Quebec pays attention to Nunavik housing petition
“At last the government has been able to hear the cries of distress coming from the North”
The Parti Québécois says that Quebec’s Liberal government has finally acknowledged that overcrowded housing in Nunavik is a problem, with its official recognition of the petition signed by 1,246 people who asked for solutions to the housing crisis in Nunavik.
Quebec agreed March 29 to hear from the petitioners during upcoming hearings of its parliamentary land planning commission, the Commission de l’aménagement du territoire.
“At last the government has been able to hear the cries of distress coming from the North,” said Alexandre Cloutier, PQ native affairs critic, and Luc Ferland, MLA for Ungava, in a March 30 news release.
“The petition which I tabled [March 15], started by a young women from Kuujjuaq called Olivia Ikey Duncan, tells the government that Inuit want to take charge of the their destiny, and to do this it’s important that people can have adequate housing,” said Cloutier, noting that the Kativik Municipal Housing Bureau has estimated Nunavik needs about 1,000 housing units to meet its current needs for housing as well as more housing in the future. “It’s essential that the government snap into action now.”
The petition says that the five-year social housing construction deal between Quebec, Makivik Corp., the Kativik Regional Government and the KMHB can’t meet these needs, present and future.
“About half of the dwellings in Nunavik have more than one family living in them, which is inacceptable,” Cloutier said. “These living situations, as the human rights commission noted, are a major problem which worsens the social problems such as drug and alcohol abuse, suicide and family violence, so it’s important to act now without delay.”
“The current policies perpetuate human misery. What we have seen in the North confirms that it’s time to act and hear from northern residents. The testimony of the petitioners is a first step in the direction that we have urging the government to take action on for years,” Ferland said.