Housing in Nunavut a priority for Government of Canada



    IQALUIT, Feb. 19 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister
of Health and Minister Responsible for the North and the Honourable Chuck
Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal
Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, today recognized the
distinctive housing needs of the North, while reinforcing the Government's
commitment to funding of new social housing in the three territories.
    Speaking on behalf of Minister Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources
and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and
Housing Corporation (CMHC), Minister Strahl highlighted key initiatives from
Budget 2009: Canada's Economic Action Plan that will benefit Northern
Canadians, particularly in Nunavut.
    "Our government recognizes that housing is fundamental to a good quality
of life," said Minister Strahl. "In the North, housing takes on a special
importance, and brings particular challenges. That is why, through Canada's
Economic Action Plan, we have set aside $100 million for Nunavut, where the
need for housing is greatest."
    "The investments our Government is making today will ensure Northerners
have access to the housing they need to participate in the growing
opportunities in the North," said Minister Aglukkaq, Member of Parliament for
Nunavut.
    "Improving the quality of life for Nunavummiut is a priority of this
government," said Nunavut Premier Eva Aariak. "Not only will this funding
construct new homes and it will also provide employment opportunities in local
communities. Jobs, skills, and housing go a long way to raising our standard
of living in Nunavut."
    Canada's Economic Action Plan provides $200 million over two years to
support the renovation and the construction of new social housing units in
Canada's territories. Nunavut, where the need for new social housing is
greatest, will be allotted $100 million.
    Funding will be delivered through CMHC to ensure a quick start to
construction and renovation work.
    Today's announcement supports Canada's integrated Northern Strategy that
focuses on strengthening Canada's Arctic sovereignty, protecting the North's
environmental heritage, promoting social and economic development, and
improving and devolving northern governance.
    This funding also builds on the Government's September 2008 announcement
for $1.9 billion over five years for housing and homelessness programs for
low-income Canadians and the $300 million Northern Housing Trust announced in
2006.

    As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 60 years of
experience to help Canadians access a variety of quality, environmentally
sustainable, and affordable homes - homes that will continue to create vibrant
and healthy communities and cities across the country.

    More information on these and other measures in Canada's Economic Action
Plan, a plan to stimulate the economy and protect those hit hardest by the
global recession, can be found at
http://www.budget.gc.ca/2009/home-accueil-eng.asp.




For further information:

For further information: Media inquiries: Julie Girard, CMHC Media
Relations, (613) 748-4684; Michelle Bakos, Office of the Honourable Diane
Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, (819)
994-2482


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