Update – The First Nations Financial Transparency Act

OTTAWA /CNW/ – The Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, issued the following statement (on Monday) on the First Nations Financial Transparency Act.

“Our Government firmly believes that First Nations, like all Canadians, deserve transparency and accountability from their leaders. That is why we passed the First Nations Financial Transparency Act (FNFTA) and empowered community members to be informed of their community’s financial situation.

With the First Nations Financial Transparency Act now in place, First Nation members in 451 of the 582 First Nations covered by the law have access to the basic information they require and deserve about how their Chiefs and councils spend money for which they are responsible.

The Act applies the same principles of transparency and accountability to First Nations governments that already exist for other governments in Canada.

Empowering First Nations through legislation such as the FNFTA is a priority for our Government. So far, over 77 percent have complied.

Those First Nation band councils who have so far failed to comply with the law have received several reminders and are expected to comply by November 26, 2014.

Let me be clear. Our Government will take action, according to the provisions of the law, with regard to First Nation governments that do not follow the law. These measures include court orders, withholding of non-essential funding and withholding of new funding.

I urge band leadership who have not filed their financial documents to do so by November 26, 2014.”

(Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada)