When 82 First Nations chiefs and band councillors make more than the prime minister, all while many of their people live in abject poverty, something is horribly amiss. It's not new, but it is amiss.
In Alberta alone, for example, 47 chiefs and councillors made more last year than the PM's $317,574.
We have serious reservations about that.(no pun intended)
Now, since the money these chiefs and councillors pocket is grant money from taxpayers, auditing their books in search of ne'er-do-wells and misappropriated dollars would normally receive no political pushback.
But the Liberals need ink, don't they? They're a political embarrassment in search of some buzz. So, looking for a headline grabber, along comes Liberal aboriginal affairs critic Carolyn Bennett to label the newly-introduced First Nations Transparency Act -- Bill C-27 -- a "racist" and "paternalistic" piece of legislation. Well done, Ms. Bennett. There's your news hit. Now please go away.
There is absolutely nothing "racist" or "paternalistic" about Bill C-27, a vital and long-overdue piece of legislation that deserves quick passage so that all Canada will finally get to know down which hole the billions in First Nations' grant money goes.
From the outside looking in, and this is what raises many hackles, it would appear that too many chiefs and not enough Indians are living the good life on the taxpayers' dime. Bill C-27 should clear up the mess up. Much like the CBC vs. the Taxpayer, First Nations band members deserve transparency and accountability from their elected officials, and they are not getting it when their leaders refuse to come clean with where the government's money goes, or how much goes into their own pockets. What is "racist" about that?
Now, you may have never heard of the Glooscap First Nation Reserve in Nova Scotia but you might be interested to know that one Mi'kmaq politician there pulled in almost $1 million in pay in 2010, while band councillors each earned between $210,000 and $260,000. Now, close your eyes and try to envision just how big the Glooscap First Nation must be to warrant such mammoth salaries. Give up? Well, in 2009, the population actually living on the reserve was 87. We didn't drop any zeroes.
Thanks Win..... the final word is yours ..... for today