July 21st, 2024

Nunavut premier asks Ottawa for $250 million to tackle territory’s housing crisis

By The Canadian Press on January 17, 2024.

Nunavut's premier is asking Ottawa provide it with $250 million to help it build more homes, which he says is key to addressing health-care issues caused by overcrowding. Nunavut Premier, P.J. Akeeagok is shown in his office in Iqaluit, Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Dustin Patar

IQALUIT, Nunavut – Nunavut’s premier is asking Ottawa to provide $250 million to help the territory build more homes, which he says is key to addressing health-care issues caused by overcrowding.

P. J. Akeeagok said in an interview in his office today housing is his government’s top priority and a lack of housing has been an issue for decades across the North.

He says while he understands $250 million is a significant ask, Nunavut residents “deserve the same access” to housing as those elsewhere in Canada.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Housing Minister Sean Fraser have spent the past several months travelling the country, announcing millions in spending for cities to get more homes built at a time when the Liberal government is under immense pressure to increase supply as a way to tackle housing affordability.

Akeeagok says it was “incredible” to see the amount of resources Ottawa has been providing to cities across Canada to tackle the current housing crisis, and the $250 million would be proportionate to what the federal government has spent elsewhere.

Another issue facing Nunavut is the increased cost of living, which he says people are feeling from higher food and fuel costs, particularly as households have no alternative but to use diesel.

Akeeagok says he would “absolutely” like to see Ottawa provide it with a carve-out when it comes to the levy on its fuel, as the government did in Atlantic Canada, given Nunavut’s 25 communities have no access to alternative power.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 17, 2024

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