The Manitoba Liberal Party is promising to invest at least $15 million annually to begin addressing the housing crisis on northern Manitoba First Nations.
If elected in April 2016, the Liberals will begin with that amount of funding and invest more as resources become available, stated a news release issued by the party on Monday.
"We recognize this is federal jurisdiction and welcome the federal government to the table but are prepared to start without them. We cannot accept Third World conditions in Manitoba," party leader Rana Bokhari is quoted as saying.
"Who is responsible is an old and tired argument, and those who want to have it are welcome to it. Our party is a party of action, and it's well past time to address this issue."
- Shacks and slop pails: infrastructure crisis on native reserves
- First Nations housing in dire need of overhaul
- Clean running water still a luxury on many native reserves
The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs says there is a shortage of more than 17,000 homes on the province's reserves, which means overcrowding is a major problem. Many homes don't have running water.
Thousands more on-reserve homes need to be replaced because of mould and other problems.
"We know the federal government will be making infrastructure announcements soon and look forward to working with them on aboriginal housing initiatives," the Liberal release states.