Mr. Speaker, I rise today to share with my colleagues the very constructive discussions that took place during the Northern Premiers’ Caucus, on February 3.
Mr. Speaker, the territorial Premiers meet annually at the Northern Premiers’ Forum to advance northern interests, discuss issues of common interest and concern, and develop made-in-the-North solutions.
Mr. Speaker, this was my first Northern Premiers’ Forum as Premier of Nunavut. Our meeting focused on key northern priorities such as infrastructure, housing, the Arctic and Northern Policy Framework and climate change to name a few.
Mr. Speaker, our biggest priorities under the Arctic and Northern Policy Framework are Infrastructure and Housing. The 2020 Nunavut Infrastructure
Gap Analysis completed by Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., outlined the infrastructure categories the must be brought up to par with the rest of Canada. Infrastructure funding must be flexible and fully address our long-standing infrastructure needs.
There is also significant lack of funds for urgent and severe housing needs in Nunavut. Nunavut requires continued federal funding to cover public housing gaps and shortage to relieve overcrowding. Mr. Speaker, as with the infrastructure file, it is necessary to develop an agreement that is led by a multi-year strategic investment initiative which includes adequate flexibility in the design and use of funds, in a manner that recognizes Nunavut’s unique gaps.
Keeping in mind that the success of this Framework is dependent on commitment to direct, strategic investments to meet our urgent needs, we continue to work with our partners and are eager to begin the implementation phase of this Framework.
Mr. Speaker, we look forward to continuing the work to finalize the Pan-Territorial Climate Statement for signing at the Northern Premiers’ Forum this Spring. This statement will help frame and advance conversations on investments in the shift to greener communities in the North. Finally, the advancement of the work to establish a Northern Climate Services Hub would increase the GN’s access to climate information and better include climate change in our decision-making.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.