Trudeau pledges support for housing and mental health in Canada’s Nunavut territory

Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau made a campaign stop in Iqaluit on Monday, Aug. 30, 2021 during the federal election campaign. He’s pictured here with Nunavut Liberal candidate Pat Angnakak. (Matisse Harvey/Radio-Canada)

Liberal Party leader campaigned in territory with local candidate Pat Angnakak

Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau made a campaign stop in Iqaluit Monday, pledging his government will invest in housing and mental health supports in the territory.

Campaigning with the local Liberal candidate, Pat Angnakak, Trudeau said his government will invest $360 million for housing in Nunavut — part of a $2 billion commitment across Indigenous communities in Canada — and $1.4 billion in mental health supports “for Inuit, First Nations and Métis peoples across the country.”

Trudeau, who currently heads a minority government, said his government recognizes that mental health has been an increasing challenge, and not just because of the pandemic.

“We need to give people better, culturally-sensitive supports in their own languages, in their own supports, to help people through these difficult times,” he said.

He said the housing funding should roll out “very, very soon.”

First federal leader to visit North during election

Trudeau is the first federal leader to visit the North during this election campaign.

Trudeau and Angnakak, who spent eight years as an MLA in the Nunavut Legislature and served as the minister responsible for the Nunavut Housing Corporation and the minister responsible for the Qulliq Energy Corporation before being removed from those positions by Premier Joe Savikataaq, visited the Qikiqtaaluk Properties’ Student Residence Deep Energy Retrofit before meeting with elders and community members.

Trudeau’s campaign stop follows two pre-election visits by federal government cabinet members earlier this summer.

In July, Indigenous Services Minster Marc Miller came to Nunavut for the first time and discussed housing and racism. In August, Industry Minister Catherine McKenna went to Qikiqtarjuaq, Nunavut, and announced funding for a $40 million deepwater port to be built in the community.

Related stories from around the North: 

Canada: Inuit women’s org wants federal party leaders to commit to having Inuit women at decision table, Eye on the Arctic

Greenland: Greenland’s more prominent role on Arctic Council important signal to int’l community says foreign minister, Eye on the Arctic

Norway: Are Norway’s energy policies caught between ‘black gold’ & green ambitions?, Blog by Marc Lanteigne

United States: Biden admin goes back to drawing board on oil leasing in Arctic Refuge, Alaska Public Media

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