MP Gord Johns commits to helping on housing efforts

Huu-ay-aht leadership met with MP Gord Johns on Tuesday to discuss the Nations plans when it comes to housing in its territory.

The meeting was in part an opportunity to reconnect with the Member of Parliament since his re-election in the fall, but also to chance to update him on the progress Huu-ay-aht is making in housing. Chief Councillor Robert J. Dennis Sr. updated Johns on the work of the Housing Panel. Johns received a copy of the final report of the Housing Panel prior to the meeting, so he was familiar with how much work has recently gone into planning the future of Huu-ay-aht housing.

Chief Dennis explained that Huu-ay-aht is looking at ways to implement the 14 recommendations made by the Housing Panel. He also expressed his hope that Johns would help them make the right contacts to expediate their efforts to receive support and funding from the Federal Government.

Johns gave the Nation his word that he would connect them with the people who hold portfolios relevant to housing and infrastructure. He said the fact that Huu-ay-aht is contributing a significant amount of money will be well received in Ottawa. He said it shows Huu-ay-aht is willing to make a significant investment, and it should make them more successful in obtaining funds from other levels of government. He offered a few tips on who to talk to and where to look for funding, as well.

“You’re the best at presenting information, and I am always happy to advocate for Huu-ay-aht First Nations,” Johns said. “I can make sure you are talking to the right people and we just have to use the tools we have in Ottawa to move this forward.”

He added that Huu-ay-aht is already known in Ottawa as a Nation who leads the way and gets things done, due in part to the Nation’s success with the Social Services Panel recommendations.

The meeting wrapped up with a brief update on the work Johns has been doing in fisheries and an update on the Bamfield Road.