Skidegate to post financial information soon

  • Aug. 4, 2014 5:00 a.m.

Skidegate Band’s Chief Councillor says council will be complying with new legislation that requires it to post online financial information, including expenses and salaries of chiefs and councillors.”There’s nothing to hide,” said Billy Yovanovich, “We just got our comprehensive audit back and there’s just a few details to iron out before we post.”The federal government passed the First Nations Financial Transparency Act last year, requiring band councils to post their audited financial statements within 120 days of the end of their financial year.A media representative with Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada said bands were asked to have their financial audits in the mail by Wednesday (July 30) at midnight, and expected information to be posted online in the coming week.Band councils that don’t have a website, such as Old Massett, can ask a neighboring nation or AANDC to post the information online on their behalf.”First Nations, like all Canadians, deserve transparency and accountability from their elected officials. That is why the Government of Canada introduced the First Nations Financial Transparency Act, which received Royal Assent in 2013,” Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Bernard Valcourt wrote in a statement on July 25 (Monday).AANDC will post band’s financial information as it is received. Mr. Yovanovich said Skidegate’s information will probably be up within the next couple weeks.According to AANDC, if a First Nation doesn’t publish its financial information, a First Nation member, any citizen of Canada or the Minister can apply to a superior court to obtain an order to require publication. The Observer called Old Massett Village Council to see what its plans are, but no one got back to us before our deadline.

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