Chief Bill Erasmus of the Dene nation is pictured in Poznan

Chief objects to posting salaries online

N.W.T. political leader objects to posting chiefs' salaries online

By The Canadian Press

YELLOWKNIFE – A political leader in the Northwest Territories says there are concerns over the federal government’s new law requiring the salaries of First Nations chiefs be posted online.

Dene National Chief Bill Erasmus, who is also the Assembly of First Nations’ regional chief for the Northwest Territories, says his people are not opposed to the concept of accountability and transparency.

However, he says the problem is that the federal government’s new legislation is “an imposition” on First Nations’ governments.

The federal government’s legislation required First Nations to submit their financial statements by Tuesday.

However, by Wednesday evening, the website where the public is supposed to be able to access that information had none from any of the 22 First Nations in the Northwest Territories.

Late last week, Bernard Valcourt, minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, issued a release reminding First Nations of the requirements and saying chiefs and councillors “are encouraged to submit the documents as soon as possible.”

Valcourt also noted First Nations were already required to produce annual consolidated financial statements as part of their funding agreements with the federal government; only the requirement to publish them to the Internet is new.

But Erasmus said the new rule “does not support good governance.”

He said in the Northwest Territories, bands have followed their own financial standards, adding that information such as salaries has been shared at community, regional and national meetings.

“The chiefs are committed to being accountable to their people, not to the federal government or the public,” he said. “The funds we receive from Canada are not taxpayers’ money, they are Indian consolidated funds through the treasury board based on our treaty relationship with the Crown.

“The way that the bill is designed puts First Nations financial entities … at a disadvantage because the information requested by AANDC could be potentially sensitive and detrimental to their future business capacities.”

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation had been pushing for the salaries to be made public since 2009.

Colin Craig, prairie director of the CTF, said people were frustrated by the money being spent on reserves and then not being disclosed.

Just Posted

A Tribe Called Red, Tanya Tagaq among artists featured in Indigenous music film

When They Awake coming to Stan Hagen Theatre for one night

CVRD moves to goal-setting stage for sewer service plan

Workshops planned for next week in Comox and Courtenay

Comox Valley Santa’s Workshop in need of bicycles for youngsters, gifts for teens

Santa’s Workshop, at 464 Puntledge Road (formerly the Red Cross building), is… Continue reading

Comox connection to launch of new $10 bill

Great nephew of Viola Desmond says bill is a ‘step in the right direction’

Changes coming to BC Ferries reservations for Vancouver Island routes

Many customers are booking multiple reservations, inflating wait times

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

Mid Island Farmers Institute discusses fleece at November meeting

Are you a lover of wool and local fibre? Interested in raising… Continue reading

Comox Valley Nature invites the public to learn about nature photography

Comox Valley Nature is hosting a public lecture on photography. Join Terry… Continue reading

Trial: Witness describes encounter with accused murderer while tending to fatally injured Descoteau

Wright said he was working in his yard when he heard a woman screaming.

Former NHL player and coach Dan Maloney dies at 68

Maloney coached the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets

Ex-MSU president charged with lying to police about Nassar

Lou Anna Simon was charged Tuesday with lying to police during an investigation

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

Otter makes a snack out of koi fish in Vancouver Chinese garden

Staff say the otter has eaten at least five fish

Most Read