Housing issues topped meeting with PM, premier says

Akeeagok says goal of developing at least 1,000 housing units in territory will help address other priorities too

Premier P.J. Akeeagok said his meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on May 12 was an opportunity to discuss the goal of developing at least 1,000 housing units across the territory, which he hopes will help address other priorities in the GN’s mandate. (Photo courtesy of P.J. Akeeagok)

By Meral Jamal

Housing — and Nunavut’s goal of building 1,000 more units — was at the “forefront of discussion” in a meeting last week with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, says Premier P.J. Akeeagok.

Akeeagok said the May 12 sit-down at the prime minister’s office in Ottawa was his first in-person meeting with Trudeau since Nunavut’s Katujjiluta mandate was announced during the throne speech in March.

Katujjiluta — which means “a commitment to work in unity to manifest the courageous dream” — was planned with Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., and the territory’s three regional Inuit organizations: Qikiqtani Inuit Association, Kivalliq Inuit Association and the Kitikmeot Inuit Association.

In an interview with Nunatsiaq News on Tuesday, Akeeagok said the meeting was an opportunity to discuss the goal of developing at least 1,000 housing units. over four years across the territory.

By providing more housing and better accommodation, he hopes other social issues will also be improved.

“Housing was at the forefront of the discussion I had with him,” Akeeagok said.

“We all realize the impact the lack of housing has had right across the board — look at the rates of suicide, the impact on our culture … the impact on mental health, the impact on sexual health … education levels and employment levels, among other areas.”

He said he and Trudeau also discussed the federal budget released earlier this year, and the $60 million it provides for the Government of Nunavut as well as $845 million to address housing needs in Inuit communities.

The Katujjiluta mandate identifies the GN’s priorities for the next four years.

It aims to improve elder care in the territory through construction of long-term care facilities, housing units for elders and seniors, and training in linguistic and cultural sensitivity for staff working in continuing-care facilities.

It also addresses challenges involving mental health and suicide prevention through creating better opportunities, access to training, and formal recognition for Inuit to provide culturally and linguistically relevant mental health and well-being programs and services.

As well, it invests in local mental health, suicide prevention and addictions treatment programs that address root causes such as trauma, bullying and discrimination.

Akeeagok said other issues discussed with Trudeau included Arctic sovereignty, infrastructure development and collaboration.

Also, he said, the need for the territorial and federal governments to work closely together as negotiations continue toward the transfer of Nunavut’s public lands and resources to the territorial government, which will allow more decisions to be made closer to home.

 

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(10) Comments:

  1. Posted by KMO on

    This is it folks … major push for housing and related issues ahead in the winds. I say lets do it as right as possible this time. These opportunities don’t come around every day. I say .. Lets git er done.
    Problem needs to be fixed. So lets fix it .. we have the technology.

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    • Posted by Reality on

      The technology to continuously ask the government for more funding for housing? On the backs of the Canadian tax payers? How about you approve the mine, or otherwise figure out some sort of economy and contribute.

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    • Posted by Northern Guy on

      Wonderful! Yet another government hat in hand begging session. Rather than trying to build a viable economy where people work to earn the right to purchase their own homes. Nunavut continually goes to the Feds demanding more and more taxpayer funding so that heavily subsidized social housing can be handed out like candy only to have that same housing fall into disrepair and ruin within 5-10 years of construction at the hands of uninvested tenants.

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  2. Posted by Confused on

    No apartments please!

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    • Posted by But on

      High density housing is the way to go to get as many people housed as quickly and economically as possible.

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      • Posted by Environment on

        Good for the environment, too. One boiler heating several or even a dozen units instead of one boiler per dwelling. You know, if Inuit TRULY care about the environment, that is.

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    • Posted by Northern Guy on

      LOL as if you’ll get anyone to build single family homes as social housing units. Be happy with apartments.

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  3. Posted by mikhangry4tendies on

    what Nunavut should be doing is seeking new countries, like Denmark to lead Nunavut to prosperity. Canada doesnt care, they only care about the minerals in the ground and our landmass .

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    • Posted by Vive le Nunavut Libre on

      Why not just go for independence? Why always look for someone to take care of you. Time to grow up and do it yourself? Why not..

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      • Posted by Northern Guy on

        If Nunavut became independent where would it go every time it needed to beg for money? The Federal government and Canadian taxpayers are the only things keeping this territory afloat. Remove them from the equation and you’re left with a failed state living in abject poverty.

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