Canada and Cat Lake First Nation Sign Interim Framework Agreement

THUNDER BAY – Chief and Council leadership from Cat Lake First Nations along with Ontario Regional Chief Archibald, Nishnawbe Aski Grand Chief Alvin Fidler and Windigo Council Frank McKay of Windigo Council met with Indigenous Services Canada Minister Seamus O’Regan and Kenora MP Bob Nault in Thunder Bay today.

The meeting resulted in the signing of an agreement which will see immediate work done to start solving the housing crisis and health crisis in Cat Lake First Nation. Minister O’Regan stated that this is a first step, which will see Cat Lake leadership taking the lead role.

Funds will flow through Windigo Tribal Council until April 1, 2019.

 

The Agreement signed today brings the following as priorities:

  • A Temporary Warehouse Structure to be built as a first priority.
  • An ongoing position of Housing Manager to be funded to provide regular maintenance of units. Training for this position to be decided in conjunction with the community.
  • Financial capacity development support for Chief and Council and Administration to be provided.
  • Consideration to be given to the unique needs of Elders and those with special needs. Further details will be forthcoming in the MOA.
  • Consideration to be given to long-term planning for future community development
  • The agreement moves to work with the community

The winter road into the community which has a thirty-day window is one of the areas of concern. The Minister stated that they are awaiting a report on the condition of the winter road, and Indigenous Services Canada will work with Cat Lake toward getting the road monitored and in the right condition for heavy loads.

Canada contributed $254,855 in 2018-19 (in addition to $266,728 from the Government of Ontario for a total of $521,583) to Cat Lake First Nation to construct, maintain and operate the 2019 winter road.

Cat Lake Chief Keewaykapow explained that there are concerns about capacity in the community for storage of new portable homes, and for other supplies.

The Parties agree that their priority is to maintain and monitor the winter road to ensure access to Cat Lake First Nation for people and materials for as long as possible for the 2019 winter road season.

INTERIM FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT

BETWEEN: The Minister of Indigenous Services Canada

AND:

WINDIGO TRIBAL COUNCIL ON BEHALF OF CAT LAKE FIRST NATION

DATE: February 21, 2019

RE: Cat Lake Housing Plan 2019(“Plan”)

This Interim Framework Agreement is entered into this 21 day of February 2019 between Canada and Windigo Tribal Council on behalf of Cat Lake First Nation, with the understanding that a second agreement, known as the Memorandum of Agreement, will be signed in the community within two weeks.

The Parties acknowledge that Cat Lake First Nation made an emergency declaration in relation to health and housing issues on January 16, 2019.

The Parties also agree that efforts will be taken to collaboratively address immediate health and housing concerns.

A second agreement, known as the Memorandum of Agreement, will be signed within two weeks in the community of Cat Lake First Nation.

The Agreement will be signed by Windigo Tribal Council on behalf of Cat Lake First Nation. Frank McKay will be the signatory with Chief Keewaykapow as the witness.

Funds will flow through Windigo Tribal Council until April 1, 2019, at which time the Agreement will be modified.

The parties have agreed to:

A Temporary Warehouse Structure to be built as a first priority.

An ongoing position of Housing Manager to be funded to provide regular maintenance of units. Training for this position to be decided in conjunction with the community.

Financial capacity development support for Chief and Council and Administration to be provided.

Consideration to be given to the unique needs of Elders and those with special needs. Further details will be forthcoming in the MOA.

Consideration to be given to long-term planning for future community development.

Technical Team

The Parties agree that implementation of the Plan will be led by a Technical Team composed of a Project Manager (Section C), a Recipient Appointed Advisor (Section D), two officials from Indigenous Services Canada: Ryan Davis, Senior Project Coordinator, and one who will serve as the Professional Project Manager (requires Engineering degree and appropriate certification).

Appointment of a ProjectManager

The Parties agree that Cat Lake FN has appointed Michael Hosegood as project manager to support the implementation of the Plan.

