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$60 million set aside for 'surprises'

Brent Reaney
Northern News Services

Iqaluit (Feb 28/05) - A $60 million fund has been included in this year's budget to cover unexpected expenses.

Last year, the same fund - set at $66 million - was used for capital cost carryovers, as well as unexpected spending in the departments of health, social services and education.

The contingency fund includes $25 million left over from last year's capital projects.

Of that, Finance Minister Leona Aglukkaq says about $15 million will be used to deal with an anticipated increase in power costs.

An announcement about the new rates is expected to be made by Energy Minister Ed Picco in the legislative assembly today.

"We've been costing out impacts on a number of scenarios," said Paul Reddy, a senior official with the department of finance.

That leaves $20 million, part of which could be used to cover compensation for lawsuits brought by victims of former teacher and principal Ed Horne.

It has been reported that the Government of the Northwest Territories allocated $10 million to be paid to Horne's victims in its most recent budget.