Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Peguis leaders' use of flood compensation raises red flags

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The chief and council of Peguis First Nation paid themselves thousands of dollars in money earmarked for flood compensation, diverted thousands more to private consultants and hired unqualified staff as a make-work project for flood emergency operations.

The findings — obtained by the Free Press — are among the red flags raised by an Ottawa-based independent review and auditing firm.

The review into federal emergency assistance ordered by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development concluded that due to "numerous significant control weaknesses" it was impossible to "provide assurances that all of the funds were spent for the intended purposes."

Peguis Chief Glenn Hudson took exception with the findings, saying the First Nation’s co-manager wrote a point-by-point rebuttal to Ottawa after reviewing the findings.

Hudson dismissed the audit as inaccurate and said it offered an incomplete picture of Peguis finances for flood spending.

"I can tell you outright, it’s not accurate," Hudson said. "There are no truckloads of money going to chief and council. They don’t have all the accurate findings and there are inaccuracies in their review and we’ve rebutted that."

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