The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) will be affirming its support of Bill C-27 this afternoon during a presentation to the Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development committee (Room 362, East Block @ 4:30 p.m.) Bill C-27, if passed, would put the salaries of chiefs and councillors on the internet for all to see.
“The bottom line is politicians, regardless of race or level of government, should have to disclose their pay to the public,” said CTF Prairie Director. “Greater transparency on aboriginal reserves will help separate the good apples from the bad ones.”
The CTF has been pushing hard for the tabling of such a bill over the past three years as it has exposed numerous cases of wild salaries on aboriginal reserves such as Peguis First Nation (Manitoba), Enoch Cree Nation (Alberta), Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation (Saskatchewan), Glooscap First Nation (Nova Scotia), Piapot First Nation (Saskatchewan), Crane River (Manitoba), Acadia First Nation (Nova Scotia) and Annapolis Valley (Nova Scotia) to name a few.
Documents obtained by the CTF through Access to Information requests (ATI) also exposed how approximately 50 reserve politicians made more than the Prime Minister of Canada in 2008-09. In many of these cases band members had no idea their politicians were making so much money.
During the committee presentation the CTF will be making four recommendations for implementation and amendments to the bill:
• Post the salary and audit information going back five years
• Put all audit documents online, not just annual audit documents
• Clarify that funds noted in the travel column of chief and council pay sheets should not include pay for attending off reserve meetings; those funds should be reported in the salary or honorarium column; and
• Funds chiefs and councilors receive for sitting on band partner entities like tribal councils and provincial bodies should be included in pay reports
“Overwhelmingly we’ve heard from people living on and off reserves that this legislation is long overdue,” added Craig. “Taxpayers appreciate MP Kelly Block’s effort to get the ball rolling with her private members bill as well as the government’s current legislation.”