Akeeagok, PM discuss housing, possible transfer of powers to Nunavut in Ottawa meeting

Premier, Trudeau joined by representatives from NTI

Nunavut Premier P.J. Akeeagok, left, meets with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa on Monday. The two discussed the recently announced Nunavut 3000 housing strategy along with representatives from Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. (Photo courtesy of P.J. Akeeagok)

By Madalyn Howitt

This story was updated at 4:55 p.m. on Oct. 25, 2022

Premier P.J. Akeeagok and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau discussed Nunavut’s housing crisis in Ottawa on Monday.

Part of their talk focused on the launch of the Nunavut 3000 strategy, formed by the Government of Nunavut and Nunavut Housing Corp. earlier this month with a goal to build 3,000 new housing units by 2030.

The leaders were joined by Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. president Aluki Kotierk and vice-president James Eetoolook.

In an interview with Nunatsiaq News, Akeeagok said the GN and NTI jointly requested $500 million from the federal government to help fund the Nunavut 3000 strategy and the Nunavut Inuit Housing Action Plan.

“The bilateral meeting was very positive, we had very good discussions with the prime minister,” Akeeagok said.

“We’ve really done a lot as a territorial government and in partnership with NTI, who’s been very ambitious as well with the strategy that they’ve taken on Inuit housing.

“Those two strategies align so well, which is really building homes right across the 25 communities we serve.”

In a news release, Trudeau acknowledged the amount of collaboration it takes between government and Inuit organizations to come up with a project like this.

“[It’s] a positive step in advancing progress on housing issues in the territory,” he said.

Akeeagok and Trudeau also discussed working toward a Nunavut devolution final agreement, which would allow the transfer of some powers and authorities from the federal government to the territory.

“We talked about the importance of concluding the agreement. We’re very optimistic that I think we’re going down that right path,” Akeeagok said.

During his visit to Ottawa, the premier also met with representatives from Kivalliq Inuit Association who were at Parliament Hill discussing the Kivalliq Hydro Fibre Link, which would bring clean energy and high-speed internet to five Nunavut communities.

Akeeagok also made a surprise appearance at his alma mater Nunavut Sivuniksavut, talking with students at the Inuit school downtown.

“Just 20 years ago to this year, actually, I attended [my] first-year students fresh out of Grise Fiord … it’s been one of the most memorable experiences of my life having gone through the program myself,” he said.

This story has been updated to include comments from an interview with Premier P.J. Akeeagok


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(19) Comments:

  1. Posted by No Devolution on

    Devolution has been a big failure in NWT and willl be here also if nothing changes and we have a big race to sign something prematurely. Government of Canada is dumping it’s jurisdiction for a reason so GN should not be eager to pick it up. Do we really need an underfunded under capacity Department of Lands? No. Nunavut can do more and leverage this but leadership at the GN cannot even tell you why Devolution is important or what it is even about.

  2. Posted by Boston red Sox or Chicago white Sox? on

    Wonder what color socks JT had on today? Maybe red and yellow for Nunavut?

    • Posted by Circus on

      It was a clown colour socks. Manufactured from his mouth.

  3. Posted by Make Iqaluit Great Again on

    The first comment on this article is absolutely correct. This misguided devolution project has been going on for many years and yet the GN has failed to explain how taking on these additional responsibilities will benefit the lives of ordinary people in any tangible way. Smart governments look too offload responsibilities on other governments in order to save money and that’s what the Feds will look to do here.

    Please GN, stop this devolution nonsense unless you can make the case that it would leave Nunavut with more resources and be better able to provide a better standard of living for our people. I doubt that you can but you must be able to make that case.

    • Posted by Just say no on

      We can’t effectively manage what we already have. With lack of staff housing and labor shortage, how are we supposed to fill the new jobs that will be needed for this added responsibility?

      • Posted by Lack of staff housing??? on

        Lack of staff housing??? Where??? There are over 50 GN units in Cambridge Bay alone sitting empty, been like that for years. Units held for jobs that have never been fulfilled…Maybe in Iqaluit but all over Nunavut there are dozens of empty staff units. The GN is hoarding housing that could be used to help elevate the crisis Nunavummiut are facing. Many of these places have been empty for years, just wasting tax payers dollars with the upkeep of these empty units…REMEMBER…there was no such thing as a homeless Inuk before colonization, if you ask me…it should be the federal Government that takes responsibility for the homeless crisis that Nunavut is facing, they put us in this mess and wanted us to be reliant on them…let them fix the problem instead of sweeping under the rug, like they do everything else that has to do with indigenous peoples of Canada…this is all part of their plan of genocide!!! ignore the native problem and lie to cover up the truth…

        • Posted by Cardano on

          You know your ancestors lived in tents and snow houses that they built on their own right? What is stopping you from doing the same?

