$100M for Nunavut housing announced in federal budget

The federal government has announced $100 million over two years for housing in Nunavut. It also announced funding for the harbour in Pangnirtung and the naval facility in Nanisivik.

Money also announced for Pangnirtung harbour and Nanisivik naval facility

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and Prime Minister Stephen Harper enter the House of Commons to table the budget on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday March 21, 2013. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick)

The federal government has announced $100 million over two years for housing in Nunavut.

The money was included in Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's 2013-2014 budget, which he presented this afternoon in Parliament.

It will be used to build about 250 housing units, with $30 million set aside for the coming fiscal year. Another $70 million has been set aside for the year after that.

The budget states this funding is to recognize the territory’s unique housing challenges, such as climate, geography and a population spread out over a vast region. The funding will come from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

Nunavut's Finance Minister Keith Peterson says planning has to happen for the new units soon.

"Because of the winter season and the spring [and] summer season with the barges and ships, [we] couldn't even deliver materials into some of the communities until August. But before that even happens, you've got to plan and put out tenders," he said.

Flaherty also announced close to $1 billion to repair and maintain small craft harbours across Canada and money to speed up the construction of the harbour in Pangnirtung, Nunavut.

About $116 million, spread out over five years, will go towards building the naval facility in Nanisivik, which is supposed to support Canada’s Arctic and offshore patrol ships.

There is also $6 million slotted for mining training and work experience for aboriginal people in the Northwest Territories and in the Kitikmeot region of Nunavut.

The budget also included a re-announcement of more than $77 million for the new Iqaluit airport terminal.

Yukon College’s Centre for Northern Innovation in Mining is slated to get some federal help, although the budget said details on that will be announced later this year.