Lucy Kuptana: Habitat for Humanity

Ministers' Statements and Speeches

Yellowknife — June 10, 2024

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Mr. Speaker, of our many partnerships, I rise today to applaud the work of Habitat for Humanity Northwest Territories. In the last 11 years, Habitat has built ten homes in the Northwest Territories. Habitat for Humanity staff and volunteers work hard to provide affordable homes for Northwest Territories residents, and I am pleased with the continued partnership between Habitat and Housing NWT. Housing NWT has contributed over $250,000 to Habitat for Humanity NWT. By working in partnership with organizations like Habitat for Humanity, it allows us to find ways to increase housing availability across our territory. I am always pleased when, through partnership, we can support our residents to reach their housing goals.

The week of May 13, 2024, key ceremonies were held at the two most recent builds in Hay River and Yellowknife. As much as the families and houses deserve recognition, so do the volunteers behind them.

Volunteers like Dave Hurley of Yellowknife. Dave is the co-founder and former board chair of the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity. On May 14, 2024, he won Habitat for Humanity Canada’s Terry Petkau Legacy Award. The national award is the highest honour for members of the organization. Mr. Speaker, let me tell you a little about “the legacy” of Dave.

In 2010, Dave was concerned about the economic disparities preventing low to middle-income families from owning their own homes in the Northwest Territories. So, he helped co-found Habitat for Humanity NWT.

Mr. Speaker, it is important to remember Habitat houses are not free. They are for families who lack the money for a downpayment but are willing to provide the volunteer work and mortgage payments to get a roof over their heads. These are the people Dave is dedicated to helping, even in difficult times. When Habitat for Humanity NWT was at risk of losing its affiliate status, Dave worked tirelessly with the national office to develop solutions. He even recruited family and friends to sit on the board to ensure quorum was met so local operations could continue. Under Dave’s leadership, Habitat for Humanity built the ten homes I mentioned earlier. They are in Dettah, Hay River and Yellowknife.

Dave is known among colleagues and friends as a strong project manager who takes a respectful, realistic, and culturally sensitive approach to building homes in the North. Those who know him describe him as a loyal, trustworthy, compassionate volunteer who loves the North as much as he loves his family and friends. It is not unusual to see him wiping a tear when welcoming parents and children to their new homes. 

For these reasons, and more, he is known as the “heart of Habitat for Humanity NWT.”

Congratulations, Dave Hurley, on receiving Habitat for Humanity’s Terry Petkau Legacy Award. Housing NWT is proud of your many accomplishments, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with Habitat for Humanity.

Quyanainni, Mr. Speaker.