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CTF Slams Trudeau Government's Abandonment of the First Nations Financial Transparency Act

December 18, 2015
CTF Slams Trudeau Government's Abandonment of the First Nations Financial Transparency Act

OTTAWA, ON: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) today condemned the Trudeau government’s decision to cease enforcement of the First Nations Financial Transparency Act (FNFTA).   

“This government was elected on a promise to improve transparency and accountability, and this decision does exactly the opposite,” said CTF Federal Director Aaron Wudrick. “A law without consequence for non-compliance is a toothless law. As such, soon many First Nations people across the country will again be in the dark as to how their elected leaders spend public dollars.”

Wudrick noted that as of today most bands were complying with the law and that only eight out of 581 First Nations had failed to file FNFTA documentation for 2013-14 – a compliance rate of 98.6 per cent. For 2014-15, 38 out of 581 First Nations have not yet complied, for a compliance rate of 93.5 per cent.

“The FNFTA is a critical tool for band members to hold their First Nations politicians to account, in exactly the same way similar laws do for federal, provincial and municipal politicians across Canada,” said Wudrick. “Suspending enforcement of this law is wrong, and completely undermines the very principles this government claims to be advancing.”

Wudrick noted that the importance of the FNFTA is illustrated by cases such as that of Chief Ron Giesbrecht of the Kwikwetlem First Nation, who pocketed $800,000 of band money as part of a band land deal. Kwikwetlem band councillor Marvin Joe even stated “I want the public to know that the membership knew nothing about this. And it if wasn’t for this new transparency act, I don’t think we ever would have known.”

“Without the FNFTA being enforced Mr. Joe along with thousands of other band members will soon be in the dark again,” concluded Wudrick.

By bil
on December 18, 2015
Taxpayers, Canadians and 1st Nations Peoples have a right to know where their $ are being spent. Last time I checked, Canada is an open and transparent Democracy. How our tax dollars are being used must be publicly documented for scrutiny. Otherwise, someone will invariably abuse the process for personal gain (power), or be open to suspicion by not being transparent. In my opinion, establishing a healing process with 1st Nations does not entail hidden ledger books.

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By AlMaj
on December 21, 2015
I was not pleased to hear that the transparency was removed. It's bad enough that Canadians pay $5 billion plus for aboriginal affairs (welfare basically) but that a few dozen reserves are totally corrupt and not held accountable is not right and should be prosecuted, not shuffled under the carpet. As a new subscriber, I encourage you to make this a national issue.

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By
on December 23, 2015
My letter to the powers that be, pertaining to this matter: It has come to my attention that Carolyn Bennett has abandoned enforcement of the First Nations Financial Transparency Act, and may in fact be in the process of repealing said act. I strongly urge you to reconsider this blatant disregard for tax payers money! At a whopping cost of over 12 BILLION dollars a year; tax payers have the right to know whether or not that money is being spent responsibly. Politicians on all levels of government are expected to be accountable and there is absolutely no valid reason that so called First Nations should be exempt from the rules. Without this act; the despicable actions of those such as Theresa Spence of Attawapiskat will continue to go undisclosed. I have not forgotten that Justin Trudeau was happy to stick his mug in front of the camera in support of the fraudulent Theresa Spence - sadly he is now Prime Minister of Canada and I would expect him to stop pandering to minorities and act responsibly and in the best interest of ALL Canadians. There are NO taxes paid for on reserve personal/business/resource income and yet they are entitled to collect all taxed based benefits (and more) that all other Canadians must pay for. At the same time; regardless of how much TAX FREE money any particular reserve makes - they continue to get a big chunk of that 12+ BILLION dollars a year. The Treaties do NOT require all other Canadians to support one race from cradle to grave. The Treaties do NOT require us to give all our tax based benefits to one race while that one race is tax exempt. It is time for all other Canadians to get their own lawyers and launch a call for the abolition of the Indian Act and a National referendum on the racist Constitution which Pierre Trudeau inflicted upon us. Past injustices have never in the history of mankind warranted perpetual support and a vast number of Canadians are sick to death of seeing our hard earned money supporting one race - and you dare to raise the 2% annual increase and think that so called First Nations should hold no accountability? With the highest disregard for your racist policies and irresponsible actions.

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