Quebec budget addresses housing, cost-of-living in Nunavik and Indigenous communities
Up to $8.5M pledged to build new regional rehabilitation centre in Nunavik
Quebec's 2018 budget introduced on Tuesday includes $108.7 billion in consolidated spending, with more than $100 million in funding for Nunavik and Indigenous communities across the province.
The largest portion — $48 million — is defined as funding "in further assistance to Aboriginal peoples." It includes $25 million in support of Indigenous "participation and input in wildlife and forestry," to be spent over the next five years, and up to $8.5 million to build a new regional rehabilitation centre in Nunavik to replace Kuujjuaq's Isuarsivik treatment centre, along with 12 housing units "to help attract and retain specialized employees."
The new centre will be built in Kuujjuaq and will cost approximately $32 million. The balance of the cost is expected to come from local partners, Plan Nord funds, and federal infrastructure funding.
Included in that $48 million is $13 million budgeted to be spent this year to finance the Agreement on the Financing of Measures to Reduce the Cost of Living in Nunavik. The agreement was signed by the Quebec government, the Kativik Regional Government and Makivik Corporation in 2013.
Among the stated goals of the agreement is to bring down the cost of gasoline and groceries in Nunavik compared to southern Quebec.
$39M for new warehousing, homes in Nunavik
A separate $39 million is committed for housing and warehouses in Nunavik: $22.1 million to be spent by 2020 on three warehouses, and $15.9 million over five years to help finance the construction of 45 private housing units in Nunavik.
Another $1 million is included to develop a housing pilot project in territory covered by the Kativik Municipal Housing Bureau that would allow renters to buy the home they live in.
The Quebec budget also includes $14 million in general assistance to Indigenous communities across Northern Quebec to address issues of domestic and family violence.
Three million is also set aside for the clean-up of hazardous waste storage sites in Nunavik over four years.