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FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT CONCERNING THE KATIVIK REGION

THE MINISTER FOR NATIVE AFFAIRS,
For and on behalf of the Gouvernement du Québec,
hereinafter the "Government",

AND

THE KATIVIK REGIONAL GOVERNMENT, acting through and represented by Johnny N. Adams, Chairman of the Executive Committee,
hereinafter the "KRG",


acknowledge that it is desirable to conclude a framework agreement concerning the Kativik region which comprises the following four sections:

  • Section 1: Home ownership and social housing;
  • Section 2: Municipal infrastructures;
  • Section 3: Resource envelope for the development of Inuit communities;
  • Section 4: KRG block funding.

Section 1: Home ownership and social housing

The parties undertake to:

  • develop a new housing framework for the territory of the Kativik region which will promote home ownership and improve the management of social housing;
  • implement this new framework through specific agreements to be reached no later than December 31, 1998.

These commitments are based on the following premises:

The Government agrees that the terms and conditions of the home ownership and social housing improvement objectives be set down in three separate agreements: one concerning home ownership, one concerning the sale of social housing units, and one concerning the management of social housing.

With respect to a home ownership program, the Government undertakes to:

  • apply the terms and conditions of the draft agreement prepared by the KRG and forwarded to the Société d'habitation du Québec on October 8, and approved in principle on the same date;
  • allow individuals who built homes under the 1995 and 1997 pilot projects to elect to be governed by the standards and rules of the home ownership program;

  • allow program clients who have begun home renovations in 1998 to be qualify retroactively for the home ownership program.

With respect to the sale of social housing units, the Government approves the principle and agrees that housing units should be sold to potential purchasers at very low prices. Furthermore, the Government affirms that, with the Société d'habitation du Québec, it is willing to begin negociation as soon as possible with the Government of Canada and the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation concerning the sale of social housing units.

With respect to the management of social housing, the Government undertakes to:

  • recognize and encourage the creation of a social housing management structure which reflects the context of the region and which targets efficiency and improvement of social housing conditions;
  • take steps to ensure that the new management structure may be easily attached to a regional organization;
  • reinvest in social housing development all funds collected through the payment of rent arrears;
  • reinvest in social housing development the funds obtained through the sale of social housing units;
  • invest in social housing development funds equal to those collected through the payment of rent arrears.

For its part, the KRG agrees to temporarily manage programs which evolve out of the new housing framework for the territory of the Kativik region until a final agreement is reached. The aim in doing so is to help resolve the current housing crisis and to improve the living conditions of residents in the Kativik region.

The parties acknowledge that these joint actions in the area of housing are in no way connected with the spirit of the unified housing system described in paragraph 29.0.40 of the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreementand that they shall in no way limit the rights of the Inuit guaranteed under the Agreement.

The parties undertake to set up, as soon as possible, a committee responsible for implementing the home ownership program and for preparing a draft special agreement concerning the sale of social housing units as well as a draft special agreement concerning the creation of an improved social housing management structure. The committee will also be asked to determine, based on this framework agreement, the terms and conditions for transferring program administration and management responsibilities in order to ensure a smooth transition and greater respect for the regional context.

Section 2: Municipal infrastructures

The parties undertake to develop a financial assistance program for the construction and improvement of municipal infrastructures in the North, which shall come into force no later than April 1, 1999, and to entrust the KRG with full responsibility for its management.

This commitment is based on the following premises:

The Government shall develop, jointly with KRG representatives, a financial assistance program for the construction and improvement of municipal infrastructures and equipment in the North. Costs related primarily to the following elements will be eligible for financial assistance under the program:

  • drinking water supply systems;
  • wastewater treatment systems;
  • solid waste disposal;
  • replacement and purchase of equipment and vehicles used for road work, solid waste and wastewater collection, as well as drinking water distribution;
  • road improvements.

The KRG agrees to manage the financial assistance program and to provide the Government with an annual report of its management. For these purposes, the KRG Council will be free to allocate the funds to the various projects submitted by the Northern villages.

The Government undertakes, subject to approval of budget planning for the 1999-2000 fiscal year, to provide a $45 million resource envelope over five years for the program. To this will be added any surplus from the Northern Municipal Infrastructure Improvement Program (from order-in-council 448-85 adopted on March 13, 1985).

The Government undertakes to pay a sum the KRG, from the program's resource envelope, for administrative expenses. The sum in question shall represent no more than 8% of the total resource envelope.

The parties undertake to set up, as soon as possible, an implementation committee to be responsible, first, for determining all the terms and conditions for transferring management responsibilities for the program, based on this framework agreement, in order to ensure a smooth transition as well as greater respect for the regional context and project priorities, and second, for drawing up a draft special agreement.

Section 3: Resource envelope for the development of Inuit communities

The Government undertakes to provide a resource envelope for the Inuit, for the purposes of stimulating economic development in the Kativik region, creating jobs for the Inuit and supporting the improvement and construction of community infrastructures other than those described in Section 2.

The parties undertake to sign an implementation agreement concerning this resource envelope no later than December 31, 1998.

These commitments are based on the following premises:

The Government's Aboriginal policy guidelines, which are set out in the document Partnership, Development, Achievement,affirm the Government's willingness to work with Aboriginal people and other partners in order to increase economic development opportunities by promoting job creation and reducing the obstacles that prevent Aboriginal peoples from achieving greater economic self-sufficiency.

The Government policy provides for the creation of a type of financial assistance to be paid to Aboriginal communities, in particular the Inuit.

The Government undertakes to provide a resource envelope of around $25 million over five years, to be used for economic development and the financing of capital construction projects proposed by partners in the Kativik region and accepted by the Government.

Such funds shall not reduce the financial assistance paid by the Government of Canada, in particular, to fulfil its fiduciary duty with respect to the Inuit.

The resource envelope of around $25 million shall not have the effect of allowing Government departments or agencies to withdraw a project from their regular planning. The resource envelope may, however, be used to complement the programs of Government departments and agencies. A sector-based project involving a Government department or agency may not be financed through the resource envelope without the KRG's approval.

Furthermore, the Government agrees that the recreation centre project carried out in the Northern Village of Inukjuak may be eligible for financial assistance under the resource envelope, subject to agreement by all parties and approval by the council of the Northern Village of Inukjuak.

The KRG agrees to promote this new source of financial assistance among the Northern villages and agrees to manage the resource envelope according to the terms and conditions to be determined in a special agreement.

Finally, the parties undertake to set up, as soon as possible, an implementation committee to be responsible for drawing up a draft special agreement setting out the terms and conditions of planning, management and joint actions as well as the general obligations of the parties.

Section 4: KRG block funding

The KRG's primary activities include the management of programs for the residents of the Kativik region. In order to meet its obligations, the KRG receives funding through 20 or so agreements signed with several Québec Government departments and agencies.

The Government acknowledges that the management of public funds paid to the KRG could be simplified and made more efficient, and it agrees to review its funding method. The parties agree that funds paid by the various Government departments and agencies through their different programs should be consolidated into a single resource envelope, block funding.

Consequently, the parties agree to create a task force that will be responsible for preparing a project, before April 1, 1999, aimed at introducing a single government window for the provision of financial support to the KRG. As well as consolidating Government funding, the agreement shall establish the objectives of the sector-based departments concerned, the obligations of the parties and the terms and conditions for implementing this new administrative framework.
 

Signed at Québec, on October 21, 1998

____________________________
Guy Chevrette
Minister for Native Affairs
  ____________________________
Johnny N. Adams
Chairman, Executive Committee,
Kativik Regional Government

Signature gouvernementale
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