Lamenting the “fly in and out” culture of workers in northern Quebec communities, Prime Minister François Legault said Monday that his government would build more affordable housing in the north to entice families to settle.

Quebec will invest $ 100 million to build more than 300 homes in the north of the province before the end of 2022, Legault told reporters in Chibougamau, Que., A city of about 7,000 people located 500 kilometers northwest of Quebec City. .

“People are willing to come here, but there is homelessness,” Legault said. “And they hesitate to build a house, thinking, ‘What if there are no more high-paying jobs in five years, then the house will lose its value?’

Legault said he is willing to risk public money and build more affordable housing in northern cities like Chibougamau.

“The goal is to see the population of northern Quebec increase,” Legault said. “There is such a high potential in the region.”

Affordable housing is the key to increasing the population of northern cities, said Housing Minister Andrée Laforest, along with Legault.

“Having a home is an essential need, a need for security,” Laforest said. “Today’s announcement will bring a light to families who wish to settle here. We are talking about job opportunities and an interesting quality of life.”

Approximately $ 7 million will finance the construction of two apartment buildings in Chibougamau by the fall of 2022.

Legault said his government was also looking at offering monetary incentives to workers to settle in northern communities to reduce what he called the tendency to “fly in and out.”

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This Canadian Press report was first published on August 16, 2021.

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