Prime Minister announces $20.8M for 50-unit housing complex in Yellowknife

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks in Yellowknife Thursday. Behind him are, from left to right, N.W.T. Premier Caroline Cochrane, Housing Minister Paulie Chinna, MP Michael McLeod and Yellowknife Mayor Rebecca Alty. (Sidney Cohen/CBC)

‘It’s so needed in our city and in our territory,’ said Yellowknife Mayor Rebecca Alty

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in Yellowknife Thursday to announce a new housing project in the city.

A 50-unit affordable housing complex will be built downtown, with residents expected to move in in 2025.

The prime minister acknowledged the North had unique challenges when it comes to building new housing, including higher costs, difficulties getting materials and fewer tradespeople.

The funding comes from the federal government’s rapid housing initiative. The City of Yellowknife provided the land — a contribution of $825,000 — and the territorial government will provide operating subsidies.

N.W.T.’s Housing Minister Paulie Chinna said the building would be a mix of bachelor units and two-bedroom apartments.

She said the office of the local housing authority and Housing NWT’s North Slave office would move into the first floor of the building.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Chaal Cadieux are pictured standing behind a burnt car on Cadieux’s Enterprise, N.W.T. property, just south of Hay River. Wildfires tore through Enterprise’s hamlet in August, leaving fewer than 10 houses standing. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press)

Yellowknife Mayor Rebecca Alty said this was the city’s third project approved under the rapid housing initiative, alongside the YWCA and Aspen apartments.

She said 107 units have been added to the city’s housing stock in the past three years.

“It’s so needed in our city and in our territory,” she said.

Israel has right to defend itself, says Trudeau

Prior to making the housing announcement, Trudeau addressed the war between Hamas and Israel.

The prime minister said Canada supports Israel’s right to defend itself in line with international law and condemned the Hamas attack last week.

Since the attack, thousands have been killed, including three Canadians.

Trudeau said the federal government is working to get other Canadians out of the region, adding that one military plane left Tel Aviv with more than 100 passengers earlier this morning and landed safely in Athens. A second plane was scheduled to do the same later today.

He said Canada would provide $10 million in humanitarian aid for people in Israel and Gaza.

Visit to South Slave 

On Wednesday, Trudeau visited the N.W.T. communities of Hay River and Enterprise, which were both hard hit by wildfires this summer. Nearly all the structures in Enterprise burned down, while Hay River was forced to evacuate twice because of wildfires, and some properties near the community were lost.

Trudeau said the federal government would continue to partner with the territory to improve infrastructure in the territory to withstand more extreme weather events due to climate change.

Trudeau is also expected to participate in a roundtable with the Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce at 1 p.m.

Related stories from around the North: 

Canada: N.W.T. projected to spend $100M on fighting wildfires — 5 times more than budgeted, CBC News

Norway: Smoke from Canadian wildfires forecast to reach Norway, The Associated Press

Russia: New NOAA report finds vast Siberian wildfires linked to Arctic warming, The Associated Press

Sweden: High risk of wildfires in many parts of Sweden, including North, Radio Sweden

United States: Wildfires in Anchorage? Climate change sparks disaster fears, The Associated Press

CBC News

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