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GNWT selling excess furniture
Warehouse full of items discarded after devolution

Meagan Leonard
Northern News Services
Tuesday, August 25, 2015

It's not Ikea, but it's pretty close.

NNSL photo/graphic

Department of Public Works shipping technician Ryan Bourque stands among some of the old office furniture for sale at the GNWT warehouse on Byrne Road. The warehouse is open to the public the first Friday of every month. - Meagan Leonard/NNSL photo

Alhough not widely advertised, the GNWT has been selling hundreds of surplus furniture items every week out of a public works warehouse on Byrne Road. For bargain hunters, the deals are pretty good as many items are available for less than $150.

Department of Public Works spokesperson Nicole Bonnell said the surplus is a result of devolution and many positions being relocated to communities outside the capital.

"Government reorganizations such as devolution can lead to an increased volume of items," she told Yellowknifer in an e-mail. "Those items that are determined to be surplus to the needs of the GNWT become available for purchase."

Available items include desks, office chairs, bookshelves and filing cabinets.

Range Lake MLA Daryl Dolynny says it is a great way to recycle old, unused items without having to send them to a landfill.

"I'm personally glad they're selling it because at least they're recovering some value and hopefully putting it back it back into the general public revenue," he said.

He said a lot of times the items have minor damages, but overall the quality is sound.

"These (items) are probably damaged or reconditioned - that kind of stuff," he said. "But occasionally you'll find a gem - a desk that's in half-decent shape and you can probably pick it up for quite a bit less than buying a new desk."

Bonnell said money collected from the sale goes into the government's consolidated revenue fund.

Even though warehouse hours were extended this summer so it was open every week from 1 to 6 p.m., there are still many items left. Dolynny says he hopes with more advertising, they will soon find homes.

"It would be nice if there were more people going and buying the stuff and get some use out of it," he said.

Starting in September, the warehouse will go back to its regular hours and be open to the public the first Friday of every month from 1 to 3 p.m.

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