Attawapiskat gets 2 more houses by convoy
'We see a lot of smiles,' says driver bringing federally bought homes to Ontario reserve
Two more houses arrived at the northern Ontario reserve of Attawapiskat late Tuesday after a 12-hour trip over 300 kilometres of ice road from Moosonee.
Once the lots for the homes are prepared, families in desperate need of shelter will be able to move in, CBC reporter Megan Thomas, who travelled with the convoy, said Wednesday from Attawapiskat.
The modular homes were the sixth and seventh of 22 purchased by the federal government for the troubled First Nations community.
Lawrence Rose, an Attawapiskat resident who drove one of the big rigs from Moosonee, arrived in the town long after dark on Tuesday.
"You just take it easy, check your loads once and a while, check your chains, things like that," he told CBC News.
Residents 'are pretty happy'
People welcomed the sight of the new homes.
"Oh yeah, we see a lot of smiles every time we get up the top of the hill in Attawapiskat," Rose said. "A lot of people come and take pictures. I think they are pretty happy."
For now, the buildings will be put in a holding area. Lot preparations are underway, and the team working to get the houses in move-in condition hopes the families will be able to move in by April. However, there are challenges that may delay that tentative timeline.
The 22 modular homes were shipped to Moosonee in December and are meant to be a more permanent housing solution for the two dozen families living in tent frames and shacks.
The federal government purchased the homes after the Attawapiskat First Nation declared a state of emergency last fall.
The homes were built in Fredericton by Maple Leaf Homes, a company that specializes in cold climate construction. In the past, the company has built homes for mining camps in Northern Canada.