*Pls RT* – Letter to Senate Opposing #BillC27 First Nations Financial Transparency Act #IdleNoMore #cdnpoli

To: The Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples

Please stop Bill C-27, First Nations Financial Transparency Act that is currently before you.

Bill C-27 is a misleadingly titled bill since the following financial transparency is already in place:

-First Nations already prepare annual audited financial statements that are submitted to the AANDC (Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada) that are publicly available through their website.

-The Auditor General estimated that First Nations provides 168 reports (on average) annually to four different organizations of the federal government. An onerous task and yet it has been shown that only 65% of those reports are even looked at.

-Funds are already withheld for non-compliance.

The INAC (Indian and Northern Affairs Canada) mandate at the First Nations Crown gathering Jan 2012 was to improve social well-being and economic prosperity and develop healthier, more sustainable communities, “a future in which First Nations… are strong, sustainable, self-sufficient… with Financial self-sufficiency as the end-goal… and both parties can create the conditions to enable sustainable and successful First Nations..”

Bill C-27 goes against this core mandate requiring overly punitive burdensome conditions setting up First Nations to fail. For example, if First Nations do not comply with the request for financial statements from any person within 120 days, funding can be cut off unilaterally (no essential services, no housing, no medical, no education, no road or water maintenance, etc), funding agreements can be changed, the Minister can create an action plan to remedy the breach, and it enables any person to apply for a court order to the superior court. With Bill C-27 these financial reports will be published on the internet for ten years.

The argument put forward in Senate in favour of this bill is if First Nations want to govern themselves they should be [as] accountable and transparent as all other levels of government who make their salaries accessible to the public yet, Bill C-27 far surpasses current reporting required by any other level of government and only reinforces the outdated paternal relationship long ago established by the Indian Act that we need to step away from in order for First Nations to be self-governing and sovereign nations.

This bill cripples First Nations and ensures they will never become economically viable, taking away any possible competitive edge that may be gained in business by forcing them to disclose their financial audits which no corporation is required to do, again going beyond standards set for other businesses in Canada. This bill only serves to add to First Nations already onerous reporting functions that the auditor general has frequently criticized, recommending the reporting requirements be reduced.

This bill severely jeopardizes First Nations funding in an already precarious system where many are living in third world conditions. We cannot afford to put any more First Nations lives at risk by threatening to remove funding based on the requirements of this bill; it is unreasonable and unjust to place such demands when some band offices may not even have the administrative capacity to be able to manage the requests.

The act would lock First Nations into legislation far surpassing current agreements and does not make any allowance for possible changes in the fiscal relationship between First Nations and Canada. This bill only reinforces an already unstable and changing fiscal relationship between First Nations and Canada whereas going forward; we need to stabilize funding to ensure we can best serve First Nations citizens and reserves.

Please immediately abandon Bill C-27 and ensure that any future legislation for First Nations is created following the Constitution Act 1982 (Section 35) that honours First Nations and Aboriginal Treaty rights, and states, “Specific financing arrangements will be negotiated among governments and the Aboriginal groups concerned.”, and ensure First Nations are consulted prior to introducing future legislation per the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples that Canada agreed to.

First Nations are interested and invested in advancing jointly designed plans encompassing First Nations rights, jurisdiction and Treaties and the principles of accountability and transparency but Bill C-27 is not the solution; it is only going to serve to further burden and destabilize an already over-burdened and uncertain financial system.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Please print, sign and mail -OR- copy it, sign and email it to:

Send mail to a senator postage-free at:

Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples
The Senate of Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada, K1A 0A4

Email: appa@sen.parl.gc.ca
Or you can phone or fax:
Clerk : Marcy Zlotnick – (613) 990-6080

Administrative Assistant : Lyne Héroux – (613) 949-4372

General Information : (613) 990-0088 or 1-800-267-7362

Fax : (613) 947-2104

~

Advertisements

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Clear Wind Blows Over the Moon
    Apr 02, 2013 @ 00:13:29

    It breaks my heart to see that Bill C-27 was passed quietly into law while people were more focused on the amazing journey of the Nishyuu and their arrival in Ottawa. The government always knows the best way to play their cards for the least fuss.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: