Housing Conditions In Canada’s Far North: Bad Enough To Make You Sick

houses in Baker Lake, Nunavut
Baker Lake houses 2014 photo by Gierszep is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0
Baker Lake, Nunavut, Canada, home base for a Federal Member of Parliament's distressing journey to view housing problems across her arctic constituency.

When compared with Canada as a whole, people in the Territory of Nunavut are four times more likely to live in a home in need of major repairs. Homes in Nunavut are also six times more likely to be overcrowded. What does that look like? Mumilaaq Qaqqaq, who is Inuit and the Canadian Member of Parliament for Nunavut, decided to find out.

Qaqqaq travelled for three weeks in Canada’s far north. She saw houses filled with mold and houses that were falling down. She also met people who were living in homes where a family member had been murdered. In every case, there was nowhere else people could move to.

The tour took an emotional toll and Qaqqaq took a break to recover. In doing this, she followed the best advice from experts in post traumatic stress. Her constituents don’t have this option. Small wonder there are high rates of suicide in Nunavut.

Now she’s sharing her experiences with her colleagues in Ottawa and putting the finishing touches on the report about the tour. In anticipation, here are two articles that give cold statistics a human face. Read more at TVO: ‘Use the right words, and paint the right picture’: In conversation with Nunavut MP Mumilaaq Qaqqaq

and Nunatsiaq News: MP Qaqqaq returns to Parliament with renewed call to address Nunavut housing crisis

It is disgraceful that Canada has found ways to turn a blind eye to this situation for years. Perhaps Qaqqaq’s courage will finally get the country moving.

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