Aboriginal Affairs Minister Moves on Financial Transparency Act

Minister Valcourt - We all agreed on the urgency of investing in Aboriginal Education.
Minister Valcourt
Minister Valcourt - We all agreed on the urgency of investing in Aboriginal Education.
Minister Valcourt

THUNDER BAY – Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, issued the following statement today on the First Nations Financial Transparency Act:

“First Nations, like all Canadians, deserve transparency and accountability from their elected leaders. That is why we passed the First Nations Financial Transparency Act (FNFTA) which empowers First Nation members to ensure band revenues areused for the benefit of the entire community

Effective immediately, we are taking court action as provided by the Act against band governments who have indicated their intention not to comply with the Act.

I have directed the department to bring applications to the Federal Court for an order requiring the band governments from the Council of First Nations of Thunderchild, Ochapowace and Onion Lake in Saskatchewan; and Sawridge, Athabasca Chipewyan and Cold Lake in Alberta to publish Audited Consolidated Financial Statements and Schedules of Remuneration and Expenses for chief and council for the benefit of their members.

We will continue to withhold funding for non-essential programs for all non-compliant First Nations.

With this Act, our Government has made financial information more accessible to First Nation members, which leads to more effective, transparent and accountable governance as well as stronger, more self-sufficient and prosperous communities.”

The Federal Government has extended the deadline for Kashechewan First Nation after flooding had hit the community. Fort Severn / Washaho Cree Nation was just getting their papers into the government, and should be alright with the legislation.

The Minister is being challenged in court by First Nations in Alberta over the new legislation.

Onion Lake Cree Nation Challenges Legislation

Onion Lake Cree First Nation has taken the federal government to court questioning the Constitutionality of the new federal legislation. The Cree First Nation says, “Unconstitutional Legislation Persecuting Indigenous Peoples & Infringing on their Inherent & Treaties. C-27 promotes Racial Profiling, Discrimination, & Genocide while Attacking Indigenous Self Determination. Canadians should be concerned, who is next?”

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