Trudeau visit: Chief of Ontario reserve says housing shortage worse than ever

PIKANGIKUM, Ont.- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is visiting a remote northwestern Ontario reserve where the chief says a shortage of housing is still a big problem.

Dean Owen of Pikangikum First Nation says the backlog of homes needing to be built has doubled since he became chief 13 years ago.

He says there were 1,800 band members in 2005 and that has grown to 3,100.

Owen says nine and 10 people often share one of the reserve’s existing homes and are forced to sleep in shifts.

Some new homes and a school have been built, but Owen says construction on the reserve is hampered by a lack of electrical capacity.

The federal government last summer announced up to $60 million in funding to connect Pikangikum to the province’s power grid, and Owen says that should help.

He says he’s interested in what Trudeau will have to say during his visit today.

 

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