NDP MP Saganash slams government on northern Quebec housing
“Nothing is more important to people’s health and well-being than having a place to call home"
NDP MP Romeo Saganash echoed the views of many Nunavik organizations in the House of Commons Feb. 25 when he called on the Conservative government to address housing shortages in northern Quebec.
The MP for Abitibi-James Bay-Nunavik-Eeyou accused the government of inaction in providing much-needed housing to families in his constituency.
“The federal government has a role to play in providing affordable housing,” Saganash said in a Feb. 26 release. “It is high time that the Conservatives honoured their commitments and worked in partnership with the governments in my region to resolve this problem.”
In Nunavik alone, Saganash reminded MPs that 900 families are in need of adequate housing – despite the federal government’s constitutional obligation to provide housing to the region under the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement.
Saganash also pointed to his home region, noting that the Eeyou Istchee is short about 2,000 units.
“It is getting harder and harder for families to put a roof over their heads,” Saganash told MPs. “Nothing is more important to people’s health and well-being than having a place to call home, where they can feel safe.
“Unfortunately, far too many people in our country know what it is like to live without such a basic need.”
Makivik Corp. has made a number of public pleas to the federal government in the past few years, and especially over the last few months, asking Ottawa to respect its treaty obligations.
Members of Makivik’s executive finally secured a meeting with federal Aboriginal Affairs minister Bernard Valcourt last November to discuss housing.
Makivik says the minister was “receptive” but made no further commitment to build new houses in the region.