Nunavut Housing Corp., Inuit-owned firm reach development deal

Not clear whether agreement in principle includes any financial obligations

Lorne Kusugak, the minister responsible for the Nunavut Housing Corp., says a new agreement between the housing corporation and NCC Development Ltd. “demonstrates our collective desire to create more affordable housing options for Nunavummiut across all communities.” (File photos)

By Nunatsiaq News

Nunavut Housing Corp. is partnering with Iqaluit-based, Inuit-owned NCC Development Ltd. to develop housing units across Nunavut.

The two organizations entered into an agreement in principle on Aug. 18. It will allow them to provide “much-needed transitional, public, affordable and market housing units across the territory,” according to a news release. 

They said the agreement will also help the housing corporation and NCC pursue shared priorities such as developing the Inuit workforce and providing Inuit with meaningful opportunities in construction, as well as creating housing that provides high customer satisfaction.

It isn’t clear if there is any financial commitment attached to the agreement.

Lorne Kusugak, the minister responsible for the housing corporation, said in the news release the agreement “demonstrates our collective desire to create more affordable housing options for Nunavummiut across all  communities through new and innovative approaches to design, procurement and  construction.” 

The text of the agreement in principle cites the 2018 National Housing Survey that showed 35 per cent of all homes in Nunavut are overcrowded, require major repairs or are considered unaffordable.

It also estimated the territory currently is 3,500 to 4,000 housing units short of what’s needed to meet demand.

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(21) Comments:

  1. Posted by pissed off on

    One more time the Housing Corp has chosen to do business on a one to one basis with NCC instead of the normal and transparent way of going to tenders.
    Probably for the lack of in house expertise to develop , monitor and budget a normal bidding process.

    When is the Fedseral Government to stop handing over truckloads of cash to such organisations that do things in a matter that any Government worth its salt would not be allowed to do????

    When are proper reviews to be done to show that this way of doing things does not involve ant savings and is no more that flagrant croynisme and budddy -buddy arrangements

    And dn`t tell me about creating a capacity in the Inuit work force. That is also a joke.

    THanks

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    • Posted by KMO on

      3500 to 4000 homes needed.
      Could be mistaken but I’m pretty sure those are the same numbers that were on the table before NH trust funding. And then there’s all that’s come between.
      It would seem to me maybe it’s time to put a plan on the table. A strategy perhaps. Not a bit here or a bit there and some over here.
      The full deal … the fix.
      If that doesn’t happen I suspect this will never end.

  2. Posted by Peter on

    For more than a decade Kudlik has received the contracts to build housing in Nunavut, flying in all their crew from the south and using their own planes to fly their crew in and out of the communities.
    Must of been a really good contract for Kudlik being able to have your own planes.

    This can’t be any worse, let’s see how NCC will handle.

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    • Posted by Cheaper on

      It was probably cheaper for them to have their own plane then flying everyone all over nunavut on canadian north

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      • Posted by Not exactly on

        No just more convenient, as each of their planes cost about 5 million dollars to buy, maintaining and having their own pilots, it’s a pretty penny when you add it all up, it’s no wonder it costs the GN almost a million dollars to build a very basic house, gotta pay Kudlik and send all that money down to Quebec.
        Peanuts for the token head of Kudlik to have the that 51% Inuit business status to get the GN contracts. But we all know who the real owners are but unfortunately the GN doesn’t.

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        • Posted by Southerner in the North on

          The GN knows. It’s NTI who decides who is and isn’t an Inuit business.

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          • Posted by Thatshowitworks on

            As per article 24 of the Nunavut Agreement, NTI has complete and final control over who is classified as an Inuit Firm and who is not. Most everybody knows what is going on except, perhaps, NTI.

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            • Posted by Maq-Pat on

              An “Inuit Firm” is defined in the Nunavut Agreement (Article 24). NTI can not change the agreement without support from the Feds. Though I haven’t heard either say that they want to. I am glad to see the GN doing more work directly with the business owned by the Regional Inuit Associations. Unlike “Inuit Owned Firms” which could be just one Inuk getting a nominal benefit, RIAs have real businesses able to get really benefits for the Inuit in their regions.

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              • Posted by Leave it to Beaver on

                If you think that RIAs have real businesses able to get real benefits for the Inuit in their regions, you must not be familiar with Kitikmeot Corp.

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    • Posted by Umingmak on

      Kudlik/Pilitak gets the projects because they have the lowest compliant bids. It’s as simple as that. It’s also false to act as if they’ve won all of the new housing build contracts. Over the past few years, other companies like Sanaqatiit, Qillaq Innovations and Inukshuk Construction have also won these contracts. This is easy information to find on the nunavuttenders website.

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  3. Posted by Seriously on

    Really, NHC plans to sole source hundreds of millions of dollars, mainly sourced from Federal Funding without blinking. In what universe does this meet the test of getting competative bidding, meeting the NNI goals of promoting Northern business or complying with GN tendering policies. It doesn’t. One should note there are a number of construction companies in Nunavut; many have been operating and employing resident labour and supporting northern suppliers for decades. So essentially NHC is saying there are no other contractors that can provide services at equal quality or cost or provide training. That is surely a kick in the gut to those companies who have always met or exceeded local content of labour, hotels, and northern suppliers of equipment and services. In your wildest dreams do they think NCC will not also be bringing in Southern trades. One should note that NCC has not bid any NHC tenders in a good number of years ro for that matter any public tenders but rather have relied on sole source awards. How does NHC intend to justify these actions. It will take quite a spin doctor to convince anyone this makes any sense at all. To fullfil the average construction year of 80 homes, which has historically been shared by several contractors, each hiring many trades is now going to be channeled into the fantasy world of NCC/NHC managing and delivering that volume. The lessons of the NHT fiasco have already been forgotten. But this time we are sure it will be different. May God have mercy on their sole source.