Mr. Hosegood’s compensation will be $—, funded by Canada.

The Parties agree that Mr. Hosegood will work with other members of the Technical Team and will be responsible for overall Plan implementation and oversight, as described in Annex A.

Appointment of a Recipient AppointedAdvisor

Canada will fund the appointment by Cat Lake First Nation of Marcel Gagnon, MNP, as the financial advisor to support the implementation of the Plan, in his capacity as Recipient-Appointed Advisor to Cat Lake First Nation (letter of engagement appears in Annex B). Mr. Gagnon’s compensation will be as described in his letter of engagement.

The Parties agree that Mr. Gagnon will work with other members of the Technical Team and will be responsible for financial oversight and reporting on the Plan.

WinterRoad

Canada contributed $254,855 in 2018-19 (in addition to $266,728 from the Government of Ontario for a total of $521,583) to Cat Lake First Nation to construct, maintain and operate the 2019 winter road.

The Parties agree that their priority is to maintain and monitor the winter road to ensure access to Cat Lake First Nation for people and materials for as long as possible for the 2019 winter road season.

New Housing Units being funded through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) On-Reserve Non Profit Housing Program (Section95)

An amount of $748,517.50 was provided to Cat Lake First Nation on October 4, 2017 to support the construction of 7 new housing units.

The Parties agree that upon receipt of the audited financial statements of the 2017-18 fiscal year, which were due July 29, 2018, the outstanding balance of the funding ($748,517.50 for a total of $1,497,035) will be expedited by Indigenous Services Canada to the full extent of their authority, to support the completion of the 7 new housing units.

Marcel Gagnon, MNP, has undertaken that the draft or final version of the audited financial statements will be made available to the Parties by March 7, 2019.

·      Duplex Units

The construction of two duplexes (4 housing units) will be facilitated by the Technical Team and additional resources provided by Canada, if required, on the basis of substantiation provided by Cat Lake First Nation.

Completion of these units is a first priority for the Technical Team and for new resources.

Construction of New HousingUnits

Canada will provide $3,500,000 in funding to support the construction of 15 new housing units in Cat Lake First Nation. Demolition, site preparation and shipping/transport of materials as well as lot servicing, or service enhancements will be funded by Canada at $1,500,000.

The Parties agree that the construction of new housing units will be based on criteria that reflect the results of the January 2019 inspection report produced by Trinity Contracting Ltd. and North Rock Environmental Inc., commissioned by Cat Lake First Nation and funded by Indigenous Services Canada for $199,976. Those criteria include evidence of mould, structural and material deficiencies, including exposed electrical wiring, ventilation deficiencies, and heating system fire hazards.

The homes that will be demolished and replaced by new units have been determined to be priorities based an analysis of the January 2019 report as homes that cannot be repaired for less than the cost of a new house.

Funding will be used to construct new houses on the following lot numbers:

  • #77
  • #124
  • #131
  • #98
  • #92
  • #118
  • #51
  • #71
  • #67
  • #140
  • #138
  • #31
  • #38
  • #56
  • #104

·       Repair and Renovation of Existing HousingUnits

Canada will provide $2,100,000 in funding to support the repair and renovation of 21 existing housing units in Cat Lake First Nation. Repairs and renovations will include but not be limited to mould remediation, insulation and weatherproofing, and door and drywall repair or replacement.

The Parties agree that the funding will be used to support repairs and renovations at the following lot numbers:

  • #1
  • #2
  • #3
  • #10
  • #14
  • #16
  • #19
  • #22
  • #26
  • #27
  • #36
  • #37
  • #173
  • #53
  • #63
  • #69
  • #143
  • #72
  • #83
  • #92
  • #107

Canada will provide $2,000,000 to fund the delivery and installation of 10 portable housing units for permanent use. Until the replacement and repairs of home described previously has been completed, the portable units may be used by families who are in transition.

Canada will provide an additional $1,000,000 for shipping and delivery charges, site preparation, servicing enhancements, and foundations (screw piles or skids).