to my constituents is the issue of municipal funding and the funding gap that has remained stubbornly unclosed since the start of this Assembly, despite repeated calls for it to be addressed. This budget was last opportunity to add some additional and much-needed funds to our municipalities, and it was not delivered.
After tireless advocating on this side of the House, through business plans, through reviewing budget documents, nothing has still been done, and I told myself that eventually a line would be crossed, and for me, that line is this lack of attention to detail.
The Members on this side of the House and the House itself is not here to rubber-stamp government decisions. It is here to advise government on how to make the right decisions. In this case, there were a number of projects, and this one was very important to me and my community, that were left on the cutting room floor. This has happened time and time again. At this point, I cannot bring myself to support a bill that has essentially been rubber-stamped. It is important that the Ministers are not just there to explain government decisions to this side of the House, but to hear this side of the House, and to incorporate our recommendations into their plans, and especially into their budgets.
Although there are a lot of great projects in this budget, that fundamental issue, which is so important to not just Yellowknife, not just Kam Lake, but to every community in the Northwest Territories, and it is still unaddressed? That is something that I cannot stand for, and I will not stand for this budget as a result. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.