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Fifteen Manitoba First Nations haven't disclosed their financial documents

Aboriginal affairs minister may cut off "non-essential" funding if they don't comply

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 27/11/2014 (1662 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Fifteen Manitoba First Nations have failed to post their financial documents online to comply with a new federal transparency law, risking some of their funding being cut off.

Out of 582 First Nations across Canada, 529 have their documents published online, according to a statement from Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada. AANDC Minister Bernard Valcourt said in the statement the government would be taking action to force remaining First Nations to comply with the law.

These actions could include “withholding funding for non-essential programs, services and activities,” and “withholding of new or proposal-based non-essential program funding.”

“I have directed that the sanctions not target essential services that support band members,” Valcourt said in the statement.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 27/11/2014 (1662 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Fifteen Manitoba First Nations have failed to post their financial documents online to comply with a new federal transparency law, risking some of their funding being cut off.

Out of 582 First Nations across Canada, 529 have their documents published online, according to a statement from Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada. AANDC Minister Bernard Valcourt said in the statement the government would be taking action to force remaining First Nations to comply with the law.

These actions could include "withholding funding for non-essential programs, services and activities," and "withholding of new or proposal-based non-essential program funding."

"I have directed that the sanctions not target essential services that support band members," Valcourt said in the statement.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt responds to a question in the House of Commons in Ottawa, Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014.

ADRIAN WYLD / THE CANADIAN PRESS

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt responds to a question in the House of Commons in Ottawa, Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014.

According to a list posted on the AANDC website, 15 Manitoba First Nations have not published their documents – the highest number among all Canadian provinces.

Some may yet trickle in, but several First Nations leaders have said they will buck the legislation, saying it's at odds with the concept of self-government.

"Generally speaking, leadership in Manitoba won't be intimidated by the minister's use of fiscal discretion to try and coerce compliance with a law that is unjust or contrary to the laws of the Constitution," said Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Grand Chief Derek Nepinak last month in an email. "It's up to the leadership councils in each community to report financials to the community members according to the custom of the people and the expectations of the community."

The AANDC statement says the government will seek court orders to require publication from First Nations that have no intention of complying. Meanwhile, Onion Lake Cree Nation in Alberta and Saskatchewan is taking the government to court over the new requirements.

The First Nations Financial Transparency Act requires all First Nations to post online their financial statements and the salaries and expenses of their chiefs and councillors.

The Manitoba First Nations that don't have their documents posted yet are:

  • Bunibonibee Cree
  • Dakota Tipi
  • Ebb and Flow
  • Fox Lake
  • Hollow Water
  • Lake St. Martin (has posted chief and council salaries, but not financial statements)
  • Little Saskatchewan
  • Nisichawayashik Cree
  • Northlands
  • Norway House Cree
  • Roseau River Anishinabe
  • Shamattawa
  • Wasagamack
  • Wuskwi Sipihk
  • York Factory

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