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Results: 1 - 15 of 179
View Mark Strahl Profile
CPC (BC)
Thank you very much for your testimony here today. I'm also going to focus on the First Nations Market Housing Fund.
Mr. Beaucage, I think what you've described here is as my father would say, that there are many ways to skin a cat. I'm not sure if that's considered politically correct anymore, but we need to look at the housing crisis from many different angles. Some of it requires direct government investment, and certainly that has been done. But I think it's also important that we talk about what the fund was established to do in Budget 2007, in which a $300-million First Nations Market Housing Fund was set up to enhance access to private financing arrangements for on-reserve housing by providing a backstop to private sector loans. This wasn't meant to, as you say, build 3,000 homes. This was meant, essentially, to backstop a much greater number than that.
Your vision statement says that “Every First Nation family has the opportunity to have a home on their own land in a strong community.” I think certainly the government supports that vision, and that's one we share with you. You mentioned the first nations that have taken this up. One of them is in my riding, the Seabird Island Band, where Chief Clem Seymour said, “The Seabird Island Band is looking forward to working with the First Nations Market Housing Fund on another avenue for housing. It has been needed for a long time.”
So the chief in my riding who's participating in this says this is another avenue and that we need to look at other solutions than the status quo. But, again, we are looking at results. We have to look at the results. You said that the rate of growth is promising. When you appeared before the Senate committee you said there were 3,700 housing units. That's a couple of years ago now, or a year and a half ago. Commitments had been made for 3,700 homes. Is that number still accurate? Where are we at in terms of our commitments at this point?
View Mark Strahl Profile
CPC (BC)
So, is the goal still 25,000 homes in 10 years, as where things were set out initially? Is that still a realistic expectation, or have we moved away from talking about x number of homes in x number of years, and now we just talk about what we actually have?
View Mark Strahl Profile
CPC (BC)
In terms of the First Nations Land Management Act, are you finding there's a correlation between communities that are in that regime and those that take up the opportunity to access the market housing fund?
View Mark Strahl Profile
CPC (BC)
So, just to be clear about some of the news stories from the last couple of days, $300 million hasn't bee expended to build 99 homes. The money is still there. You're financing the administration of the fund, and the associated cost is all funded from the interest on the initial investment.
View Mark Strahl Profile
CPC (BC)
Is there anything specifically in terms of government policy or any changes in the regulations that you see as necessary, now that we know we went into this a bit overly optimistic. I think that is how we can categorize it. Now that we have seven or eight years of experience, is there anything that should be changed? I know we just brought in some amendments to financial management in the recent Bill C-59, the budget implementation act, because there were a few things seen along the way that could be tweaked to make that better.
Do you have any recommendations for the committee or the department that would allow the First Nations Market Housing Fund to overcome some of the obstacles?
View Mark Strahl Profile
CPC (BC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Just on that last issue of first nations land management, certainly we're happy to see additional investment in the 2015 budget because I think that's something that everyone around the table and all the witnesses we've heard support.
But I do want to go back, Maxime, to your comments about CRA's nebulous tax rules that maybe passively discourage partnership on-reserve. I'm not sure if this comes down to tax avoidance being okay and that tax evasion is not, which I've heard from professionals before. But can you just give some examples or flesh that out a little, how the CRA discourages that sort of investment?
And how do we ensure that if there is partnership and investment to take advantage of those tax rules, that the first nations communities are not being taken advantage of? Can you put a little meat on the bones there?
View Mark Strahl Profile
CPC (BC)
Thank you.
Mr. Goodtrack, I wanted to speak of your programs. I have a number of first nations—I think 47—in my riding. A number of them have non-aboriginal administrators or people in their management group. Do you offer this training or designation to aboriginal individuals only, or is it available to someone who would like to become more proficient or work in an aboriginal community?
View Mark Strahl Profile
CPC (BC)
Okay.
What is the breakdown, perhaps, if you have those figures or can get them to us, of aboriginal versus non-aboriginal professionals who are utilizing your program?
View Mark Strahl Profile
CPC (BC)
That would be great.
Mr. Davis, you said that governments and financial institutions, etc., should try to act in innovative ways to address barriers to access to capital. We've heard from different groups, even aboriginal groups, some of whom want to pursue more private property ownership and others who say that that, in and of itself, would be unacceptable under treaty.
So there's obviously a wide variety of views on the topic, even in the aboriginal community. Is there a working group or anything like that where all of these aboriginal communities, aboriginal governments, the Government of Canada, and financial institutions come together and work together on these things? Or are they all coming at it from their own perspective and talking past one another, perhaps?
View Mark Strahl Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mark Strahl Profile
CPC (BC)
Thank you.
My question is for Chief Bear. Of the first nations that apply to join the schedule for the First Nations Land Management Act, what percentage are accepted? Do you have those figures?
View Mark Strahl Profile
CPC (BC)
We're hearing from Mr. Seeback's questioning earlier how this is gathering momentum and that there are a number of first nations that are trying to get into this. I assume that not every first nation that applies for entry meets the criteria, so if that's the case, would you say, “You need to work on this particular criteria”? I'm assuming there is some filtering in terms of who is accepted and who is not.
View Mark Strahl Profile
CPC (BC)
So you wouldn't be prepared then to discuss what some of the common deficiencies are that we could recommend as a committee be addressed at an earlier stage. I guess I'm trying to figure out....
Getting out from under the Indian Act is something that first nations want. It's something that government has said it wants and the opposition wants it, but we don't just throw the doors open and say, “Everyone is ready for first nations land management.” We have some criteria through the land advisory board and the government. How can we help more first nations get to the point your two nations have gotten to?
View Mark Strahl Profile
CPC (BC)
My time is running out here.
What is the average time from when a first nation is either selected or applies until they are in the schedule?
View Mark Strahl Profile
CPC (BC)
Thank you.
Mr. Vincent, thank you for the presentation you gave.
In your presentation, you mentioned that we loan to solvent people who will become owners of their houses. We want to make tenants into owners. I want to try to get an idea from you now.... Are we talking about first nations property ownership, which has been advocated by Chief Manny Jules and others, or is there a different model that you are talking about that would allow tenants to become owners, allow people to start to own their property?
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