Wednesday, July 30, 2014

"Chief Big Thunder" give "Chief Little Thunder" a bit of lightening in his next paycheque!

Good Day Readers:

This would be quite amusing save for it's your money with which "Thunder" is playing. Representing 125 individuals only 40 of which live on the reservation that's $1,040 and $3,250 annually. Ever wonder why your taxes are always increasing?

Perhaps it's time for a salary increase so "Thunder" has a little lightening. Hail to The Chief!

Clare L. Pieuk
Chiefs and council salaries posted online

Kristin Annable
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Chief John Thunder of Buffalo Point First Nation made nearly $130,000 in 2013. (Buffalo Point community blog)

A local First Nations Chief who represents only 125 members — only 40 of whom live on reserve — makes more money than a Senior Cabinet Minister in Manitoba.

Chief John Thunder of the Buffalo Point First Nation makes $129,398 a year, according to salaries posted online Tuesday in accordance with The First Nations Financial Transparency Act. By comparison, a Senior Cabinet Minister such as Jennifer Howard, who runs the province’s finances while representing more than 20,000 people in her riding of Fort Rouge, makes $126,245.

However, since Thunder’s salary is tax-free, his taxable equivalent salary would be $200,000 — or more than $40,000 than what Premier Greg Selinger made in 2013 to lead more than 1.2 million Manitobans.

The numbers were disclosed Tuesday as part of The First Nations Financial Transparency Act, which requires reserves across the country to disclose the salaries of its Chief and Band Council.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation has long championed the public exposure of First Nations Chief and Councillors’ salaries. Colin Craig, the CTF’s Prairies Director, said after all the work his organization has done on the issue, it is a great day to see federal legislation come into being. “It improves accountability; it is a basic expectation in a democracy that one would be able to find how much their politicians are making,” he said. “We heard back in 2009, that several people on aboriginal reserves couldn’t get details on how much their own politicians were making, so that is why we started calling and moving forward with a big push to get Ottawa to change the status quo.”

So far in Manitoba, only Buffalo Point and Gamblers First Nations have posted their salaries, with the other 61 First Nations expected to file their financial statements in the next few weeks.

Thunder last made headlines last October, when he was charged with attempting to extort a government employee after the First Nation came under fire by non-native cottage owners for hiking their property taxes. That charge is still before the courts. Thunder is presumed innocent.

Gamblers Chief David Ledoux makes substantially less than Thunder, pulling in only $26,380 to represent a band almost double the size of Buffalo Point.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt said the new legislation does not increase the reporting requirements for First Nations leaders, it merely increases accessibility.

“First Nations, like all Canadians, deserve transparency and accountability from their elected officials,” he said earlier this week.

Craig said prior to this legislation, some band members would often get bullied or risk losing their jobs if they made inquires into their chief’s or councillors’ salaries.

“One member actually provided us with a letter they got from their band saying that it was illegal for the government to release the information,” he said, noting bands were supposed to be providing those details to their members. “That’s one of the benefits of having this details online, everyone can take a look at them and band members can look at the numbers anonymously.”


Chief John Thunder $129,398

Councillor Herman Green $103,269

Councillor Drew Thunder $62,458

Councillor Jim Thunder $5,500


Chief David Ledoux $26,380

Councillor Nathan Tanner $21,429

Councillor Kelly Tanner $14,807

Councillor Roy Vermette $5,141

Councillor Ronnie Ducharme $28

Note: The Tanners worked nine months in 2013; Vermette and Ducharme worked three months.

Note: Salaries are tax-free.
Twitter: @kristinannable


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