Transparency for First Nations funding and is this Petition needed?
May 25 2016 – Kevin Yaworski
For my Canadian Friends. I am on the fence regarding signing the following petition and explain why below.
If this matter is important to you I suggest you read the news article and gov response below and decide if you want to sign the petition. Comments welcomed.
Here is my summary:
I agree our Federal and Provincial governments need to communicate better with First Nations and vise versa. This is required to ensure adequate funding, that it being spent appropriately and with positive results just like other tax payer funds.
Ottawa transfers about $8 billion a year to First Nations, yet many of these communities remains closer to Third World standards than the prosperity enjoyed by most of the country. Many suffer from serious issues at a much higher rate then the rest of the country including suicide, addiction, sexual; physical and menral abuse, mental and physical illness, poverty, low education and others.
The transparency act brought in by the Conservatives was one means of tracking where the money goes and why it appears to achieve so little.
First Nation leaders complained and protested but the law seemed to produce results. Band members for the first time found out just how much their leaders were paying themselves, and in some cases it was a shock. Several of their leaders were way overpaid including paid including some close to a $Million / Year or more while most of their communities suffered. Several were voted out by band members. More details below
On December 18, 2015, the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs issued a statement indicating that the department:
has stopped all discretionary compliance measures related to the First Nations Financial Transparency Act
is re-instating funding withheld from First Nations under these measures
is suspending any court actions against First Nations who have not complied with the act
A link to the Ministers statement is below.
It sounds like the gov agrees in transparency and accountability but wants a more open and friendly approach thatvwill prevent funds being frozen and court action.
I guess if our new gov promised to achieve the same positive transparency results without having to enforce it this way then we should give them a chance. As far as I know they have not said they will repeal this legislation they are just not enforcing it. This means they have the option to use it for some leaders if they refuse to cooperate more openly.
If you think First Nations leaders have been given enough chances to be transparent and accountable and would like this enforced there is a petition below.
More info on this legislation and results:
Petition to enforce this legislation:
The Ministers statement: