Report From Parliament Hill
Eric Melillo, MP, Kenora Riding
Last week, I visited the First Nations of Bearskin Lake, Kingfisher Lake, Muskrat Dam, and Big Trout Lake. I had productive meetings with Chiefs and Councilors discussing community needs, from better access to healthcare to support for hunters in the north.
One of the issues that came up throughout these meetings was housing.
It’s no secret that we have a housing crisis in Northern Ontario. In many remote communities, overcrowded and substandard housing is a health and safety risk to residents. In towns and cities, many residents struggle to find an affordable place to rent, and home ownership is a distant dream. And shelters across the riding are routinely overcapacity.
Unfortunately, the Liberal current government’s past housing programs have largely focused on large cities, leaving rural and northern residents in the cold.
Real action is needed to address the unique housing needs of northern communities.
We need to build more homes and repair damaged houses.
We need to bring more rental units into the market and encourage investment in affordable rental housing.
We need to make it easier for Canadians to get mortgages.
We need to partner with Indigenous communities to develop a specialized housing strategy that empowers them to meet their own housing needs, rather than continuing failed paternalistic policies of the past.
And we need to better support our most vulnerable by taking a Housing First approach to end homelessness.
As MP, I’ve worked extensively with community leaders and social service providers to identify local needs and raise them in Ottawa. I’ve lobbied tirelessly for funding and support for affordable housing projects in the Kenora riding, as well as appropriate services for vulnerable residents.
This is one of the most pressing issues of our time. Canada needs a new approach to end the housing crisis.
I look forward to meeting with more municipal and First Nation leaders in the coming weeks as I prepare for the next Parliament. Their insights into the issues affecting their communities guide my advocacy in Ottawa, and I appreciate their willingness to share their concerns and time with me.
As always, if there is anything my office can assist you with, please call me at 807-223-2182 (Dryden) or 807-468-2170 (Kenora), or email me at [email protected].
Member of Parliament