Canada sues First Nations for failing to disclose council salaries

Isadore Day, the leader of the Chiefs of Ontario and the chief of the Serpent River First Nation. Photo from Facebook

The Canadian government is taking several First Nations to court and is threatening to cut funds to many more for failing to report the salaries of their leaders.

First Nations were always required to provide financial reports, along with salary and remuneration information, to the government. But the controversial First Nations Financial Transparency Act requires them to make that information public for the first time.

Almost all First Nations complied with the law in 2014 despite complaints. According to the Department of Aboriginal Affairs & Northern Development, 98 percent of band governments, submitted the required information last year.

That leaves 12, out of 582, in non-compliance for 2013-2014. Four are working with the government to meet their obligations, CBC News reported.

The eight remaining bands, meanwhile, have been served with court papers, CBC reported. Two of them, both from Saskatchewan, filed their own court actions in hopes of stopping the government from punishing them.

For 2014-2015, the situation is looking a lot different. As of last week, some 320 had not submitted all of the information, according to the department.

"Those bands protesting against the federal government and not producing their financial information should be acknowledged for their efforts, not for withholding information, but resisting the extremely inconsistent and inhumane policies of the federal government," Isadore Day, the leader of the Chiefs of Ontario and the chief of the Serpent River First Nation, told CBC.

The 2014-2015 information was due at midnight on July 28.

Get the Story:
Conservatives 'throw stones in a glass house' on First Nations transparency, chief says (CBC 8/5)
Liard First Nation served court papers by federal government (CBC 8/3)
First Nations bands have until midnight to submit 2014-15 financial data or risk funding loss (CBC 7/28)
Federal government, First Nations face court battle over Transparency Act (CBC 7/27)

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