Liberals own stats show Indigenous housing goals won’t be met for 141 years « Canada’s NDP

February 16, 2023 at 5:00 am  Federal, Politics

OTTAWA — NDP Critic for Indigenous Services Lori Idlout (Nunavut) and NDP Deputy Critic for Indigenous Services Niki Ashton (Churchill—Keewatinook Aski) are calling out the Liberals for dragging their feet on fixing the housing crisis in Northern and Indigenous communities — revealing the government’s own statistics showing that it’s going to take as long as 141 years to meet the current need for housing at this pace.

The Liberals promised to build infrastructure on First Nations to close the gap in available housing by 2030. However, according to information obtained by the NDP through an Order Paper Question, at the current rate, it will take between 58 and 141 years to meet current housing needs.

Idlout says Northern and Indigenous people are tired of the Liberals’ broken promises.

“It’s 2023. Indigenous people should not have to feel unsafe in their own homes,” said Idlout. “On First Nations across Canada, there are overcrowded homes without access to drinking water and severe mould problems. The Liberals have repeatedly failed to address the housing crisis, offering small project-based funding to Indigenous communities instead of strategies with long-term, predictable funding. Indigenous people deserve safe and adequate housing.”

The Assembly of First Nations estimates the cost of closing the housing gap is $40 billion. In last year’s budget, the Liberals promised to invest a small fraction of that over seven years. Ashton noted that in 2021, 123 corporations avoided paying $30 billion in taxes using tax avoidance schemes—money that could have been used to build the homes Northern and Indigenous communities desperately need if the Liberals cracked down on tax evasion like promised to do and never did.

“Money just isn’t flowing out as quickly as it should to build the homes people need,” added Ashton. “People in Northern Manitoba heard Justin Trudeau promise them adequate and safe housing in their own communities. However, since he came to power eight years ago, things have only gotten worse. New Democrats will continue to pressure the Liberals to deliver the homes Northern and Indigenous communities need.”

Additional information obtained by the NDP shows that since the Liberals have committed to loaning close $500 million to build homes on First Nations in 2019, only 25 per cent was disbursed.

New Democrats used our power to secure $4.3 billion in housing investments that Indigenous communities have been fighting for. While this is far from enough to tackle the housing crisis on First Nations, New Democrats will continue to pressure the Liberals to invest the necessary funding to end the housing crisis on First Nations.

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