Trudeau Pledges Support for Mental Health and Housing in Nunavut

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a campaign stop in Iqaluit Monday, promising his administration will invest in mental health and housing supports in the region.

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

He said his government recognizes that mental health has been a rising challenge, and not just due to 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 commence “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.

Him and Angnakak visited the Qikiqtaaluk Properties’ Student Residence Deep Energy Retrofit before meeting with elders and community members. The latter spent 8 years as an MLA in the provincial legislature and served as the minister for the Nunavut Housing Corporation, as well as the minister responsible for the Qulliq Energy Corporation before being removed from those roles by Premier Joe Savikataaq.

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

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

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