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Auditor General critical of housing on First Nations

By Tim Davidson Mar 19, 2024 | 4:02 PM

The federal Auditor General says there hasn’t been much change in closing the gap in housing on Indigenous communities in the past 20 years.

Indigenous Services Minister Patty Hajdu says she accepts the feedback contained in the report.

She adds that’s unfair to say the federal government hasn’t increase spending though, with a 1,100 percent increase during that time.

“The gap is so large, that even with such a large investment, it still doesn’t result in significant change in terms of outcomes,” Hajdu told a news conference following the release of the Auditor General’s reports.

“Other than to say we are no longer seeing an increase in overcrowding growth.”

Hajdu adds that they have to work more closely with First Nations to improve the housing situation.

“What I can say, we accept the recommendations of the Auditor General that we have to work more diligently together.  Preserving stock that’s already in existence is for me, of paramount importance.”

Hadju adds that other challenge is the uncertainty of winter ice roads, which transport much of the material needed for new housing.

The Auditor General issued three reports including one on Indigenous Policing, showing $13 million wasn’t spent last year, in part due to vacancies that have been unfilled.

The report says vacancies in the RCMP meant that some First Nations were not getting the policing they were promised.