Mr. Speaker, according to a study by the Public Health Branch of the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services on the health of young children in northern Quebec, the mortality rate of Inuit children under five years of age is five times higher than that of young Quebeckers.
In Nunavik, many more newborns suffer from respiratory distress or serious hearing problems. Babies are born healthy; problems develop later. There are several theories about what causes respiratory problems, including the dryness of homes and the fact that so many people smoke.
According to Serge Déry, “The lack of housing in this area often results in three generations living under one roof. This not only promotes the spread of infection, but also other social problems”.
During the winter months, in Nunavik, there are sometimes 16 to 18 Inuit living in a two-bedroom house.