58 people working for the territorial government have been warned they could lose their jobs soon, according to a background document made available to Moose FM.
According to the document, “approximately 58 people received an affected employee notice” from the GNWT on Thursday.
Even though notices have been issued, the government says “no decisions have been made at this time.”
Earlier this year, senior finance officials admitted the territory’s economic outlook ‘isn’t great’ over the next five years.
The government is projecting marginal surpluses for the next three years followed by consecutive deficits. The GNWT is also expected to amass over $1 billion in debt by 2020.
To address the gap between future revenues and expenditures, the Department of Finance says the government needs to come up with $150 million in combined revenue and expenditure measures over the next five years.
In February, territorial finance minister Robert C. McLeod announced a first step in the form of a two-year salary freeze for some of the government’s top earners.
But many feared job cuts were also looming, and Thursday’s background document provides the first hard evidence of that possibility.
The document, which was shared with MLAs, says some of the employees affected will be offered different jobs within the government over the next eight weeks.
They’ll also be granted priority on any government jobs within and beyond their department until the end of the notice period.
Those who don’t get an offer will receive a layoff notice and have at least three months before their job is cut.
MLAs will discuss the territorial budget in much greater detail when the 18th Legislative Assembly reconvenes next Tuesday.