Justin Trudeau Vows To Scrap First Nations Financial Transparency Act
Justin Trudeau has promised to scrap a controversial law forcing First Nations leaders to disclose salaries and band financial statements online and replace it with something more “respectful” if he becomes prime minister in 2015.
Trudeau told The Vancouver Sun the First Nations Financial Transparency Act, passed in 2013 amid complaints from many aboriginal leaders, has been used as a “weapon” against critics of the Stephen Harper government.
“I wouldn’t keep the legislation in place,” Trudeau told the newspaper. “I would work with First Nations to make sure that a proper accountability act that would have disclosed any excesses we see, but is done in a way that is respectful of the First Nation communities.”
The law requires First Nations bands post audited financial statements — including remunerations of chiefs and councillors — on their websites within 120 days of the end of the financial year. Smaller bands without websites can post them to the sites of larger First Nations groups or a site hosted by the Department of Aboriginal Affairs.
The department is publishing the documents online as they are received from more than 600 First Nations bands. As of Monday afternoon, documents from less than 250 bands were posted, despite a deadline to submit the information by July 29.
After the rules came into effect two weeks ago, it was revealed Kwikwetlem First Nation Chief Ron Giesbrecht received nearly $1 million in remuneration last year for serving as leader and economic development officer of his B.C. band. (Source: Huffington Post)
— kris (@khrismmm) August 14, 2014