The federal budget was tabled in the House of Commons on Wednesday, and with it came a slew of benefits for Northerners.
There was the $300 million in Northern Housing, to what some are calling the largest investment in Indigenous needs in Canada to the tune of $3.4 billion.
What you might not have heard about is base plus funding.
While it might not sound all too thrilling, it means smaller jurisdictions like the Northwest Territories will receive more federal funding from some of the initiatives in the 2017-18 budgets than previously thought.
Before, funding from the federal government would be distributed per capita, meaning the number of people in a jurisdiction determines how much money is provided for them.
With a population of 44,000, the Northwest Territories pales in comparison to places like Ontario that have populations of just over 13 million, and as a result the territory receives less funding.
Now the territory’s Finance Minister Robert C. McLeod says a few pots of funding will follow the base plus model, meaning the territory will receive a set amount of money on top of funding per person.
“It’s actually huge for the smaller jurisdictions because we’ve been arguing base plus with [the federal government] for years, and this is an indication that they’re actually starting to hear our concerns,” he told Moose FM.
“With base plus funding, it depends what the base is but there will be a base amount for every jurisdiction and then it’s per capita after that.”
How much that base amount is worth is still up in the air. McLeod says that is still being worked out with Ottawa.