WATCH ABOVE: Chief Councillor Ellis ross from the Haisla First Nation on the First Nations Transparency Act.
VANCOUVER – Time is running out for Canada’s First Nations bands to post information about their chiefs’ and councillors’ salaries online.
Under the newly created First Nations Financial Transparency Act, First Nations leaders had until the end of day on July 29 to publish their audited financial statements for the last fiscal year.
Bands already have to produce their financial statements as part of their funding agreements with the federal government, but this is the first time they are being asked to post the information online.
So far only a handful of the more than 600 bands nation-wide have actually submitted the information.
The Federal government says they will withhold funding from any band that does not comply before the deadline.
“Several years ago we were hearing from many Aboriginal people living on different reserves that they couldn’t find out how much their chiefs and councillors were making,” said Colin Craig from the Canadian Taxpayers Federation Prairie Director.
“So in some cases they were just denied the information, in other cases they were told ‘yeah yeah, come back tomorrow’ for it and of course they never got the data. So that’s why we called on Ottawa to start posting the information and that required passing a law.”
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