NDP critic for housing, Jenny Kwan, and the critic for northern affairs, Lori Idlout, made the following joint statement:
“For years, people living in northern communities have been dealing with a devastating housing crisis while consecutive Liberal and Conservative governments ignored their basic human rights. Houses in northern communities are often overcrowded, in desperate need of repair and many are filled with mould. Despite the Liberals promising to deliver an Urban, Rural and Northern Indigenous Housing Strategy since 2017, Canadians are still waiting. Even these promises are not sufficient to meet the current housing needs which are hurting communities.
People living in northern communities are tired of being treated like second class citizens and getting nothing but empty promises from this government. The mental health crisis in these communities is ripping families apart and is closely linked to this housing crisis; Liberal inaction is costing lives. When it’s wealthy investors and the super-rich asking, Justin Trudeau will move mountains, but when it comes to Indigenous people, they always have to wait.
This ad-hoc approach of making many smaller announcements distracts from the fact that Indigenous housing was an afterthought in the current housing strategy. The amount of funding the government is contributing to housing overall is far from enough. Canadians are seeing the inflation rate rise making it increasingly difficult for people to rent or buy a home. Instead of addressing the housing crisis like Justin Trudeau promised to do in 2015, Canadians are watching helplessly as the housing crisis gets worse due to the inaction of the Liberal government for the past six years.
New Democrats are calling for the Liberals to work with northern and Indigenous communities to address their specific needs in terms of new homes and necessary repairs and keep their promise of a ‘For Indigenous, By Indigenous’ housing strategy.
Housing is a basic human right. Everyone should be able to find a safe and affordable place to call home.”