Federal government pledges $12.8 million for Cat Lake
Money will go toward addressing community's ongoing housing crisis
The federal government has formalized its agreement with Cat Lake, pledging $12.8 million that will go toward addressing the community's ongoing housing crisis.
Cat Lake declared a state of emergency in January due to issues with housing in the community. That includes structural and electrical issues, as well as black mould, which in turn is causing health problems for residents.
In a statement released Thursday, federal Indigenous Services Minister Seamus O'Regan said the funding includes:
- $5 million to support the construction of 15 new housing units
- $2.1 million to support repairs and renovations of 21 existing housing units
- $3.1 million in support of 10 new modular housing units
- $200,000 for the community's new temporary warehouse structure
- About $2.4 million in support of other associated costs, including site surveying, servicing and inspections, and costs associated with transporting materials on the winter road
- And the hiring of a project manager, financial manager, and maintenance manager
The final agreement is a formalization of a framework agreement the two sides signed in February.
"I am pleased to say that much of the work agreed to in the interim framework is already underway," O'Regan said in the statement. "The signing of this memorandum of agreement represents another important step forward to ensure that this critical work continues."
O'Regan said he'll be visiting Cat Lake at a later date; no specifics were provided at he wasn't available for an interview on Thursday.
O'Regan had planned to visit the community on Thursday to sign the agreement with Cat Lake Chief Matthew Keewaykapow. However, O'Regan's flight out of Thunder Bay was cancelled due to poor weather.
Thursday's signing was instead done via videoconference.