Consultant says he’s owed $1.2M for helping First Nation obtain emergency housing cash from Ottawa
A consultant working for Cat Lake First Nation in northern Ontario is locked in a dispute with the band over how much money it owes him for his role in helping to secure federal funding to address urgent housing needs in the remote community.
Gerald Paulin signed a contract with Cat Lake in November 2017 for 10 per cent of any new money the community received. He says that entitles him and his company, Windsun Energy Corp., to $1.2 million after the federal government recently pledged $12.8 million for emergency housing.
But Cat Lake First Nation Chief Matthew Keewaykapow says the band is still discussing the matter with its lawyers.
“Our lawyers have advised us not to respond until they have done their due diligence,” Keewaykapow said in a text message.
The community, located 600 kilometres north of Thunder Bay, Ont., declared a state of emergency in January due to a severe housing crisis. An inspection of all 128 homes a month earlier had found that most should be replaced, partly due to mould issues in many of the houses.
At the time, the chief and council said they believed long-term exposure to mould was harming the health of at least 100 residents.
“People in Cat Lake get sick non-stop,” said Deputy Chief Abigail Wesley. “Coughing, multiple pneumonia incidents, related kidney diseases and increased medical problems.”
- Cat Lake First Nation declares state of emergency over illness, death from ‘profoundly poor’ housing
Community leaders say Cat Lake has struggled with housing issues for years due to what they say is chronic underfunding from Indigenous Services Canada.
After weeks of negotiations, an agreement for new money to address the housing and health crisis was announced at a meeting between band leaders and Indigenous Services Minister Seamus O’Regan in February. The agreement provides $12.8 million for immediate action to address the community’s housing crisis.
It includes $5 million to build 15 new homes, $2.1 million to repair and renovate 21 units and $3.1 million for new prefabricated modular housing units. – CBC News
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I wonder what he did to earn $1.2 million? Provide some videos/photos to the media? Provide some videos/photos to the government opposition? That is one expensive consultant.
The band did not want to honour the contract? Where is the band going to get $1.2 million? I guess its coming out of the $12 million. Sooo there is only $10.8 million going toward housing issues?
There is a lot of money to be made consulting for First Nation bands. Lots.
That photo tells me what? What I see is a house where the inhabitants do not spend much time cleaning. Probably no time cleaning at all. Of course, the rooms with walls and ceilings covered with mould would tell you that. Mould does wash off walls and ceilings.
I would be ashamed if this was my house. Hard to feel sorry for people who end up in this situation. I believe it all could have been avoided with timely repairs to the buildings and a regular housekeeping regime.