GNWT rejects MLA’s population growth proposal

GNWT writes that it already has a population growth strategy in place

The GNWT has said no to a plan to increase the Territories's population -- saying it has its own plan.

MLA Caitlin Cleveland’s population growth motion has been rejected by the GNWT. (Photo: Facebook)

The GNWT has rejected a motion endorsed by the Legislative Assembly to fast-track population growth.

It was back in June of this year when Kam Lake MLA Caitlin introduced the motion that would see the NWT’s population increase by 25 per cent to more than 56,000 by 2043 – matching Canada’s projected growth.  The motion also called on the GNWT to add at least 3,700 new

The GNWT had 120 days to respond to the motion.  In a 17-page unsigned document, the GNWT writes that it already has a population growth strategy in place and that adopting a new one as proposed by the Legislative Assembly would take away from the work it has already done.

“The exercise of developing another strategy to encourage population growth will not necessarily provide new answers to the issue of sustainable economic development. This is an issue being faced by many other jurisdictions and encouraging population growth is only part of the answer,” the document reads.

The GNWT goes on to say that despite its efforts, the reality is that the population in the NWT is expected to decline, citing a lack of housing and jobs. It says it’s working with various government departments to curb that trend. It adds that the GNWT also has an Immigration Strategy in place, but says that plan has to start by taking care of NWT residents first.

“Attracting new residents to communities starts with providing adequate housing for existing residents and making communities desirable places to call home.”