          • Posted by Ancestors on

            “You know your ancestors lived in tents and snow houses that they built on their own right? What is stopping you from doing the same?”
            Government is stopping us from doing the same.
            First you need a land lease.
            Then you need a building permit.
            Then you need to be a certified builder.
            Then you need to get your house inspected.
            Then you need a occupancy permit.
            If you don’t have all those, and probably a lot more, you are going to see the police show up.
            Or maybe they’ll just send someone with a bulldozer.

  4. Posted by Think about this on

    So with the new 3000 units to be built by 2030 that is about 120 per community with some communities not needing that many (Grise) but other needing more. Example Iglulik is 10th on the list of housing needs, so maybe we get 140-150 instead. and currently we have less then 400, that is a large increase. But can we handle that many new buildings in the next 8 years? I hope so.
    I hope people have thought about some of these things
    1) is the hamlet prepared to have that amount of roads and lots surveyed to build the houses?
    2) does QEC have the ability to put in the number of required power lines? and have enough fuel in the tank farm for that many more houses burning fuel each year?
    3) will the Hamlet be able to get more water and sewage trucks to service that many more units? how about employees to operate the trucks. We already have issues with schools closing because they have no water or sewage pumped at times.
    4) Will the sealift be able to get all the supplies to the communities (physical space on the ships)?
    5) will local housing authority get more funding to maintain the increased number of units?

    And i am sure there are other questions i hope are being considered.
    But overall i just really want this to happen as it is very needed.

    • Posted by 867 on

      And then where are all the builders going to come from and where will they stay? Accomodations are already very tight in most communities and there is a shortage of tradespeople everywhere in Canada. These guys will say anything for a photo opp and a chance at a re-election.

  5. Posted by Need Some Consultants on

    If every dollar that went into studies and strategies for Nunavut Housing had been spent on housing in Nunavut, every family could have a home.

  6. Posted by Entitled Nunavummuit on

    Do you know how working class people get housing in the south? They go to work.
    Why do Nunavummuit feel entitled to government provided housing? Why do you wait around? Boot straps people, get a job and get a house. Between every type of government support, free education, and six figure gold plated pension jobs for having a pulse and a high school diploma it’s amazing 85% of housing is public housing.

    • Posted by 867 on

      Maybe it’s time to read up about the lasting legacy of colonialism in the north. I agree the handouts don’t help struggling Nunavummiut get off their feet, but many of the social problems are deeply rooted and go beyond “get a job and things will get better”. Sure they can go get a job, but then who watches their kids? What happens when they realize they do not have the same skills at their job than their southern coworkers? What about the double-standard that inuit have to deal with at work? These problems may take generations to fix and it likely won’t happen in our lifetimes. Baby steps.

      • Posted by Just wondering on

        tell us more about “the lasting impact of colonialism” ? This incantation has worked a lot of magic over the years. How long are we going to keep shaking this wand?

      • Posted by 75309 on

        Nunavut is a dream for low achievers and non competitive professionals. It is like going back in time to southern Canada decades ago experiencing the ease of high pay low qualifications like baby boomers once did. Gold plated pension, insane government options like sabbatical on fifth year, topped up parental leave, free move in and out, job split, education leave and almost endless promotion opportunities. If you’re Inuit you easily can see yourself a complete blunder but end up in the highest bureaucratic positions of government with no qualifications and no work ethic. If southern Canada ever wakes up to the dollar per capita invested in the North they’d freak out because it’s insane how Canada is propping this up. But ya colonialism is terrible

  7. Posted by Jimmy on

    Kids Having kids? Good to see NTI taking an interest in housing.

    • Posted by Peter on

      It is interesting to see NTI taking part in this, they have been nearly impossible to work with or even get a reply from NTI, nice to see them at the grown ups table.

  8. Posted by Name Withheld on

    Instead of hiring consultant, NHC needs to get their staff in the communities to ensure that point rating is being rated right and followed. And ensure all the applicants on the waiting list are up to date. I understand an email might be sent but that does not justify if the point rating is actually being implemented and followed by the Board of Directors of each Association that falls under NHC.

    I read the comments and yes I agree that Iqaluit, Rankin Inlet and Cambridge Bay will likely received most housing, but they are a growing community as jobs tend to get posting in each moreso than others.

    Smaller communities who need housing, voice your concern during the AGM, and make sure your child apply for housing right when they turn 19 even if they plan to leave Nunavut for education.

  9. Posted by Tooma on

    Still growing in some regions. Many places with locals is where they need to focus on to get resources. Self determination, local leaders.

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