This is page numbers 549 - 580 of the Hansard for the 12th Assembly, 6th Session. The original version can be accessed on the Legislative Assembly's website or by contacting the Legislative Assembly Library. The word of the day was housing.

Topics

Committee Motion 40-12(6): To Adopt Recommendation 10, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 572

Samuel Gargan Deh Cho

Well, that includes a reduction in Fort Liard too. In May it had three, and it went down to two. I thought the allocation was based on need for the Deh Cho. For the South Slave area, there is a total of 61 units, but I guess there have been changes made. I am wondering how that was done.

Committee Motion 40-12(6): To Adopt Recommendation 10, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 572

The Chair Brian Lewis

Mr. Morin.

Committee Motion 40-12(6): To Adopt Recommendation 10, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 572

Don Morin Tu Nedhe

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The allocation last year for Fort Providence was three; they did get three. For Fort Resolution, it was two; they got two. The Hay River Reserve was to get one and Kakisa was to get one, but we moved that one to West Point. We are going to move it back.

Committee Motion 40-12(6): To Adopt Recommendation 10, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 572

The Chair Brian Lewis

Thank you very much, Mr. Morin, for that detail. Mr. Gargan.

Committee Motion 40-12(6): To Adopt Recommendation 10, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 572

Samuel Gargan Deh Cho

Mr. Chairman, we still have social housing problems on the reserve. I don't have the needs survey in front of me, but I have done my own survey of the number of houses that require repairs. There are 42 units that either have to be replaced or repaired. The district office has advised me that there is no use spending the amount of money required to repair those old units, because we would be throwing money away if we continue to do that. So, we have to replace those units.

I haven't mentioned that single people are now living with their parents because there are no units. A lot of the parents are trying to make do with what they have in order to accommodate their children who are married and still living with them. But this year, the reserve gets nothing; absolutely nothing. No repairs, nothing.

Since I have become a Member, I have tried to resolve the issue of social housing on the reserve because of their status. Because it is a reserve, they cannot get public housing. For this reason, we have a situation where, even though people are on social assistance and old age security, we really don't have any programs for them. They cannot afford their own units and the upkeep on those units. There is a need on the reserve.

Unfortunately, I can't make an argument because there is no scale. They said the scale was done, but wasn't right. I don't know how to convince the Minister that there is an urgent need to address the situation on the Hay River Reserve. At one point, the federal Minister was willing to give what they call a ministerial guarantee to build social housing units, on the condition that this government gives the federal government what they call an indemnification. It is sort of a guarantee from this government for social housing.

The Minister hasn't addressed it, nor did Mr. Butters address it when he was a Minister. So, we still have a group of people on the reserve who are not being addressed. The only way to address them is through the public housing needs survey, Mr. Chairman.

Committee Motion 40-12(6): To Adopt Recommendation 10, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 573

The Chair Brian Lewis

Have you finished, Mr. Gargan? Okay, thanks, Mr. Gargan. Do you have any response, Mr. Morin?

Committee Motion 40-12(6): To Adopt Recommendation 10, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 573

Don Morin Tu Nedhe

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. This year in our budget we don't have any public housing or rental program at all. It's far too costly for us to be able to afford to build those units. I've just received a letter from the regional director, a briefing note, that he met with Pat and the council on the reserve about pursuing this thing with the federal government. They are recommending that we move with it. I've always supported it and I will support it once I see the documentation. The hope that they have is through this aboriginal housing program, for on-reserve/off-reserve.

Committee Motion 40-12(6): To Adopt Recommendation 10, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 573

The Chair Brian Lewis

Thank you, Mr. Morin. Mr. Gargan.

Committee Motion 40-12(6): To Adopt Recommendation 10, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 573

Samuel Gargan Deh Cho

I also realize the length of time it takes for the federal government at any given time to make a decision and then move on the decision. One year could lapse before any kind of decision is made. Mr. Chairman, five years ago was when we started the process of trying to address the social housing needs on the reserve. The government chose not to act on it and that problem has just been multiplying and we still haven't addressed it. I appreciate the Minister supporting the reserve but the problem still exists.

Committee Motion 40-12(6): To Adopt Recommendation 10, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 573

The Chair Brian Lewis

Thank you, Mr. Gargan. General comments? Next is Mr. Pudlat.

Committee Motion 40-12(6): To Adopt Recommendation 10, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 573

Kenoayoak Pudlat Baffin South

(Translation) Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am also very thankful to the special committee on housing. I am very thankful for the hard work that the special committee has done but I have a question. We all know that there have been large cutbacks for public housing. There was a large cutback in the money allocated for public housing. With regards to the houses that were built in the early sixties, I think trying to keep them warm and upgraded becomes very expensive because the units are too old. These units I am referring to were built in the early 1960's and as they deteriorate, they get more expensive to upgrade and upkeep. There was a program where the older units were being replaced by newer units but my understanding is this program will probably not be carried through any more because of the lack of funding. I am also aware of two units in one of the communities that I represent that are in such a bad state that they should not even be up any more or in use. Two units in particular are not in fit condition for living. The local housing association was saying that they these two units were going to be used for firefighting practice but due to the large cuts in public housing, this was

not the case. Even after the units -- especially the older ones -- are renovated, it does not seem to help the heating problems.

My question is, are we going to start the replacement program again on the older units; the units that were built in the 1960s? Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Committee Motion 40-12(6): To Adopt Recommendation 10, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 573

The Chair Brian Lewis

Thank you, Mr. Pudlat. Mr. Morin.

Committee Motion 40-12(6): To Adopt Recommendation 10, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 573

Don Morin Tu Nedhe

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. We do have money to retrofit some Weber units in our budget. We do not have money to replace older units. All replacement stock, or all stock, was built through the home ownership program and that's the budget that's in front of you. We don't have any other money. Where the older units could be retrofitted, the corporation is moving more in the direction of retrofitting older units because we just cannot afford to replace those units. Thank you.

Committee Motion 40-12(6): To Adopt Recommendation 10, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 573

The Chair Brian Lewis

Thank you, Mr. Morin. Mr. Pudlat.

Committee Motion 40-12(6): To Adopt Recommendation 10, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 573

Kenoayoak Pudlat Baffin South

(Translation) Supplementary to my question, Mr. Chairman. We are also aware of units that are being sold to the general public, especially the older units. These are being sold to anyone who might be interested in purchasing an older unit. The people who are purchasing these units are able to put in their own funding and do their own upgrading on these units that they have purchased. My question is, when they sell these units are the prices as low as possible. Can the cost get any lower then it already is? Thank you, Mr. Chairman.