August 10th, 2023
NDP slams Trudeau for pointing fingers instead of tackling the housing crisis in Indigenous communities
OTTAWA — On Thursday, Canada’s NDP renewed their call on the Liberals to treat the housing crisis in Indigenous communities with the urgency it requires. This call comes following the Prime Minister’s recent comment that “housing isn’t a primary federal responsibility”.
The NDP says that Justin Trudeau’s comment is a painful reminder that he is out-of-touch with the reality of Indigenous Peoples in need of a safe home across the country.
“I see everyday the crisis caused by the decades in lack of housing in Indigenous communities,” said NDP critic for Indigenous Services Lori Idlout (Nunavut). “Overcrowding results in suicides, poor physical health and lower educational attainment. Genocidal policies include lack of investing in Indigenous Peoples' well-being. Indigenous Peoples deserve better. Housing is a human right that must be respected.”
Earlier this year, the NDP revealed that at current federal funding levels, it will take between 58 and 141 years to meet housing needs for communities living on-reserve. Under the Liberals, Indigenous people are 11 times more likely to use a shelter or live in inadequate homes than non-Indigenous people. And as the impacts of climate change hit Northern, rural and remote communities the hardest, the housing crisis will only get worse as the need to build new homes, do repairs, and build climate-resilient infrastructure will increase.
“Indigenous and northern communities are having to deal with overcrowding, mould, no access to clean water and a chronic lack of life-saving infrastructure in the face of forest fires and flooding," said NDP deputy critic for Indigenous Services Niki Ashton (Churchill—Keewatinook Aski). “While the Prime Minister’s comment is completely out-of-touch, it speaks volumes about his failure to deliver the homes Indigenous people so desperately need.”
New Democrats used their power to force the Liberals to invest an additional $4 billion for distinction-based Indigenous housing as well as a total of $4,3 billion for urban, rural and Northern Indigenous strategy. Unlike the Liberals who wanted the least possible, New Democrats know that this is not enough and we are not satisfied—we won’t stop fighting until everyone has a safe place to call home.