This Hansard has not been finalized - this is the "Blues" in Parliamentary speak, or unedited transcript in regular speak.

In the Legislative Assembly on February 9th, 2024. See this topic in context.

Member's Statement 63-20(1): Housing Crisis
Members' Statements

February 9th, 2024

Julian Morse

Julian Morse Frame Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I almost hesitated to give this statement today on this subject because it seems so obvious that it almost goes without saying, but I wanted to speak to it ahead of our priority setting session because I have a feeling it is going to be the number 1 priority of this Assembly, and it is definitely the number 1 priority for me.

Mr. Speaker, we are in a housing crisis. I think that everybody in this House is aware of that. Most of the public are aware of it. It was the number 1 election issue in my riding. And I think it was probably the number 1 election issue across the territory. I am strongly of the opinion that we need to prioritize housing, and we need to attach a budget to that priority which will result in actually moving the needle.

We need a long-term plan which lays out how we are going to solve this crisis. It's not going to happen completely in the term of this Assembly; I think that's fair and reasonable to state. But I think that we need to state how long it's going to take, how much resources it's going to take, and how we're going to get there and be very clear about what our plan is for how we're going to get there with a timeline for doing so, with an estimate of how much it's going to cost, no matter how big that is, and seek funding to fund that in the long-term.

Mr. Speaker, I believe that partnerships are going to be important in solving this crisis. This is not something that the GNWT is going to do on their own. We need to take a wholistic approach to this. We need to involve Indigenous governments, NGOs. Private industry is going to play a role. So we can't and shouldn't plan to do this alone.

And with the last remaining time I have, I just want to speak to my personal experience with this, Mr. Speaker.

I served on the Yellowknife Housing Authority for several years prior to coming here, and operations and maintenance are a big part of this. I toured some of Yellowknife's most direly in need of maintenance buildings, and the situation is appalling, Mr. Speaker. It really is. And I know I don't need to say this to the housing Minister. I know the community that she comes from has extremely challenging circumstances as well, but I would just say -- Mr. Speaker, I seek unanimous could be sent to conclude my statement.

---Unanimous consent granted

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. What I wanted to say is when I was on the authority, we didn't quite get it together but we were hoping to do a tour of some of the facilities that I'm speaking to here with the Minister, and honestly I think the media should be along for that tour as well. I think people really should see firsthand the situation that we're dealing with so that they understand why this needs to be a priority and how serious of an issue we're facing. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Member's Statement 63-20(1): Housing Crisis
Members' Statements

The Speaker

The Speaker Shane Thompson

Thank you, Member from Frame Lake. Members' statements. Returns to oral questions. Recognition of visitors in the gallery. Member from Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh.