Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Are the sunny ways Liberals kissing too much ass?

Good Day Readers:

Given the Canadian Taxpayers Federation's analysis (below), one has to wonder just how far Prime Minister Justin Trudeau-Gregoire and his sunny ways gang of Liberals are prepared to go to ensure the Aboriginal vote in the next election? To Carolyn Bennett CyberSmokeSignals says, "Balls ..... whoa cowgirl whoa!"

Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk
CFT slams Trudeau government's abandonment of the First Nations Financial Transparency Act
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) today condemned the Trudeau governments decision to cease enforcement of the First Nations Financial Transparency Act (FNFTA)

OTTAWA, ONTARIO: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) today condemned the Trudeau government’s decision to cease enforcement of the First Nations Financial Transparency Act (FNFTA).

“This government was elected on a promise to improve transparency and accountability, and this decision does exactly the opposite,” said CTF Federal Director Aaron Wudrick. “A law without consequence for non-compliance is a toothless law. As such, soon many First Nations people across the country will again be in the dark as to how their elected leaders spend public dollars.”

Wudrick noted that as of today most bands were complying with the law and that only eight out of 581 First Nations had failed to file FNFTA documentation for 2013-14 – a compliance rate of 98.6 per cent. For 2014-15, 38 out of 581 First Nations have not yet complied, for a compliance rate of 93.5 per cent.

“The FNFTA is a critical tool for band members to hold their First Nations politicians to account, in exactly the same way similar laws do for federal, provincial and municipal politicians across Canada,” said Wudrick. “Suspending enforcement of this law is wrong, and completely undermines the very principles this government claims to be advancing.”

Wudrick noted that the importance of the FNFTA is illustrated by cases such as that of Chief Ron Giesbrecht of the Kwikwetlem First Nation, who pocketed $800,000 of band money as part of a band land deal. Kwikwetlem band councillor Marvin Joe even stated “I want the public to know that the membership knew nothing about this. And it if wasn’t for this new transparency act, I don’t think we ever would have known.”

“Without the FNFTA being enforced Mr. Joe along with thousands of other band members will soon be in the dark again,” concluded Wudrick.
Posted by Aaron Wudrick
Tuesday, December 15, 2015

By bil on December 18, 2015

Taxpayers, Canadians and 1st Nations Peoples have a right to know where their $ are being spent. Last time I checked, Canada is an open and transparent Democracy. How our tax dollars are being used must be publicly documented for scrutiny. Otherwise, someone will invariably abuse the process for personal gain (power), or be open to suspicion by not being transparent. In my opinion, establishing a healing process with 1st Nations does not entail hidden ledger books.

By AlMaj on December 21, 2015

I was not pleased to hear that the transparency was removed. It's bad enough that Canadians pay $5 billion plus for aboriginal affairs (welfare basically) but that a few dozen reserves are totally corrupt and not held accountable is not right and should be prosecuted, not shuffled under the carpet. As a new subscriber, I encourage you to make this a national issue.

Carolyn Bennett reinstates funds frozen under First National Financial Transparency Act

Liberals to suspend court actions against First Nations that have not complied with Act

Kathleen Harris
Friday, December 18, 2015
Forty-three First Nations are waiting on the new Liberal government to release funding frozen under the First Nations Financial Transparency Act, which was put in place by the Conservatives. (Adrien Wyld/Canadian Press)

The Canadian government is reinstating funds frozen under the controversial First Nations Financial Transparency Act, Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett says.

The government is also halting compliance measures that required bands to post detailed financial information online.

In a news release issued Friday, the minister said the government will suspend court actions against First Nations that have not complied with the act.

Ottawa backs off as First Nations ignore deadline
First Nations risk losing funding under new law

"We will work in full partnership with First Nations leadership and organizations on the way forward to improve accountability and transparency," she said in the statement. "This can not be achieved without the engagement of First Nations and its members."

Forty-three First Nations were waiting on the Liberal government to release more than $12 million in funding, which was held back by the previous Conservative government.

The First Nations Financial Transparency Act brought in by the Conservatives, required 581 bands across Canada to release their financial information or have their government funding cease.

Bennett said these "initial steps" will lead the way to discussions on transparency and accountability that are "based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership and that build towards a renewed, nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous Peoples."

Aboriginal leaders have called the legislation prejudicial because it requires reporting of non-taxpayer-supported streams of income.

First Nations claim that information is already provided to government, and that publicizing it violates treaties as well as protections to privacy under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
38 First Nations fail to file

As of Friday, 38 First Nations had not had a completed set of documents published online.

Bennett said she will work with Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould to review laws to ensure the Crown is "fully executing its obligations" in accordance with constitutional and international obligations.

Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde called it a "welcome move."

"First Nations fully support accountability but Bill C-27 is a flawed piece of legislation that does not respect our rights and must be repealed," he said in a statement. "Today's announcement gives us an opportunity to work together on a better approach where First Nations are accountable to their citizens first and the government is accountable to the public for its funding to First Nations."

National Chief Dwight Dorey of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples also applauded the move.

"We are encouraged that these monies will be made available and that the First Nations people living off-reserve in remote rural and isolated communities will benefit from the minister's decision," he said in a statement.

A taxpayers' watchdog group condemned the government's decision, calling the transparency act a "critical tool" for band members to hold their political leaders to account.

"This government was elected on a promise to improve transparency and accountability, and this decision does exactly the opposite," said Canadian Taxpayers Federation federal director Aaron Wudrick in a release.

"A law without consequence for non-compliance is a toothless law. As such, soon many First Nations people across the country will again be in the dark as to how their elected leaders spend public dollars."

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