Nunavut MP seeks allies to amplify calls for more federal housing money
Mumilaaq Qaqqaq visited nearly 100 homes in Nunavut to witness ramifications of housing crisis
Nunavut’s member of Parliament, Mumilaaq Qaqqaq, says she hopes to draw national and international attention to Nunavut’s housing crisis as a way of pressuring the federal government to spend more money on addressing the issue.
“I’m holding my breath with this Trudeau government to see if they actually do the right thing,” Qaqqaq told reporters in Iqaluit on Monday, Aug. 31. “I’m not expecting them to and it would be really nice to be proven wrong.”
She visited nearly 100 homes on her tour, she said, and spoke with people living in mould-infested, overcrowded, under-maintained homes.
She saw overcrowding and the social problems that stem from that.
“I’ve seen a lot of stress and a lot of hurt,” Qaqqaq said.
Generally, reports about the status of housing in Nunavut focus on statistics, rather than the stories of those affected, she said.
Her plan is to compile what she has seen and heard into a report. She hopes it will compel people across Canada and around the world to pressure the federal government to allocate more money to the Government of Nunavut, so it has the capacity to build and maintain housing for the people who need it.
“I hope we can count on allies to flood the necessary ministers’ offices with messaging when we put it out,” Qaqqaq said.
Qaqqaq plans to visit most of the communities in the Qikiqtani, including Sanikiluaq, by early next year. She hopes to have a report out on the communities she’s already visited in a month or so.
When asked if she will support Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s upcoming throne speech, Qaqqaq said she didn’t know.
With a minority government, Trudeau’s Liberals will need the support of MPs of other parties in order to survive a vote on the throne speech, which is expected to be held in September. Without that support, an election will be held.
If that happens, Qaqqaq said she doesn’t know if she’ll run again.
“It’s not fun to continually have to justify why our lives as Inuit matter,” she said. “I do it because I care and I want people to see you can create [a] difference.”