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    • Posted by Maq-Pat on

      NNI is not a goal. NNI is a tool to meet the GN’s obligations under Article 24 of the Nunavut Agreement. The goal of Article 24 is to have more Inuit involvement with government contracts. The GN working directly with a company wholly owned by the Inuit of Nunavut is VERY consistent with that goal.

      You raise a is a good point on Labour. GN decision makers should also ensure Inuit Labour meaningfully exceed what would have been required through traditional tendering.

      Local Labour should be supported the same way the Yukon does: set a minimum amount government contracts can pay different types of jobs/trade per hour. As long as those minimums are high enough to attract quality local labour then it is less expensive to hire local.

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    • Posted by Maq-Pat on

      The Nunavut Housing Trust “fiasco” saw Nunavut Housing Corporation (part of the public service) trying to work right down into the details, seeking to directly manage a huge multitude of very small contracts. The shift proposed here appears to be the EXACT opposite: having the public service involvement focused on the big picture, instead bring in a private company to manage the details.

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      • Posted by Wrong Expert on

        A big part of the huge cost over-runs of the Nunavut Housing Trust was reported many years ago in this very newspaper.
        .
        NHC bought all the material (to save money). Then they had to get the right material, in the right quantities, to each of 25 communities. To do that they went looking for a logistics expert. The Logistics Manager they hired had been the Logistics Manager of a circus. Very different, but NHC did not realize the difference, because the job titles were the same.
        .
        In a circus you put the same stuff into the same boxes every few days, move all the boxes to the same place, and unpack the boxes. Most of the stuff belongs to the circus and is the same for every move.
        .
        Housing Trust was a one-time unpack everything from many suppliers, repack the right amount of each item for each community, even if you have no idea what it is. Many items were sent to the wrong community and had to be flown to where they belonged, or replacements had to be flown from the south. The guy tried hard and it’s amazing that he got it right as often as he did. I seem to remember the cost over-run was more than $100,000,000.
        .
        For many in Nunavut, it was a cold Winter.

  4. Posted by Ragin Ronnie on

    1.) Agreement in principles are not financial contracts. they can be chucked in the garbage at any time
    2.) Since when did NCC become an Inuit owned org?
    3.) Sole source? Nothing has been sole sourced.
    4.) Tendering does not necessarily result in lower costs. Especially when there are limited northern contractors

    • Posted by Maq-Pat on

      1. Not so. AIPs are: “a preliminary contract, requiring parties to negotiate in good faith for the successful conclusion of the envisaged contract”. In other words: you are legally required to TRY to completed the deal. https://www.blg.com/en/insights/2020/09/liability-when-breaching-a-non-binding-letter-of-intent
      .
      2. Forever. It is owned by business development arms of the three Regional Inuit Associations (so ultimately owned by all Inuit of Nunavut), https://www.nccig.ca/ownership/
      .
      3. True. If this goes forward it will almost certainly be as a “Negotiated Contract” (ultimately approved at the political level). Sole Sources are by contrast approved by public servants.
      .
      4. True. Though we should work hard to ensure the pool of possible companies is as large as possible. Just look at Qikiqtani Inuit Association who had most of their hotel construction completed on the other side of the planet. There are SO MANY possible options/ways to get things built. Glad to see the GN trying new approaches as well!

  5. Posted by Guess on

    NCC, is actually under QIA, KIA, Nunasi, QC, so they will say Inuit Org, but if you actually look at their organizational employee chart, you won’t see much of Inuit working at these places in management.

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  6. Posted by Jackie netser on

    25 percent Inuit content with this company , which is already a despicable number… Low end jobs only (sweeping brooms for the most part) … The other issue is Inuit content as low as it may be , any old drug/alcohol dependant can and will be hired… Meaningless vision when it comes to getting Inuit in the workforce… In other words Inuit are basically being used only as numbers… Let the company that has good relations with the govt show actual fruit when it comes to training young Inuit in the workplace … And it’s high time… Vision and hope for skilled Inuit in the workplace is for today, not 20 years down the road …away with discrimination against Inuit , inclusion as they say … I’ve been made to feel out of place .

  7. Posted by awe on

    there’s a good thing going on here and all I see is complaints lol complaints about not having enough housing, now that its being processed there is the next step of complaints. next will be “I didn’t get a unit” and proceed to go on.

    why can’t we be happy the thing we asked for is coming?

  8. Posted by My memory on

    I laughed with Lorne shut down the idea of outsourcing construction to China like the Inuit did for the new hot in Iqaluit. I will laugh so much if those same Inuit firms now take government money, take their cut, and outsource to China lol.

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    • Posted by Tim on

      They saved millions and a lot of time, now they have a beautiful hotel, very nice rooms.
      Imagine if we could build apartments and houses that are modern and a higher standard of quality for less money, the current system of paying southern companies with a Inuk token head is not working, we should be looking at what is best for us.

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