Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Residents of public housing in communities across the Northwest Territories, especially in my riding, have challenges created by the Housing Corporation's Public Housing Rent Scale. Something has to be done urgently to help the people who we serve, Mr. Speaker.
The Housing Corporation's website says to the public, and I quote, "The rent scale is designed to help reduce your cost of living in Northwest Territories communities, to increases your personal responsibility for your shelter costs, and to encourage your participation in employment, if employment is available in your community." I am here to tell you that it is doing the exact opposite.
People are afraid to work for the fear that their income will put them over the top and that they will lose their home. When those who work seasonal employment hand in their T4s every year, they get prorated. That has to change, Mr. Speaker, to monthly, bimonthly. People are having to make choices based on their highest levels of income. Even if they're not working all year round, they still have to pay.
This government needs to show compassion and understanding for its less fortunate citizens in the territory, where there is no work. We should not be putting people in positions where they have to make the impossible choice of paying rent or buying food and clothing for their children. We need to stop this practice of evicting people in the winter, Mr. Speaker. In fact, eviction should be an absolute last resort because of the effects, not just to the rent-payer, but to the entire extended family, including dependent children, elders, and family members, who have to take them in, overcrowding. We need to make it easier for our elders to access repair funding and cut out requirements like insurance and homeownership courses before they are able to get that funding.
Mr. Speaker, I am angry about this, but I feel that these problems are because of decisions made long ago by previous governments. This is a new Assembly, one that is committed to working together. I am inviting the Minister responsible for the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation to work with us, to work with me, to identify the barriers in their policies that are causing undue stress and worry for our people in our small communities, Mr. Speaker, for the people who are already dealing with difficult circumstances of no work and no jobs in the communities. There is nothing going on in the Beaufort Delta.
Let's make this the government that is on the record for listening to the people and responding positively to their concerns. Mr. Speaker, I will have questions for the Minister of Housing at the appropriate time. Thank you.