Mahsi, Mr. Speaker. It has been another long, arduous year, ending with capital acquisition plans, business plans, and the cream of the crop, the main estimates. These exercises are a necessary evil as they set the departmental budgets for the upcoming new fiscal year. What I mean by "necessary evil" is the many long hours reviewing departmental budgets and then doing it all over again in its final stages during the Committee of the Whole. This entailed all 19 Members to be present and work together to come up with the final budget that is somewhat satisfactory to Regular MLAs on this side of the House and satisfies the needs of the departments and Cabinet.
Mr. Speaker, one of the great benefits of this exercise is that we can all talk the same language, working for the benefit of all of the residents of the Northwest Territories. When we can work together on budget issues and agree to provide more financial resources for programs and services, it is the residents who win. Similarly, it falls upon us all to dig deep to find the financial resources to cover those extra costs as noted by the Finance Minister.
The residents of the Northwest Territories need to know this Legislative Assembly has their best interests at heart, that this Legislative Assembly continues to investigate economic opportunities that will benefit northern businesses, which in turn benefit the residents of the Northwest Territories. Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.