Visit of the UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing: The Housing Policy for First Nations: a Complete Failure

    KAHNAWAKE, QC, Oct. 10 /CNW Telbec/ - Within the scope of his visit to
Canada, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on adequate housing, Mr. Miloon
Kothari, met today with the Chief of the AFNQL, Ghislain Picard, who was
accompanied for the occasion by Chief Simon Coocoo (Wemotaci), Chief Raphael
Picard (Pessamit) and Mr. Jimmy Papatie (representative of Kitcisakik).
    The AFNQL took advantage of the presence of Mr. Kothari to explain
clearly the extent of the housing crisis which the First Nations of Quebec and
Labrador are confronted with. "Our needs in housing are patently obvious.
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada's housing policy for the last twenty-five
years has been a total disaster and I find it deplorable that the members of
our communities should have to suffer this failure. According to our data, the
current rate of construction of new housing units can only accommodate 15% of
the demand", explains Ghislain Picard.
    In Quebec/Labrador, the needs call for the construction of 8 500 units,
including 3 500 social housing units. This represents an investment of
1,5 billion $ which would be required.
    The poor housing conditions lead to numerous social problems which can
have negative effects, both at the education and the health levels.

    Declaration of the United Nations

    Chief Picard reminds Mr. Khotari about the opposition of Canada to the
United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples "It is
important for us to proclaim on all possible forums, the irresponsibility of
Canada on this issue. It is a stain which will follow this government for a
long time, a government which lauds itself internationally, as a protector of
human rights", concludes Chief Picard.

    The Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador is the regional
organization which represents the Chiefs of the First Nations of Quebec and

For further information:

For further information: Alain Garon, Communication Officer, AFNQL,
(418) 842-5020

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